This afternoon, I received an e-mail from Dreamspinner Press with a pdf attached. The pdf was my royalties statement for last quarter’s sales of “The Christmas Wager” and “The Meaning of Vengeance.”
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to amount to much. After all, eBooks sell for just a few dollars a piece, so it would take substantial sales for any percentage of that to amount to much. But I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m not going to mention specific dollar amounts — that would be crass, even for me — but the number of copies that sold was much more than I’d expected, my first time out the gate. Wager sold 103 copies, which seems pretty good for a Christmas novella by an author nobody’s heard of that came out just three days before Christmas. And Vengeance sold 31 copies. (I’m assuming that figure combines individual sales with the sales of the anthology it was included in.)
This makes me very hopeful for my future as a writer. Not that I can plan my retirement any time soon, but if I can start to build a name for myself, and get enough stories out there, who knows? Both of these stories were holiday stories, which means that a) the sales were probably considerably higher than I can expect for non-holiday stories, due to the holiday feeding frenzy; and b) they are unlikely to sell much over the next eleven months. A few weirdos like me, who get into the Christmas spirit at odd times of the year, might grab a copy here and there, but pretty much the sales are probably over, until next Christmas.
I’m hoping that Dreamspinner accepts Zack and Larry and The Bodyguard (though they both need rewrites). If not, I’ll try them at other publishers. But at any rate, those stories may have a longer-lasting appeal, even if the audiences are smaller.
I’m currently working on my YA novel, The Guardians Awaken, doing most of my editing on my iPad now. The rewriting is going well, as I work my way through from the beginning, tweaking the mythology and adding more detail to the world I’m creating. But the actual writing of the ending has been slow. I’m hoping I can force myself to get through another section this weekend. The accursed thing is so close to being finished….
Then there’s the problem of where to send it — that, and my YA novel about Vikings, Seidhman. I’m certain that the YA publishing world is considerably different from the world of m/m erotic romance publishing. I haven’t heard of many eBook publishers for YA, and I think that makes a huge difference. Book publishers, as opposed to eBook publishers, seem to have a vastly smaller output. They simply can’t afford to publish more than a few books a year, whereas eBook publishers can put out as many as they have time to edit. The expense model is completely different. So the chances of getting a manuscript accepted by a traditional book publisher are much lower.
But in happier news, I learned today of a new review of The Christmas Wager, at Queer Magazine Online. For some reason, whenever I open the link, the review is all squished into a narrow column in the center of the page, which I don’t think is how it was intended to look. But it’s a good review, so who am I to complain?