Friday, February 25, 2011

Professional Edition

elcome to by David Barron, Professional Edition. That might seem a bit ambitious, but allow me to explain: I am a bit ambitious. 'Professional' is the goal. It's not tied to how much money I'm making, unless by being unprofessional I am not making money. Rather, it is a measure of how hard I am working, how much I am learning and how I am crafting an attitude of success in my chosen career. Being professional is under my direct control. 'Money' is the dream. While it is my firm belief that working hard and doing the research will have a significant influence on how much money I make, I can't say for sure that money will follow. I can only put into action the best available plan and see what happens. Your money is not under my direct control.

So, what's this all about? Part of being a writer is knowing how you write best, and I find that I need an outlet for the random business, craft and mindset musings that pop into my head while I'm trying to write. As well, I've discovered that I brainstorm best when I'm performing for other people, so writing these articles will let me get a bunch of ideas down that I otherwise wouldn't have thought to write down. Then, these articles are for other writers. I get so many insights from reading writing sites, and not necessarily "writing advice" sites, but the personal sites of regular working writers (check out the links below for both). In short, I want to chronicle what works for me to increase that body of knowledge.

Fiction writers throw large piles of ideas at the wall and see what sticks, and we're well-served to look at as many walls as possible. What's going to be on my wall today?


I started electronic publishing (ePub) on Halloween 2010, so it's been about three months. Not expecting much, but let's get it out of the way. Note that I'm defining Earnings as money in my bank account and, for the purposes of these articles, only from Amazon because they're the most organised. I'm also on B&N PubIt (& Smashwords, Apple, Sony, Kobo, Diesel...) but I think Amazon KDP will be enough to give a representative sample of my total ePub earnings.

So here's the data that meets those criteria:
1 Nov'10: $0.43

Whoo! I'm rich! Breaking that down, that means I sold one short story in November, the first full month of my foray into ePub. This was with no real promotion except to whoever was reading my site in November and random Amazon searches. Taking that into consideration, I'm not too concerned. This is a classic nowhere-to-go-but-up scenario. Why so upbeat?

Shelf Space

By 'shelf space' I mean the total count of ePub titles available for sale, which includes individual Buck eChaps (one short story @ 0.99) and any collections. There more shelf space I have, the easier it is for somebody to find my work in random Amazon searches, and the easier it is for somebody to find something of mine that they like. Thus shelf space is the most important number, so let's look at my shelf space over time.

Shelf Space at the start of month #:
1 Nov'10 = 6
2 Dec'10 = 6
3 Jan'11 = 12
4 Feb'11 = 17
5 Mar'11 (projected) = 24+

In November, I only had 6 titles available, so I think I'm pretty damn lucky some random person found one of them in the Amazon sea. What does this tell me about the December numbers? They'll almost certainly be the same. My real interest is in what I'll see in January when 6 becomes 12, and then in March when 12 becomes 24. The question is what's the exponent of sales growth for a doubling of shelf space?

Predictions while we wait?

Just to make it interesting, if somebody manages to predict either January or March in the comments, I'll post a coupon code here and in the follow-up article for one of my series (guesser's choice). Go for the exponent or the actual dollar amount.

This version of Professional Edition will last until April 6, 2012, updating every Friday. Site design subject to change as I learn by doing. Like what you see? Spot something unprofessional? Feel free to comment!

1 comment:

  1. I predict your sales won't double, but that they'll triple. At least.

    Why do I say this?

    Because looking at my own numbers between January (when I started with 2 titles) and February (which started with 10 titles), my own sales have tripled between Amazon, Smashwords, and B&N. But I'll have to wait a few months to see what happened with Sony, Kobo, Apple, and Diesel.

    Also, you're getting awful close to Dean Wesley Smith's 30-title mark, which means that each title will average 5 sales a month.

    I know I haven't given you any concrete numbers. But here's my prediction for your March sales -- that they'll TRIPLE your February sales, whatever those numbers may be.


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