Monday, August 13, 2012

Smashwords and I

The very first Indie book vendor I heard about was Smashwords.com. The site was very small at that point, and they were still trying to get a foot into the other e-book vendors. Mark was quick to get that going, so by the time I got there there were already Sony, Diesel, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

I had one book, "Let's Do Lunch" which was easy to track and chart.

Smashwords is a work in progress. Data collection is okay, but it's not the greatest place to do your data mining. For one thing, it can be an entire quarter before you can get updates from all the vendors.

So for those of us who are data-addicts, monthly sales data isn't 'real-time' by any stretch of the imagination.

Just this week I got enough mental energy to download 2011 and start looking at my sales by title. I still have to work them out by vendor by month. And I'm cursing the fact I no longer have a good database software I can dump everything into.

"My Kingdom for Access" is a pun on Shakespeare - but I could work out a trade as long as it didn't involve my old mare.

Anyways - this is what the information looks like. Mind you, these are nearly all freebies, what wasn't free was $.99. Which means that while I ended the year with 845 'sales' I made less than $10 for all of 2011.


Sales By Project 2011
-----------------------------------
Death of a Family     =   66
Digging Out             =   67
Impressive Bravado = 381
Let's Do Lunch       = 212
Swallow the Moon  =   54
Turned Out             =   65
===================
Totals for 2011:     = 845

What does it all mean?

Well, 'going Indie' wasn't a get rich quick scheme after all. But we knew that, didn't we?

I still have to plow through the rest of the data - but this will be enough to give my readers a good look at what to expect for their second year of sales.

It's not all glitter and rainbows, but I'm happy to see ANY progress from Smashwords at all.

2011 was the first full year, so of course the numbers aren't very high. The 2012 numbers for the first half of the year are comparable to all four quarters of 2011.

Granted, there are people who have numbers much higher than these who are backing off certain genre to concentrate on others that are selling better. I'd do that, but I'm just not interested in writing some genre. You can beat me with a belt, and I'll never write something like '50 Ways to Beat me, Whip me, Teach me Love.'

 So onward to the next installment!

PS - The farm is thriving in all the rain. The geese are HUGE and getting a little scary to deal with. I had one dance a little jig as it came towards me, and I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad one. Another goose sampled my toes while I gave them water.

It was a taste, not a bite, but I was still glad I had a light length of bamboo to keep them out of striking distance. I use a bamboo cane, about 5 feet tall, to make them give me space, but I've never had to strike them. A little poke to goose the goose is plenty.

I've been gentle with them. They are still very young and impressionable. I'll have to post a couple pictures when I get the chance. I think they're beautiful in a less 'Jurassic Park' way than chickens, but their very size has me wary. I know the power of a bite or wing-swat a Momma Duck can deliver. The geese are twice that size.

Also we had geese when I was a kid - a gander and a flock of 10 females. He was one mean gander, I remember my sister screaming when he attacked her with wings and beak. They have claws, too.

Well, that's all for now!

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