Monday, May 1, 2017

Back to the Business of Writing


The old bull has been ridden to a standstill by the sheer bloated weight of Uncle Sam, broken to harness and hitched to the huge wagon that is Congress. I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by the shrill voices of the political Henny Penny types cackling “The Sky Is Falling!” long enough.

The world is not a China Shop, Skylab fell decades ago. Kentucky is just as safe as it has always been. If I don’t stop looking at the sky for falling debris, I’m never going to get anything finished in time for the next Reading Season.

The Hoard is gone. My parent’s little farm was sold on last August. I took time to mourn for those I loved and lost. For the first time in years, I can take care of my farm without feeling pulled in a dozen different directions.

The porch is breezy, the trees have leafed out, and the lawn is mowed by a lawn service. It’s time I got back to the business of writing.

So, here’s what’s been going on with my books:

I goofed up and lost the URLs of KAJordan.net and IcyRoadPublishing.com. The Chinese have squatted on the two names and it would cost me $3k to get either one back. So I’ve dropped those names and will get back to that silliness later.

There are 18 I. C. Talbot short stories published. After over two years of zero sales on the other vendor sites, I started moving all the Talbot short stories into Kindle Unlimited.

They got a just few pages read, mostly for “Turned Out”until March when I released “The Hide Out” which got picked up and reviewed on Goodreads. That started a surprising burst of interest in I. C. Talbot short stories that has lasted all of March and April. Today on May 1st, “The Hide Out” was read again, kicking off the month on a positive note.

The halo sales and reads increased as I set up free dates for the other short stories. In March there were a couple thousand pages read and hundreds of e-books given away for free. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Amazon pays less per page read this year than last year. More like $0.004 per page instead of $0.005. So a couple thousand pages read is less than $20. Since I have to pay for the pictures that make up the covers and I have someone else run an editing pass, I’m still in the hole for the short stories published before “The Hide Out” and “Ill Wind.”

This doesn’t count my own e-books, with 3 brand new covers, which were lackluster as freebies. “Let’s Do Lunch” has caught on, with respectable freebie numbers and almost $2 in pages read. I hope
 that "Swallow the Moon" and "Impressive Bravado" will follow suit.

It’s a good thing that I didn’t get into this to get rich, isn’t it?

There is something that I’d like to point out – I published the first of the I. C. Talbot short stories in 2009, when I published my own. We had respectable runs which peaked 2011 and fell off to nothing thereafter. The market changed then and apparently it has changed again. 

This time it appears to have changed in my favor.