I have a pen name I’m hoping to build into a nice second earner. Some diversification if you want to call it that to keep me from relying on only one genre to keep me afloat and happy as a writer.
The only problem is that I’ve written so much slower than I had planned to write that the pen name has suffered—a lot.
My main focus has always been my main pen name, and I don’t ever see that changing. Those are the books I most want to write. I really want to write this pen name series too, but the drive just isn’t as strong as it is for some of my other series. And there’s the fact that the other series pay the bills, so I also have to take that into consideration.
Since I don’t do promotions* as a general rule, my promotion of choice has always been to write more books. It’s a great strategy if you have a series, and I have multiple series. Every time I release a new book in a series, I get sales of the previous books and some crossover sales of my other series too. So it works.
But you’ve got to release books!
I’ve released exactly two books for this pen name since I began this experiment back in June 2015. :o
I released book two a full year after book one. It looks like book three is going to be eight months behind book two. Releasing this slowly isn’t going to generate momentum. I know this, and my earnings for the series prove it.
On the other hand, I have earned some money on these two books even if it’s not a lot, and I’m quite happy about that. I do believe if I could speed up releases, the series might do all right in the long term.
So that’s something I’m hoping for in 2017. To write more of these books and see if it helps earnings. I love this series and I don’t want to have to ignore it just so I don’t go broke.
I pulled the first book out of KDP select the moment I knew about when I’d be releasing the second book.
When I released the second book, it was DOA on Amazon. I was disappointed. I’d hoped for more.
Going wide with both books at once did generate some momentum on Apple and I sold a few copies there.
I really did intend to experiment with price on these books when I started this experiment but I just haven’t done it. I might still do it when I release book three.
(I’ll have to consolidate all my reports of individual title sales into one, which I haven’t done yet, because it’s going to be so much work. I really never thought I’d need that much detail…)
*** I’m back! That took a long time! (Two entire days, to be exact.) I’m not breaking sales down by date, just by title, because anything more is just more trouble than it’s worth when working with so many different vendors.
*** In fact, adding up sales for the titles is more trouble than it’s worth—because I’m not really interested in those numbers even now that I’ve done it through the end of 2016. I don’t think I’ll update the spreadsheet going forward. I just don’t care about title sales. Nothing in the report surprised me. My brain has obviously been doing just fine consolidating the information I see in my sales reports and keeping me informed in a general sort of way about the profitability of my various series.
Sales of the pen name books for 2015 & 2016
|Series Total Earnings
There are a few numbers that aren’t in yet, but any changes to these numbers for the end part of 2016 will be minor.
As for expenses, all I have invested in these books are my time and skill, some stock art, and the domain fee for the pen name website.
Not sure I’ll bother with another update unless (until) the pen name takes off (a thought I haven’t given up on at all). I just need to write more to get there!
*I hate promoting. If it ever becomes 100% necessary to success, I guess my writing career is going to bite the dust, because I’m just not interested.