Corvette Sales Update

We’re at the month mark after the release of my novel, Corvette. The book debuted on 21 March but didn’t really take off until April. What I’ll be looking at today are April’s numbers.

Corvette Sales

This chart is from my KDP dashboard and shows the sales of just Corvette. Getting to 50 on the third day was key to kickstarting the whole climb. After that it was the jump to just under 100 that put me on some Best Seller lists and from then on the climb was pretty steady. Getting over the 100 a day peak resulted in a big boost in sales that lasted until the 150 a day period which is still off and on until the end of the month.

The blue line graph is how many page reads the book is getting in the Kindle Select program. Much of the time I make more money off of those page reads than I do by actually selling a copy of the ebook. Amazon pays you for a “sale” after a reader completes 60% of your book. This is why it’s essential for your book to be in Kindle Select.

All Sales

This chart shows how Corvette’s sales are boosting the sales of my other Star Saga books. About two weeks into the month I slid three more of my lower priced books into Kindle Select to boost readers. It’s only just starting to help towards the end of April. This means I had to take the books off sale at Kobo and Nook but that was not a problem since sales on those platforms were non-existent.

I decided to pay for a better graphing tool for my Amazon numbers and here is a late April screenshot of sales using Book Report.

I like this tool because it has graphs and a pie chart and book covers with links to the books. Laying the Kindle Select reads on top of the sales numbers really shows you how they correlate. Select are in blue and sales royalties are in red. I told you being in Select pays!

Also of note here is the widening slice of pie that is Book One of my Star Saga – Starforgers. The thing I want to see is if all those Corvette readers start making their way through the series. This should drive sales more and more as Corvette fades from the bestseller lists.

Here is a breakdown of the earning per book for April. Keep in mind that Devon’s Blade, Ocherva and Blood Empress have only been in Select for a few weeks. Their numbers should grow next month. 

This is a fun graph from Amazon’s back end that shows my Author Ranking which is a Beta program that compares your sales to others in your genre. It changes hourly. I like it because it shows the rise from obscurity to hit in one month.

The last time my sales took off like this I only had one book out and the whole thing folded in about two months. Now that I have close to a dozen books in the same universe, it will be interesting to see if I can gain a following. Once again, spending a decade writing as many novels might finally bear some fruit.


Corvette Launch, Two Weeks On

I thought it was about time for a numbers update on my novella, Corvette. I launched it on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 with little fanfare as an Amazon KDP Select ebook and a KDP Paperback. I did no advertising for the launch. No Facebook ads, no Amazon ads and no BookBub or similar posts. I mentioned that it was available on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. I also hit my mailing list with the link to buy it.

As you can see, the first week it started a slow climb up until it reached a few best seller lists towards the end of the first week. Once on these lists it seemed to climb up until this past Friday when it jumped up to about page two on a couple of the lists. Lots of buyers on that day. As of today, Sunday the second of April it

To get on the lists, you need to be selling 35 or more per day. To make mid-list range or in the 50’s of a top 100 list you have to sell over 70 per day. It’s hard for any book to stay up that high for long and I’ve noticed other books bouncing around with mine for the mid 50’s on two lists.

Above you see the three lists Corvette is on at the time of this writing, Sunday afternoon. Hanging in there at mid-list for two and about page three for the fourth list. No idea how long this will continue. I’ll do another update in a week or two.

Below you see my combined sales of all my ebooks for the same time period.

I have a series called the Star Saga that is starting to sell now that Corvette is out. Corvette is a prequel to that series although no characters carry over. So I’m hoping readers find the series and start to make their way through it. The series has three numbered books with two novellas in between them. So a total of five books in the first trilogy. The chart below shows how the series books are slowly rising in sales. This is for April only and most of these only sell about one or two per month normally.

So I’m happy the series is getting some exposure, that was the whole reason this book was written. It’s supposed to be a low cost entry level novella to the Star Saga. I’m keeping Book 1 of the series at .99 cents to ensure the reader takes a chance on the actual series after liking Corvette. If they come back for Book 2, I charge my regular price – $2.99. All of my series novellas are priced at .99 cents for the ebooks.

So how well did the paperbacks do, you might be asking? Not so good. Paper is still not a viable option for me yet. These are my sales for March. So far in April there are no sales.

If you want to check out Corvette you can get it here.


This month I’m focusing on two big events, the relaunching of Dispatches, my email newsletter and the launching of Counterattack, Book 3 of the Star Saga. Poking around on this site will also reveal another recent change. I updated the theme and now you can see all the menus and images on your phone or tablet. I’m not sure exactly how many users are coming here on their phones, but maybe now more will come.

Dispatches. I’ve changed newsletter providers from MailChimp to ActiveCampaign. What this means for you, the subscriber is that I’ll be able to interact with you easier and even offer more things like free short stories or perhaps an inside look at my model building. Right now you will get a free ebook of Starforgers, Book One of the Star Saga when you join Dispatches. Another improvement I’ve made is in how you get that free ebook onto your device of choice. I’m using a new content delivery system called BookFunnel. BookFunnel makes installing the ebook as simple as can be which means no more Googling how to side load an ebook. Very cool program.

Finally, Counterattack is just about ready to ship. I will be sending out a special email for those interested in getting an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the ebook for free. My only request is that you leave an honest review on Amazon after you finish reading it. Eventually, ARC readers will have their own club on Dispatches and if you’re wiling to leave reviews, you might never have to buy one of my books again!

Reviews are so much more important to authors than to anyone else selling merchandise on Amazon. Reviews generate sales and they let me get on exclusive email lists like BookBub which can propel me into the hearts and minds of literally thousands of new readers. So if you’re ever wondering what you can do for your author friend, leave a review of their book on Amazon. It will make their day!


Sci-Fi and Scary Reviews Devon’s Blade

Devons Blade Cover_ReadersFavoriteFiveStars_MedSize     SCwords4Twitter

A pleasantly surprised review from Sci-Fi and Scary for my novella, Devon’s Blade earning it 4 out of 5 stars. The book was noted for having a mostly female cast in a story that is usually dominated by men. I didn’t set out to do that, but when you take away the love story angle between characters and you’re only concerned with the story, it’s easier if all your main characters are one sex and hetero. So while I didn’t set out to have a mostly female cast, it just came out that way. This happens all the time in stories with male dominated casts so fair is fair. Read the review here.


Discovery Engine


This is the year of finding an audience. Most of my writerly efforts will focus on marketing. I finally have three sequential books in my Star Saga series and just for good measure, two novellas set in between the three novels. Couple that with a anthology of short stories set before the series makes a total of six ebooks that are ready for public consumption.

My covers all match in style and are unique to my series, yet are still recognizable as Science Fiction. The ebooks are all edited and proofed and ready to be read. The website has a modern look and features all my books. I’ve joined professional indie writer’s groups and I’ve even got an author Facebook page! I know, right? Professional.

My next task is to create some advertising goals across all media that I frequent. It’s time to start spending money in order to start making money. I’ve started with a paid review and I’m now moving on to unpaid reviews from reviewers who are well respected in the genre. This is a slow process, but so was sending manuscripts to agents. The greatest sales spurt for any of my books came after a single web review by someone who I never figured had much of a reach.

I’ve also submitted to a contest for the first time. It wasn’t cheap, but I feel the odds were pretty good with one of my novellas. We’ll find out this September if that one paid off. I’d love to send out a manuscript to some traditional publishers, but all of my stories are set in the same universe. I just don’t see a publisher wanting one of them without the whole series. I’m not ready to give up the rights to that series. Short stories are different. I might try and write a short and send it to the big magazines to see if they will bite. It’s been years since I sent out shorts.

I’ll continue to use the email list to communicate with my readers. I may even try to do some YouTube videos. I even started an Instagram account. Ugh.

Other things I’m probably going to try include cross platform blog posts and of course Medium posts. Trying to get out there for people to find you is a bit like designing a discover engine. An algorithm that lets you plug in things about yourself and your books and turns that into word of mouth that results in book sales. We’ll see how I do.

Devon’s Blade Review

Getting the word out about your novels is pretty important and its been a weakness of mine for a long time now. So in an effort to increase my exposure I purchased a review for Devon’s Blade from the Self-Publishing Review website. So far it has not resulted in any sales, but there is no way to gauge how many people actually saw the review. It was a very positive review and you can read it on their site. They also supplied a quote for my Amazon page.


I’ll be venturing into many new advertising avenues in the weeks and months to come. Hopefully something will result in sales. In the mean time I’m slugging away on yet another Military SF novel.

Devons Blade Cover 4-26-15


Inkshares Publishing Experiment

I have this book that I wrote last year, The Blood Empress, and so far I have not done anything with it. It’s a gap book taking place between Book 1 and Book 2 of my Star Saga series. Today I got a cold call email from Inkshares Publishing a new crowd funding start-up publisher. Their program works like Kickstarter in that you have 40 some days to raise the funds needed for them to print your novel. If you pre-sell enough copies of the book, they will have it edited and cover the design costs and then market the book much like a publisher would do. Meanwhile you keep all the rights and get 70% of the profits made after it launches.

Having no real plans for this book, I decided to go ahead and try them out to see what kind of an audience I can muster. My expectations are low, considering nobody knows who I am or what I write. But if this program funds and sales do okay, it could rise the tide and carry my other books along with it. If it does not fund, I get the book back and I go ahead and release it myself at a later date. Nothing lost.


New Release From Val Roberts

You may not have heard of us yet, but the state of Idaho has a small but totally awesome bunch of SF writers. One of us has recently launched a new book that has moved to the top of my reading stack. Author Val Roberts has released Book One of her new series: Ganymede: The Survivors. It’s even got a catchy title: Open Mike at Club Bebop. If you like a bit of romance mixed in with smart storytelling, fantastic world building and great characters, you’ll love all of Val’s work. Don’t forget to leave reviews when you finish, we authors need the love. When you finish reading this and you need more awesome from Val, pick up her other two novels also available on Amazon:  Blade’s Edge and The Valmont Contingency.

CreateSpace VS Lightning Source


I’ve been looking into moving my paperbacks over to Lightning Source. The reason has to do with getting them into local Indie bookstores. As amazingly easy as CreateSpace is to use, they are still an Amazon company and Indie book sellers hate dealing with Amazon. Most store owners I know won’t carry your book if they have to order it from Amazon. So what’s an Indie writer to do then?

You have to use both CreateSpace and Lightning Source. First, establish a CS account and get your paperback looking awesome through them. The software for setting up your interior and exterior PDFs is far superior on CS. Caveat, use your own ISBN numbers for your books. This will get your paperbacks on Amazon and available to a national audience. Don’t purchase the Expanded Distribution option. This makes your books available in the Ingram catalogs for stores and libraries.

Next, take your book PDFs to LS and set up an account there. Again, use your own ISBN numbers so that the publisher of record is you or your LLC. In my case, I use GB Press. You may need to complete a Doing Business As or LLC in your state to protect yourself and establish your imprint as a legitimate business.

LS is owned by Ingram, so you get their “expanded distribution” built in. But the real reason you go this route is to get your books into the Ingram catalog as not being published by CreateSpace. Now when your local Indie bookstore owner goes to order your book, she sees your imprint as the owner and not Amazon. Provided your book is professional looking and edited, they are usually happy to support local authors.

If you only did the LS version, when your book appeared on Amazon, it is likely to always say out of print. As Amazon won’t order any to have on hand. But if you have also gone through CS, this out of print never happens. Again, CS is owned by Amazon so they tend to work better with each other.

Both CS and LS use POD or Print on Demand, so your book will never go out of print and only be printed when someone orders it. I’ve already messed up in all this by using CS’s ISBNs for books. So I’ll be using my own ISBNs for LS and risk the confusion that will surely happen on Amazon later. This is because in something like six years of Self Publishing, I’ve never sold more than a dozen paperbacks on Amazon.

Getting your books into local Indie stores should be your prime directive as an author. First of all, you should be supporting local businesses in general and second of all, when it comes to marketing, act local and think global. Get into your local bookstores and do signings. Do signings with other local authors. Network with them. Go out of town to do signings in other parts of your state. If you happen to border other states with bigger cities, go regional. This is where I’ve fallen down in the past.

I started out doing signings at local stores and then stopped. But now that I have four books out, it’s time to start getting out there and meeting the public. Shake hands, talk to customers and show off my books. Just like I have links to my local Indie store for my ebooks on Kobo, I will eventually have all my paperbacks in their stores. This is just good business as a publisher and a writer.

Useful Links:

Ingram Color Chart and Trim Sizes