Monday, 28 March 2011

Modest Goals

I don't want anyone to think I decided to self-publish because I believed it was an instant route to Amanda-Hocking-sized sales. If nothing else, I'm writing much more niche-y novels. I'm also expecting that by the time I actually publish (once again, the target date is November 1st), the market will be a lot more crowded than it was when Ms. Hocking started up.

My goal for my first year of publishing (1st November 2011-31st October 2012) is to sell a thousand novels, total. I don't know how realistic that expectation is. My gut says that a thousand novels will be enough to require me to do a lot of promotional work, but not so many that it'll require large quantities of good luck. If everyone tells me that a thousand novels is nothing, even for a starting writer in a niche market, I'll scale up.

I'm planning to aim for a pricing strategy where I make £1 per novel sold. 1000 novels means £1000. £1000 means an extra £20 a week. This might not sound like much, but I'm living on about £5000 a year at the moment, and after rent and bills, an extra £20 per week sounds like luxury.

If people think it sounds like too many sales to hope for, well, it's not all coming from one book. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm hoping to start by publishing two books, 'Bad Romance' and 'The Death of John Collins'. Both of these books are the first installments in series (I'll go into this in more detail soon, but not today). I'm planning to write the follow-up to Bad Romance this summer, with the goal of publishing it around January 2012, and the sequel to Collins for NaNoWriMo 2011, with a view to publishing in about April of next year.

That means four books, so we're already down to 250 copies per book. I may just about be able to find time to write the third and final Collins book in time to get it out later in 2012 and score some sales off that. Selling sequels should - one hopes - be easier than selling first books, too. All I have to do on that front is make the first books good, and I've got seven months left to do that in.

So, here's a break-down of targets for the next 19 months:

1> Write 'The Earth Trembles', the follow-up to 'Bad Romance'. July 2011
2> Publish 'Bad Romance' and 'The Death of John Collins'. 1st November 2011
3> Write 'The Dimension of Freedom', the sequel to 'The Death of John Collins'. November 2011
4> Publish 'The Earth Trembles'. First quarter 2012
5> Publish 'The Dimension of Freedom'. Second quarter 2012
6> Write the third Collins book. Second quarter 2012
7> (possibly) Publish the third Collins book. Third quarter 2012
8> Sell a thousand copies of my novels. 31st October 2012

Plenty to keep me busy (never mind the fact that my band are hoping to hit the studio in about September to record a new EP, or that I'm trying to write a PhD and stay alive). My immediate priorities are research and outlining for 'The Earth Trembles' and comprehensive editing and betaing for 'Bad Romance' and 'The Death of John Collins'.

I think that's about all for today. Let me know if you think my targets are set too low! ;D

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