This week I begin work on G581: Earth, the third in the sci-fi series begun with G581: The Departure. I haven't worked out all of the kinks with G581: Mars, but I have a strong feeling I will soon. It sitting in the back of my mind percolating as I get to work on G581:Earth and I'll work it all out in time.
Indie Authorship Rocks
It really does. Yes, I have to deal with all of the particulars - writing, editing, promotion and more - but the versatility is what trumps everything. Take Hired Gun, for example. I started out with the intent to write smut (okay, okay, call it erotic thriller) and quickly realized I simply could not write a plotless story. Not even a half-plotted story.
I read one a few months ago that was a kind of bodyguard story but the protagonist was the last descendant of a lost English prince and the Queen, bless her dark soul, was intent on murdering her to protect the throne for Charles. They were in the U.S., and went BACK TO ENGLAND, which was so damned stupid, and then promptly started boinking and shopping and I was sitting there reading it going, "Wait, she's in enemy territory and she's going SHOPPING?"
Anyway, needless to say, I had to have some plot involved. By the time I was done, I had convinced myself I had a thriller with detailed sex scenes in it. And I got a cover that I thought made sense to go with that idea.
Instead, I had a romance, and a bodyguard romance at that. And after 90+ reviews, many of which were mad as hell at the lack of a Happily Ever After or Happy For Now ending, I have accepted reality. Sometimes, tropes are not meant to be tossed out. And it seems that sometimes, even I must bow to the cardinal rule of law.
As a result, I'm tweaking some of the scenes, adding a healthy fight scene I was overly nervous about putting in, and I'm changing the ending to a Happy for Now. And having the cover re-done to properly capture what it is: a bodyguard romance.
The Nuts and Bolts and Pennies and Dimes
I've got a year. One year to make this work. And this is the short explanation of how I plan to do it:
Write 3 sci-fi novels by the end of the year and release them on Nov. 1st, Dec. 1st, and Jan 1st, 2021
Update Get Organized, Stay Organized and release the updated 2020 version by this fall
Study the hell out of the SPF Ads for Authors course and begin spending a minimum of $500 per month from January through June 2021, using any funds I earn to reinvest in ads.
Write the six sequels to Hired Gun in 2021, releasing them every 8 weeks beginning with Smoke and Steel on February 1st.
June 2021 - Profit or Bust
I have basically allocated $3,000 towards this (more if you count book covers and edits, but I have that covered under a different fund) goal of learning ads. Basically, until your name is out there, and possibly even after, Amazon is a pay to play environment. There are more books being published than ever before and in order to stand out from the crowd, I need ads to help bring eyes to my work.
I'm seeing authors who have taken the SPF Ads course posting their income figures and it ranges from 25-50% of total revenue in ad spend. Spend $1, get back anywhere from $1.50 to $1.75 in profits at the bare minimum. At the 20 Books to 50k conference I went to last year, the big authors spend around half a million dollars a year...and get anything from 1.5 million in revenue and up.
I don't need that kind of income, although I certainly would not say "no" to it. Damn, but I would NOT say "no!"
As a cross-genre author, I know that I have my work cut out for me. It's harder to get and keep a following if you are writing vastly different books, and I have accepted that reality because I love the idea (and the reality) of writing vastly different books.
By June 2021, I absolutely MUST see a profit of at least $250 per month on my writing, preferably far more. That $250 though, should be an easy minimum to achieve after six months of ads in practice. And by January 2025, that income had better be a minimum of $1500 net. That's it, just $1,500 per month net income. Considering I've got plans for a total number (at present) of thirty books in the works by the end of 2023, I think that is doable, don't you?
But What If...
But what if I don't manage to make any profit? Well, Skippy, it goes like this. I've got twelve years until retirement. I also have great clients and a cleaning business I can always build up again. Cleaning toilets is a hell of a lot better than working in an office or thanking callers when they cuss me out...just sayin'.
If I Were a Betting Man...
First of all, my self-assigned title of General Malcontent does not make me a man. I am a woman, through and through (just in case you were confused). Secondly, woman or man, I'm betting on ME. I'm pretty damn sure I can do this.
Even better, I've already got folks that support the hell out of me, Numero Uno being my husband, who is super-awesome. And rather adorable. See, here is a picture of him sweeping the sidewalk in the middle of our front fence construction project last year...
I have a fabulous, full and AMAZING life right now. Successful author career or not. I mean seriously wonderful life with two kiddos (a teenager and a preschooler!) in our home, canines galore, and an enormous yard to fill full of plants. Occasionally, we even foster little critters like this one...
Every day is an adventure!
I also KNOW that I can write. I have plenty of room for improvement, but the talent is there. And so I will. Right now in fact...[winks and waves]. See you all later!