Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good News


So, towards the end of June my wife and I were reviewing our finances and it looked like I was going to have to get a job outside the home. We’d been living off of her salary for the last two years while I worked on my creative endeavors and we had gone just about as long as we could without me having a “real” job. We were bummed out, to say the least. My wife and I really enjoying spending time together. She’s never been upset or resentful of the fact that she was the only one pulling in a regular paycheck for the last two years. As far as she was concerned all that meant was she got to spend every day with me(Her job allows her to work from home). And I certainly pulled my weight around the house. I helped with the cooking, cleaning and errands. I mean, I wasn’t a total bum. The thought of having to spend eight hours or more everyday apart from each other, after the last two years, was just very depressing.

So we did what we’ve done everyday since the day we got married and prayed that my books would take off. We sold, on average, about 50-100 books a month. But the bulk of those books were priced at $0.99, of which we only kept $0.35 as profit. You can do the math.

My brother-in-law is fond of the saying, “Go big or go home.” Well, I’ve amended to “Pray big or go home.” I mean, what have you got to lose? So we prayed pretty big. We were looking for 15,000 to 50,000 sales a month and that’s what we were praying for.

In June we did experiment with making some of our books free and that did give us a boost in sales. Unfortunately, with all of those free books out there we got hit with a lot of negative reviews, which didn’t do much to help our mood.

So I started applying for work and we kept praying. 15,000-50,000 sales.

In July I started raising some of our prices to take advantage of a higher royalty rate. At $2.99 we would make $2 off of every book sold. Our sales continued to be kind of “meh.”

Nobody was calling me back on any of my applications. I think out of twenty-some applications I got two interviews. So we got a little more depressed. Not only did we not want me to have to get an outside job, but nobody even wanted to hire me!

Then at the end of July I added up our numbers. We ended up selling 713 books for the month. That was huge for us. Yes, it was a far cry from 15,000 or 50,000, but it was a lot better than 50. Plus, enough of those 713 books were being sold at $2.99 that we actually made some decent money for the month. Topped off with the nice, healthy bonus my wife got from her job, we were looking at a month reprieve of me having to find a job. Despite the negative reviews some of my books were getting, we were starting to feel a little better.

So we kept praying. 15,000-50,000 monthly sales, that’s what we were praying for day in and day out.

The month of August came and went and still no one wanted to hire me.

On August 31, 2011, I tallied up our numbers for the month. Turns out we sold a little over 1,300 books for the month of August 2011.

1,300 books.

Again, a far cry from 15,000 or 50,000, but two months ago I was only selling 50 books a month.

You could ask me what was different about August from any other month and I’d just shrug. You might able to point to the freebies we offered or a few keywords we added in our listings and say that was the reason our sales picked up. But I can tell you I have put very little effort into my marketing my books. Not because I’m lazy, but because I don’t know how. Marketing and selling are skill sets I just don’t have. As far as my wife and I are concerned, the only reason we sell any books at all is because of God. I’ve put my marketing and promotional planning in His hands and it’s working out.
Not only are these 1,300 book sales going to help us pay off one of our last major debts but it’s also going to help pay for organizing a blog tour later this year. The blog tour will help raise my Internet presence and help people become more aware of my books.

But even more importantly, those 1,300 book sales have allowed me to stay home with my wife. I don’t have to go looking for a job outside our home.

It may not be the 15,000 or 50,000 we were praying for, but it was exactly what we needed.

God answered our prayers and, honestly, that was the “Wow” part. You know He’s listening, but it’s nice to know He’s listening.

So, to celebrate our success I’ve released a new book! The third Grym Brothers book is now available on the Kindle and Nook! If you’ve enjoyed the first two Grym books, you’ll love this one. Thanks for supporting us!

They say dead men tell no tales, but that’s just because they’ve never worked as a Grim Reaper.

Grim Reapers are real. They are governed by the Council of Reapers. Reapers are responsible for the capture and containment of dead souls that refuse to or cannot move on to the afterlife.

Lori Standford’s mother died six months ago. Now she’s back, haunting Lori out of her home. Lori turns to her close friend, Emma Grym, mother of Thane and Mort Grym, for help.

Now Thane and Mort find themselves embroiled in a mystery of dead men that stretches all the way to the top.

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