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birdmayne
birdmayne GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/16/22 7:45 p.m.

Same. I'm working on my first novel myself and stop by this thread often for inspiration. 

So thank you!

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones SuperDork
11/16/22 8:05 p.m.

You might be the only one talking, but many are listening. No need to stop updating. 

birdmayne
birdmayne GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/16/22 8:22 p.m.

You said a few posts back that you surpassed $1000 in sales. If you don't mind me asking, what did that net you?

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
11/22/22 1:52 p.m.

Thank you. If people are genuinely interested, I'll keep updating. I just don't want to bore anyone, and I kinda feel like this is a lot of drudgery.

In reply to birdmayne :

So, this is the interesting part, and a big reason why I switched genres. The short answer is so far no profit, and it's all because of writing in the wrong genre.

Long answer:

I paid $400 each to have my two cyberpunk novels edited. My editor is fantastic and that's a very, very good price for such a good editor. Add in the money I spent to have covers made (from Fiverr) and that's basically eaten up the entire grand that I've made. Cyberpunk is (sadly) basically a dead genre so sales are very low—my good friend SC Jensen published a series of 5 cyberpunk books last year and spent $15K in advertising to make $5K in sales. Yep, it's that bad. I do have the final book in my Cyberpunk trilogy planned and I'll eventually write it but I know I'll lose money. I love the genre and I think I write great books in it though, so I will publish it and finish the trilogy. I think it'll feel extremely satisfying to wrap up the story and decide what direction the characters will go in the future.

My switch to fantasy books with harem elements is slowly turning the financial aspect. So far I've published two novellas and they're both garnering plenty of 5-star reviews and I'm racking up page reads and some sales here and there. I just released book 2 last week and I've made about $125 from the two books combined. Once I released book 2 I got a nice bump in sales for book 1. I anticipate book 3 will give me a boost on sales for books 1 and 2 as well. That's generally how that goes. When I'm done I'd like to release an omnibus version, all three books combined. Just gotta figure out the cover. For these books my good friend and neighbor is doing the editing. She's a fantastic editor and is only charging $120/book since she's new to this, so that brings my costs down quite a bit. I got the covers from getcovers.com, who have done a great job and they're a Ukranian business as well, so I get to help them out some. At the rate things are going, I anticipate by the new year these three books will be close to paying for themselves entirely. I do wish they were longer, as more page reads=more money, but this was just me testing the waters. I'm planning a 80-100K word book in the same genre after this that I think will do well. I already have a solid plan for a book after that one as well, and I'll use the same cover company to keep my costs low. As I release more books under this pen name, overall sales will continue to grow. Oh, and I don't run any ads at all. I'm going to have a friend show me how to run Amazon ads, which should give me a big boost in sales. A lot of people think I'm nuts for not running ads, but I just shrug and go back to what I enjoy doing, which is writing.

Then we get to erotica and things get interesting and you'll see why people write it (and why I'm working on a new story as we speak). I don't pay anyone for editing, as that would be awkward. "Hey can you edit my short story that's basically nothing but extremely graphic secks?" Yeah no. I do the covers myself, so that costs a dollar per licensed stock photo from depositphotos.com. That's all the money I spend. Rest of the software is free. As I mentioned, I'm working on a new story right now and I should finish it today or early tomorrow. I'll spend another day doing some self-editing and publish it. I anticipate it'll make $50-80 in the first month, then taper off after that. It'll also bring more people to that pen name, so I'll get a small uptick in other books. I'm also taking a cyberpunk short story I wrote and kinking it up, adding in sex bots* and stuff, and my goal is to turn it into a 20K word cyberpunk action harem novella. I did the cover myself and it turned out great. Total cost, $1. If I can get the harem readers onto this, I should make at least a hundred bucks from it. I just need to turn a 10K word story into a 20K, which shouldn't be too hard. Then I'll post about it on reddit in some of the harem subreddits. They'll be excited for a cyberpunk harem story, as most of the stuff there are fantasy novels.

I still have a big, epic fantasy book planned for the future, the book I've always wanted to write, but I'm trying to be realistic about it. It'll feel great to finally write it, but I'll almost certainly lose money on it. I'm okay with that; sometimes just completing such an epic book with such a dramatic storyline is a reward in itself. It's something I can be proud of and give copies to friends and whatnot. And I can always just crank out a handful of erotica shorts to pay for it. Actually, I'll probably do exactly that.

So right now, no profit. By early next year I expect to have made enough to pay for all the editing and covers and finally turn a real profit. And I'll learn how to run ads, so I'll finally get some real sales. 

 

*yes, you read that correctly.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
11/22/22 1:55 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

I check this thread for updates. I see Caro Ex Machina is part of a book called Deadly Enhancements?

Yes! That's my dark, gritty, violent retelling of Inspector Gadget. I think it turned out pretty decent; good enough to make it into the anthology at least. If that sells good enough some of the money should trickle down to the authors, which would be nice. I'm going to try to continue writing short stories here and there to submit to anthologies and the like. I figure it's a good way to get my name out there, and it gives me good ideas. Honestly, I would love to write a full-length novel based on my dark inspector gadget character.

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/22/22 2:36 p.m.
Steve_Jones said:

You might be the only one talking, but many are listening. No need to stop updating. 

+1 on that.

birdmayne
birdmayne GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/22/22 4:11 p.m.

"I still have a big, epic fantasy book planned for the future, the book I've always wanted to write, but I'm trying to be realistic about it. It'll feel great to finally write it, but I'll almost certainly lose money on it. I'm okay with that; sometimes just completing such an epic book with such a dramatic storyline is a reward in itself. It's something I can be proud of and give copies to friends and what not."

This is what my current writing project is. I've written articles and shorts but this is my first leap in to "bigtime". It's been a fun exploration, even if it doesn't make a dime.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/5/22 10:22 a.m.

In reply to birdmayne :

Try writing a novella first. It'll help a bit with outlining and plotting. I've found that (for me, at least) creating an in-depth outline really helps with finishing the book and keeping it on track, but tends to limit my word count. The book I'm currently working on has no real outline, just a couple ideas in my head, and I'm at 35K words and the inciting event hasn't even really happened. If it keeps going this way, I may write a duology or even a trilogy.

 

No major updates. I learned how to run some basic auto ads, so I'm waiting for one to get approved right now. An author friend of mine told me that should provide me with a big bump in sales, which would be nice.

I participated in NaNoWriMo, but got sidetracked and didn't really finish. I started a pretty cool horror book about an alien egg being found on Mars in the future, but got to 25K words and realized it was trending too short. I switched to another story I've been working on and got it up to 35K, and during that I wrote and published a 10K word erotica story, which has so far made a few bucks. Yes, I've decided to write some erotica again. Not regularly, but if I get an idea then I'll churn one out real quick. It costs me basically nothing but time and earns a little money, getting me closer to Bilstein shocks for my E90. We wound up getting a little sick, then visiting Rochester over the holiday weekend, so there were about 5 days in a row I didn't write for NaNo. So I didn't complete it this year, but that's okay. I was still very productive.

Should be getting book 3 of my sword and sorcery novella trilogy back from my editor in two days. I'll spend a few days fixing that up, adding some extra parts, and it'll be released on the 17th. After that, I'll be doing an omnibus edition, which I've been encouraged to do. And then, you know, a million other projects swimming around in my head. I'm trying to stay focused so I don't spread myself too thin, which I did when I used to publish music. 

Also I'm taking some cybersecurity classes online, so free time can be sparse. Fortunately, I write very quickly when I actually have the time.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/22/22 1:30 p.m.

Book 3 of my novella trilogy was released on the 17th, and I actually had a few presales, which wsa awesome. I've never had any presales before. I have since combined all three books into a single omnibus edition, complete with some sweet artwork I made:

This cost me nothing but time, and will be released on January 17th. I'm hoping the sweet artwork will help drive some additional sales. Preorder is up now on Amazon

I did enjoy writing this short trilogy and I think it ended very well. So far book 3 has gotten a couple 5-star reviews, which is nice.  I may write a fourth book set a couple years after the ending of the third. Haven't decided yet.

Still working on my next book, which will become a trilogy. I spoke with a friend of mine that clued me in on her plotting method. She uses the save the cat beatsheet, which basically tells you at 30% through the book you should have the inciting incident, 1-10% should be establishing the norm, etc. I want to use that to plot each book in the trilogy as well as the overall plot of the trilogy itself. I figure that'll make writing a lot easier, when I know exactly what needs to happen. Currently at 51K words, hoping to get to around 80K by the end. That'll be the longest book I've written, which is kinda exciting I guess. I know what needs to happen to finish my current book, I just need to write it all. If all goes well, I might be able to finish it in around a week or so. More realistically, it'll be two weeks. We'll see.

calteg
calteg SuperDork
12/23/22 12:32 p.m.

Mad respect for your dedication. I've attempted to write a novel about three different times over the years. Each time I get about 20k words in and then lose interest.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/23/22 8:38 p.m.

In reply to calteg :

Nothing wrong with 20K words! Try writing a novella instead. 20K is all you need.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/29/22 10:40 a.m.

So, I spoke with some other authors in my genre about my trilogy of novellas and why they aren't selling as much as I hoped. Granted, they're far outselling my cyberpunk books. This is why it's critical to pay attention to specific details within your genre. In haremlit, the popular books generally have drawn covers. Cartoon women with huge boobs. My covers are actual models. It's a minor difference, but enough to make people pass over them. Also, as I expected, the length is a problem. This is a genre where people want a series of 5+ books, each one more than 100K words. I released a trilogy of 30K novels. They're good and have gotten good reviews, but those issues are preventing better sales.

 

So in my next trilogy, I have the covers mostly done and they're drawings of huge boobed medieval chicks. Exactly what others use. I'm also at 57K words in book 1 right now and I know what else needs to happen to finish. The end is in sight! By the time I'm done it should come out around 70K words, which will be great. Every day I get good ideas for the other books and I try to take notes. The ending for book 3 will be nothing short of awesome. Book 2 will have some great parts, but I still need to do a lot of thinking on the overall plot itself. Also, my amazon ads are finally starting to work. I've had 523 impressions so far and finally got a sale—my highly successful author friend gets 1 sale per 725 impressions, so that's good. Just this morning, someone bought a copy of each book. I'll go into some more detail in the next post.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
12/29/22 10:48 a.m.

Here are my overall sales so far, since the beginning:

That's my total sales since I started roughly a year ago. The big spike on the left was when I wrote erotica shorts fairly regularly. As you can see, they sell decently. The big drop in the middle was when I stopped writing erotica and focused on my "serious" writing, like my cyberpunk books. Needless to say, they didn't sell. The rising sales at the end of the year are from my recent harem trilogy. I'll be releasing the omnibus edition on January 17th, and that has an amazing cover (oil painting of a big boobed chick in front of a dragon).

 

Once I get all the tropes and angles down, sales should pick up considerably. I just have to make sure I do everything right. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
1/5/23 10:20 a.m.

Finished the first draft of my next book today, at 68,250 words. I'm going to work on a different project for a week or so, then I'll return to this and start fixing errors and get ready to start on book 2. It's always exciting when I finish something. I think I'll aim for a February 17th release date.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
1/13/23 3:12 p.m.

My books haven't been selling as much as they should, so I redid the covers. I posted on reddit and facebook in the appropriate groups and got a positive response. In the past three days I've sold 19 books and had more than 2,000 page reads. It's still nowhere near where I want it, but it's a strong improvement, and I received lots of compliments on the covers. In 4 days the omnibus edition of my trilogy will come out, and that has an awesome cover as well. I do wish I was selling $100/day, but that takes time and consistency. I'll get there.

Spent a week writing a new story to get my mind off of my recently completely story. Managed to write 25K words, so I'm happy with that.

Went back to my recently completed book and started my first round of edits. Word count is at just over 70K words now, and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm trying to find a beta reader for it. Cover art is done as well, although now I'm second-guessing and attempting to make something better. The book should come out February 17th. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
1/17/23 10:38 a.m.

Had a beta reader zip through my recently completed story and he said it was great. He made a few suggestions that were really beneficial, and I'm going to incorporate them. Currently about 4K words into book 2. 

 

So, the omnibus edition was released this morning, and it has some great artwork that I'm rather proud of: a pretty redhead with a gnarly looking dragon behind her. I posted in the appropriate places and to my eternal joy I had 6 preorders! I've received lots of positive feedback on the covers and so far I've sold $30.80 today. That's a good feeling! I had some covers already designed for my next trilogy but I'm scrapping them and redoing them after seeing the power of a good cover. I've kinda fallen into the 17th of each month being my book released date, so in a month book 1 will drop and hopefully my sales will continue. It feels great to actually sell books. Makes me feel like a real author! Here's a chart of my monthly progress so far. As I stated last time I posted this, the big bump in sales on the left was when I wrote erotica all the time.

And I'm over $1400, which, without doing much mental math, I think puts me in profit territory! Just think, if I hadn't spent so much money on an editor for two books in a genre that doesn't sell, I'd be sitting at around a grand of pure profit at this point. Lesson learned. Write to market.

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/17/23 3:10 p.m.

It is interesting watching your journey.  My wife works with several authors (I have had the pleasure of volun-tolding at a few erotic literature conventions lugging books and swag).  Its crazy meeting the passionate fans.  I keep hoping to get "discovered" as a cover model but the market for a chubby Chris Farley is small.  I hear all sorts of conversations about Beta readers, ARCs, editing, covers, graphics, social media, etc.  At times I think its like when I start talking about Carter carbs or somethinglaugh

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
1/17/23 10:17 p.m.

Small update: I'm up to $61.55 in sales today. I've sold 16 books and had 1,000 page reads. The page reads should increase over the next few days, and the sales fall. I'm very happy with how this is going! Especially since the omnibus edition cost me exactly zero dollars.

 

Edit: Finished the day with $80.81 in sales. That's pretty awesome. Over the next few days I imagine I'll get very few book sales but lots of page reads.

 

Edit 2: made just over $20 the next day. I started today with a book sale and some page reads. I don't think I'll get many more sales, but the page reads should continue. As more people discover my writing, both page reads and sales will continue. I spoke with a good friend of mine that writes in the genre and she told me that I outsold her two days ago. She gets most of her money (about $100/day) from page reads. That's a nice feeling.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
1/24/23 11:29 a.m.

Numbers are steadily improving. Daily page reads are still up—nowhere near where I want them, but they're higher than they were a month or two ago. 

Finally finished the cover art for my next book and put it up for preorder this morning. I already have 10 preorders! That's the most I've gotten yet, and it's only been a few hours. I've been doing my best to post semi regularly in the appropriate discord channels, subreddits, and facebook groups, slowly building up a few fans. Getting there, one step at a time! The book will come out February 17th. Pretty excited to see how well it does.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/24/23 11:34 a.m.

have you tried putting the boobs directly on the dragon?

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
1/24/23 9:49 p.m.

Slight update: Getting ready to go to bed, and so far I have 20 presales. That's pretty awesome.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
1/31/23 4:59 p.m.

It's been a good week. So far I have 47 presales for my book that comes out February 17th. Book 2 in the trilogy is sitting at 27K words. I'm planning on getting it to 70K, a bit more if possible.

I'm ending this month with $353.04 in sales, which makes it my best month ever. That number will go up a buck or two as more page reads come in tonight. The omnibus edition of my short trilogy has earned more than $120, and that's all straight profit. I did the formatting, cover, typography, everything myself. 

I joined a discord group with other authors in my genre, which has been really helpful. Being able to learn from those that are already successful is a big help.

I should get a few more presales between now and February 17th, and when it comes out I know I'll get some sales the day of as well as some page reads. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if I made $200+ from that book alone the day it comes out.

Also spent a few minutes redoing a plot for another story I was working on. To be successful it needs to be a series, a trilogy, instead of a standalone. That's just how books are these days. I needed a bit more plot to fill all that in though, and to fix some things. That story is currently sitting at 30K words, but I'll have to scrap probably 10K of it and rewrite a bit. Maybe, with some effort, I can stretch it out to 2 100K word novels. That would be awesome.

 

Got some more ideas for books and took notes. There's no secret to coming up with all these ideas, the biggest thing is to just write it down. Once you write it down, brainstorm a little. Boom, you've got the basic plot.

 

Anyways, January 2023 was a great month. The first month I truly feel like I did things write and laid some solid groundwork for my future as an author. I'm looking forwards to February.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
2/4/23 7:51 a.m.

Just a small update to say that I broke 50 preorders! I'm currently sitting at 51. That's pretty exciting.

 

I also got accepted to an anthology, so I'm writing a novella-length story. Currently at 10K words, it'll probably finish around 15K. I guess that's more of a novelette.  The anthology is scheduled to come out in a few months.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
2/4/23 11:08 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Nice dude!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/4/23 2:45 p.m.

The only eBook option had DRM, so dead trees it is:

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