Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Mash-up of an update. With numbers!

So, this post is going up on the last day of the first month my debut novel The Unknown Neighbor has been available. Some numbers may change before the end of the day, but these are close enough for blog purposes for now. I also thought I'd share a few things with you all regarding my blog and my writing habits.

For a start, this is what my writing (well, computer) area looks like.

As well as numbers on my book, this also represents the sixth month and 30th post I've been blogging. Over the past six months I've racked up over 1200 total views of my posts, which may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but is still a significant number for an emerging writer. As well, every post now seems to be getting more and more views. My top three posts in the last six months, (drumroll please.)

Originality with 83 views to itself. I think I really hit the nail on the head with this one. It's a major concern for a lot of writers that are just starting out and in the post I discuss why that's unnecessary worry. It also hosts a picture which is a combination of My Little Pony + Jurassic Park and one of my favorite retorts from Red Dwarf.

News, Point of View, and a Picture! comes in next at 74 specific views. This post bounced around a bit between updates on current work, and a little exercise I came up with and have used myself on multiple occasions. I laid out the challenge and offered it up to readers to try and I think that was partially what brought it so much attention. This was also the first post where I actually included a picture so that may have helped as well, though a picture of body wash isn't particularly exciting.

Comedic Horror, Kinda is number three with a fair dip down to 50 views. Some of my posts can be a mess between all the things I want to say in them, this one I didn't have a clue what to talk about when I started. Because of that, it actually flows better than a lot of other posts, I think. While as much a look at the trend towards comedic horror in movies as a look at the genre in general, I think it makes for interesting reading. Still, I'll probably hit the subject again in the future so I can give it more than the few paragraphs it received here.

So thanks to everyone that's been checking out my blog and I hope people continue to discover and come back to see what I'm writing.

Now, onto my first book.

These would be my business cards, for the curious.

I don't have any information from other writers on which to compare numbers for other first book releases, but I think I've done pretty well since my first book was released on April 1st through Createspace for the physical copy and Kindle for the e-book. 

Going through Createspace and including an option to buy a physical version was a choice I made as being a little old-fashioned and enjoying being able to hold my work in my own hands. As well, I know a lot of people who haven't jumped on the e-book revolution yet and I didn't want to leave them out. 

That point seems rather moot when I add in that I went into the Kindle Select program, which makes the book a Kindle exclusive while you're enrolled in it. The plus side, that the program gives you five days during which you can make your book available for free. 

So far. I've used two free days this past month, one on the 8th in anticipation of a guest blog post on Robert Lee Brewer's page, and one on the 12th when the guest post actually went up. The first day I managed 584 downloads. Not a bad number, though not impressive by any means. The second day, however, I almost doubled that, with over 1000 downloads! Both of those were only for a 24 hour period as well, and for the coming month, I have a whole three-day weekend planned for a free promotion.

The point of offering the book for free is that after it comes back at regular price, it's placed higher up on the list of books than before, making it visible to more people. After those two days of free downloads, it came back and jumped in sales. The week after, I actually made it up to #205 on Kindle's horror e-books! I didn't break the top 100, but considering there are literally thousands of books out there, an unknown author placing that high with his debut novel just over two weeks after releasing it is really nothing to sneeze at.

Which brings us to today. Sales have slowed down a bit, but I'm still managing between 20 - 25 sales a week which I certainly won't complain about. For the first month it's available, I've sold over 100 copies between both e-books and the physical versions. Whether that will continue remains to be seen, but I have a convention to go to next month which should drum up more interest.

Month #1
Free downloads: 1638
Books sold: 132
Reviews on Amazon: 9

Not bad at all I would have to say. To all you reading this, who have spurred me on and/or helped me by reading my work, I say Thank You. Without the readers, there is no point in writing.

I would ask a little more of you though, if you've read the book, go to Amazon or wherever you ordered it and leave a review. Good, bad, in-between, as long as it's honest, I won't care. Mostly. Some people don't care about reviews, but some do, and for a no-name author just starting out, good or bad, we need all the attention we can get.

Thanks again, everyone.

~ Shaun
Email me!

"The best stories don't come from a desire for money, or for fame. The best stories come as a gift to the world. They come from a pure desire to create and share with everyone else."


  1. Hey congratulations on the first book. I am an aspiring writer. I am working with an editor on rewriting it. I hope to have my book completely done by August.

    I admire your perseverance. Those are some good numbers for a starting author, especially the reviews. Good job on getting those.

    What has been the toughest part for you in keeping up the motivation?


    1. Thanks for those kind words Sebastion. It's a pleasure to know I'm helping and inspiring others through my words here.

      The toughest part of staying motivated for me, is probably the touch of ADD I have. I'm not a structured person, so I don't have a set schedule or routine I go by. Most writers like to have a specific time frame during which they do their writing on a daily basis and I just don't have that. Despite my own desires, sometimes I just don't have the right "feeling" to sit down and work on my current project. Even after days, a week, or more until I finally force myself to sit down and get back to it. Even then, I usually only manage a couple hundred words, but that little burst of activity is usually enough to get me going again.