Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thoughtful About . . . Sales

Few things--today's the last day to enter the giveaway for Never Far from Home, but you still have a few days to enter the giveaway for Liberty's Promise.

Also, for those of you still awaiting a copy of A Stray Drop of Blood, there's a giveaway up today at Michelle V's blog.


I hate to blog abound something as mundane as sales, but what can I say? It's been on my mind, primarily because it's been coming at me from every which way this week.

In the publishing industry, sales numbers are king. They rule the day. They determine whether you earn out your advance, whether you get any royalties, whether you get another contract. They determine what the advance on your next contract will be. Sales numbers are the measure by which a writer's success in gauged.

Roseanna isn't much of a success, LOL.

Now, I'm small press at this point, so expectations are different. We don't expect to sell 50K in the first year. (Would like to, but . . .) We don't expect to hit any charts. (Would like to, but . . .) We don't expect to do much more than break even, so I'm not holding my breath on royalties. (Would like to, but . . .)

In a way, the fact that I can actually count my sales is humbling. I mean, other authors on one of my loops were talking about sales that must be in the tens-of-thousands category for our genre or they're a flop. A friend of mine is dealing with needing to boost her sales in order to get another contract. Me, I don't have to worry about my publisher, given that I'm married to him. ;-) But I do have to consider whether or not this book can be used as a stepping stone to contracts with bigger publishers, which is unlikely without those all-important numbers.

But you know, I had a realization yesterday. We got an email from the head of a book club who is interested in doing Stray Drop with her group and was inquiring about the discounts WhiteFire offers. And I got excited. Not just "Hey, that would be cool," but giddy-excited. Because my numbers are small enough that each one counts, each one is important, and each one makes me praise the Lord. There's something cool about that. About knowing that each book we ship out gets covered with praise, each one is sent with my love. Each reader is important to me.

Yes, I hope that someday I won't actually be able to count all of my readers, I hope that I won't have to jump up and down each time an order comes in. But I hope I never lose my excitement for the people that take an interest in my stories, that I never take readership for granted.

Sales matter in publishing, yes--and I'm so thankful for each individual one. =)


  1. A very neat perspective :) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Loved this post. So encouraging to me, since I'm releasing through a small publishing house in November. You have a great attitude. Yes, each reader counts and you thoroughly appreciate each one in a way authors from large publishing houses are unable to do.
    By the way, I love the cover of your book. It changed, didn't it? This one is excellent. Good job.

  3. Good to see you, April! And yes, it's a new cover on the book, and the book itself has been revised. It released in paperback December 09. =)

    Congrats on the small press book! Let me know if you need endorsers or reviewers!

  4. Very interesting post, I like to see things from the authors' pov's too! Congrats on your first book and I hope the sales keep coming in!