One of our morning visitors.

The trio of coyotes came by again, at almost exactly the same time. Tomorrow I’ll have my camera ready and try to get all three. They look like a mom and two teenage pups. Completely fearless. Beautiful and yet…

It puts me in mind of this:

Deliver my soul from the sword,
My darling from the power of the dog.

That’s from Psalms, but it came to my attention as the flyleaf quote in Thomas Savage’s The Power of the Dog. Really wonderful book, if you’ve never read it.

I like that as an analogy – the power of the dog in our lives, the shadow that lurks, that we close the doors to. We turn away and think about other things.

So, here’s an other thing.

Author Jim C. Hines often interesting statistics on his blog, about his publishing history, etc. This is an fascinating one that he cross-posted to SF Novelists about the myth of the Overnight Success. If you haven’t looked at it, it’s well-worth the time. Inspiring, even.

In that spirit, I thought I’d share some statistics on on Petals & Thorns. (Like Jim, I’m a graph and stats geek, too. Apologies if you’re not one of those.)

This shows my sales since the release day in July. As you can see, there were a lot of initial sales, which then tapered off. I pretty much expected that. The numbers were higher than I’d anticipated for a first-time author in the genre, no name-recognition, etc. These were all sales through Loose Id. When I saw my October statement, I though, eh, it’s run its course.

So, what happened in November? All Romance Ebooks started selling it. Quite the sales jump there. They were kind enough to give it a top rating and a staff pick, which I’m sure helped a great deal. You can see my royalties per book aren’t quite as high with the reseller – it’s about 20 cents per book less – but the higher traffic is certainly worth it.

I don’t know how this system works, if Loose Id typically sells a book exclusively for four months and then offers it to All Romance. My statement from Loose Id also includes columns for other resellers: Lightning Source, Fictionwise, Amazon, Sony eBooks and Barnes & Noble. It will be interesting to see if they are gradually added.

At any rate, I’m close to making RWA’s criteria for published author status. Nice return for my little 26K erotic novella. And replete with irony, I know. Petals & Thorns might get me there where my essay collection and two novels have not. I’ll take the promotion, however.

One thing I’ve learned, and as Jim Hines’ graph illustrates, too – the road to our goals seldom unfolds the way we think it will. Every success is another step, another brick in building the palace.

It’s only in fairy tales that wishes make palaces appear overnight.

In life, we build them through persistence and endurance. Always guarding against the power of the dog.

10 Replies to “Surprise”

  1. Amen to the persistence and endurance. 🙂

    Would you believe I've seen coyotes right in my very suburban northern VA neighborhood? I hear they are just about everywhere now. Totally adaptable creatures of opportunity. Probably a lesson in there somewhere.

  2. Jeffe, thanks for posting this. It helps me put into perspective what I can expect for myself. I've told my family not to expect a lot the first go round. I'm more interested in getting my name out there to build that palace upon. Hopefully I can do it.

  3. I believe you, Linda – coyotes are a paragon of adaptability. Much to the grief of our small pets. Perhaps we as writers should be more like coyotes? Hmm…we are kind of scavengers.

    Ha, Danica! Yes, the family expectations can be funny. Congratulations on your sale – and you might tell them now that no one is getting boats for Christmas. But that's right – the palace comes later!

  4. I am totally brainstorming a blog post entitled 101 Ways to Obsess About Yourself Online, and you're graph has opened my eyes to whole worlds of possibilities! Thanks! 😉

  5. You should totally write that post, Daisy. Except, I suspect there are more than 101 ways…

    Thank you Jillian! It could actually happen.

  6. Thanks for posting the stats! I always love seeing things like this.

    And I REALLY love seeing coyotes (which are common here, but don't often come near my house because of the dogs…though now that we're down to only one smaller dog, I'm wondering if we might start seeing more).


  7. I agree, Tawna – it really helps me to see other people's stats. I appreciate Jim doing it, so I plan to return the favor.

    I *hope* you don't see more of the coyotes! (Though it is so neat to see them.)

  8. Interesting stats Jeffe!!!

    I bought Petals and Thorns off of Amazon… It would be interesting to see how the Kindle sales stack up to the other sites…

    Loved the book!

    Lisa 🙂

  9. That's very interesting, Lisa – I didn't realize that. Last time I looked, Amazon didn't have it. But there it is! With a review, even. I think you bought it a month or two ago? Now that I think of it, I recall hearing other authors say that the Amazon sales numbers/dollars take months to show up. It will be interesting to see when they do, since I know now there should be at least TWO!

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