I’ve pretty much stopped looking at my royalty statements since they’re depressing. The last one I looked at was something like ninety-three cents. Woo hoo, partay! Yeah, not so much. At that rate it’d take me something like three or four months to buy a simple cup of coffee. I don’t even look for my stuff on pirate sites anymore because what’s the point? If people are gonna steal my work instead of pay for it, what’s my recourse? And clearly nobody wanted to buy it, so I doubt the pirate sites are getting much traffic on my account.
So when my last statement came in from Dreamspinner Press it was not something I paid much attention to, guessing that it’d be something like fifty cents, and almost sure sign that when the terms of the contracts were up, they’d be cutting me loose. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, your royalty statement lays all that out in detail.
But today I got a notice that they’d sent me a payment. It was actually more than ninety-three cents. A lot more. My first reaction? Someone made a mistake. I finally opened the statement and it turns out that my work suddenly, and for reasons I don’t truly understand, began to sell after all this time. Could it be the blogging? The social media presence? What am I doing right? OMG, am I famous?
Uh, no. Pleasantly surprised? Yes, absolutely.
Call Me But Love seems to be the clear winner this quarter. I applaud that choice, it’s one of my better works. But The Vampyre’s Revenge, which I enjoyed the hell out of writing, seems not to have breathed its last, and I’m kind of glad. I always liked Frank. I was happy to give him a chance to be who he really was.
After my contracts ran out on a bunch of other items I listed them through Kindle Direct Publishing over on Amazon.com, and while the response was not terribly exciting, I pretty much knew that I couldn’t blame anyone but myself because in spite of spiffy new covers, I wasn’t doing much to support their release. One of the hardest things for me to do is promote myself, and that’s why ghostwriting is a good gig for me. I never have to promote anything, I just write. That’s what writers want to do. Just. Write.
I always meant to do more with the out-of-contract stuff. I have the rights to Suffer the Little Children, and a sequel to it that only needs a good edit to get it into fighting shape, but I never did anything with those or any of the other titles which reverted to me. This is what severe depression does to people. They stop caring.
But that weirdly unexpected royalty payment did me a world of good, and while I know my energy levels won’t carry me through a whole lot more effort to get new titles into the KDP program, they have moved me to do one thing. I have no control over the pricing of the titles under contract to Dreamspinner, the ones that are currently self-published, I can put on sale. So starting August 2nd and running through the 9th, both Waiting for the Moon and Devil in the Details will be $0.99. (I’d have made them free, but couldn’t figure out how to do that without having to pay for it, which I can’t afford.) When the promotion is over I’m dropping the price to $1.99 for both stories.
I would love to promise (to myself as well as anyone who is interested) that I’m going to get on the stick and get my other out-of-contract books back on the market. We’ll see what the rest of the year brings.
Wish me luck, willya?