I’m reading, marketing, blogging, writing, and otherwise doing what I need to do to move forward on my goals this week. I’m feeling good, I just need to hold on and keep the momentum going!
It goes something like this…
Each morning this week I have opened this book (yes, it’s my work journal) and detailed my goals and accomplishments.
My goal each day has been: Sell 105 books today
And yes, I still have a way to go to reach that goal…
Each day, the goal resets to 105. Basically, it is my magic number.
My “freedom” number, if you will.
I looked at the two things I would prefer to stop doing – cleaning houses and caretaking – added up my income and threw in 20% taxes, marketing costs for each book sale, as well as Amazon’s take (30-40% of all sales), rounded up and arrived at the magic number of 3,200 book sales per month necessary in order to stop cleaning houses and be able to put my dad in an assisted living facility.
If my sales increase to say 1,600 book sales per month than I will most likely stop cleaning houses but continue caretaking until I reach the 3,200 book sales per month goal.
Yes, it is a huge goal, expecting to move from a handful of sales per day to a total of 105 or more every day of the stinking year. I’m aware of just how big it is. And anytime I start to lose faith, I remind myself of where I’ve been.
Last year I sold a total of 32 books, 31 of which were in November and December.
This year I’ve sold 504 books.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Over 500 books, that’s huge! And the reason for it? Well, as labyrinthine and odd as it might be, the thanks for it can be laid directly at my eldest’s feet. In a sense, it is like a sad version of “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake” – but one thing definitely led to the next:
- The schism with my eldest last year led to me questioning everything – especially my parenting and even homeschooling abilities
- This questioning led to a crisis of confidence and me deciding to enroll my tween in 5th grade at the local public school
- Without her presence during the day, and my days filled with my housecleaning biz, I quickly grew bored with listening to music and started listening to podcasts
- The podcasts, first Airbnb-related, quickly turned to writing-related and I began learning (and implementing) ideas into my writing business, thus increasing sales.
I would never have turned to podcasts if I hadn’t have had hours of free time with no one to talk to. And without those podcasts, I might have never learned the techniques I have learned (and am still learning) that continue to make a difference in my writing career.
A year later and we are back at homeschooling BUT I do not take my daughter with me to most cleanings – those are my prime podcast listening times!
And so, as strange as it might sound, I am quite thankful to my eldest. She might have broken my heart, but her departure from my day-to-day life also helped me to move past the point where I was stuck for years, waiting for a writing ship to sail in instead of hunting down that damned ship and grabbing it by the anchor.
p.s. Ships are very heavy, this might take a while.
My Creative Process
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Most of everyone I know is a little of both. We know to some extent where a story is going, but it isn’t totally mapped out.
For me, the creative process means that I usually have a scene or a series of scenes visualized in my head, but the characters walk into the picture where I’m least expecting them. They pop up, barely introduce themselves, and then just start doing whatever the heck they want to in the scene, without so much as a by your leave.
I found my character Shane looking out for this poor junkie down the hall from him in his apartment building. Where Kenny the Junkie came from, I have no idea, but damned if he wasn’t insistent on me writing him in.
I have this great speaking voice. No seriously, I really do. Years of work on phones, in call centers, secretarial work and more have cemented that fact. My daughter loves for me to read to her, she says I act out the voices and make the stories interesting.
So between that and the fact that paying someone to transform your book into audiobook form was incredibly expensive, I just figured I’d muddle my way through it and record my own.
And since I’ve solidified on my goals for 2019 in the past week, the idea of needing to record my books was stressing me out. How was I going to fit that in among all the other stuff?
And it wasn’t just the recording time, but the editing time, which most folks will tell you is about five hours for every finished hour of recording.
Talk about a steep learning curve! I needed to:
- Learn how to record my voice in a way that would sound professional (i.e. without the sounds of sirens, heaters, children, and barking dogs)
- Learn how to edit the files
- Spend approximately 60 hours editing the files once I had recorded them
Go to a company, enter into a deal where I split the profits on any sales 50/50 for seven years.
Pony up around $2,500-$4,000 per book to be recorded that I could then sell royalty free.
Option 1 – too much time, not enough experience or comfort doing it myself
Option 3 – no money, honey
So Option 2 it will be. I’ll be working on getting Get Organized, Stay Organized recorded after I do a complete re-edit of the manuscript. After that, an edit of Gliese 581 and then I’ll have that recorded as well. The others will wait until I see how the sales for these two go. Who knows, they might give me the $$ I need to pay for Option 3 for the rest of my books.
Forward Motion – One Day at a Time
I wake up every day with the following assignments:
- Write something
- Learn something
- Edit something
- Market something
- Interact with someone about writing
One day at a time. Every day. I’ll make it work. Just…you…watch.