Kindle Forum banner
1 - 7 of 40 Posts

· Registered
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now this isn't a thread where I am trying to beg for sales.
Don't buy my stuff out of pity.

It's just that I like the people here and let's just pretend we're on your back patio having a beer (or three) and I came over to rant a bit.

So......I have to face facts.

My Crowell stories, while okay, aren't selling as good as I had hoped.
I still maintain an average of ten sales per month. Give or take.

I need money and since I can't sing or dance, I am creative and I figured that maybe I could take a stab at writing.
I've been in e-books since April 2010 and to date I've sold 120 units. ( 80 of them were Crowell sales)

Now I haven't been marketing all that much though I have tried. I have a couple of interviews out there as well as a blog that is read by 300 people around the world every week. I have to assume that many of my sales are word of mouth and I am greatly encouraged by that. People out there who have read The Crowell Files seem to like it enough to pass the word and I thank you all. Truly I do.

I am still a new writer and I know I haven't quite found my voice with my work but I guess there is enough potential that shows through where the books are still making a little money.

And yet....the bills keep coming.

So, I have to change my plans a bit.

There is one more Volume to this Crowell series planned and that should be out for Halloween.

Then I have a fantasy novel I want to put out as well as a "female Indiana Jones in space" thriller I am outlining/researching.

Still, I love the Crowell character and I want to open him up to new readers. Now, maybe the price is the problem. So in early 2012 I am planning an incredible sale the likes of which you haven't seen. Most other people I know would be crazy to give away their work.

But here it is....

Early next year I will take all 3 volumes in the Crowell series and put them into one Omnibus.
That's over 500 pages and 13 stories for just 2 bucks. Over half off the price you'd normally pay for all 3 volumes

I'll see how that goes I guess.

But while I like the character and I do have a rough idea of future stories.... I have to eat.
So I'll be doing this Omnibus thing next year and then put the character away for a while.
I can't keep at it without something coming back.

Now I see the monthly number crunching and I know full well that I do not deserve to be making 1,000 sales a month like the few dozen here make. They are much better writers than I am and they deserve those numbers.

Still.... I think I'm good enough where my numbers could at least be double what they already are.
And I know my style is a little off although I have been told my dialogue scenes are pretty good.
I'm still learning.
I'm trying my best each time out.

Maybe the story of a hard working male Detective who is stuck being visited by people with weird problems isn't most people's cup of tea. Or, there is still a chance it hasn't been discovered yet. But I think I've peaked out on this theme/character/genre.

I could have added a "Monster of the month"
Crowell VS. Dracula or a werewolf or a giant ant that happened to be in a nuclear testing site....or any number of standards.

But this character has his own style and is in a class by himself.

I don't think that there's anything out there quite like this guy.

And maybe that's it. Maybe he's TOO unique.
Or maybe my writing just sucks.

Writing is a big guessing game.
And so I'm going to be making a switch in genres.

Okay well, a bunch of you need to get back to work. I'd hate to have some of you get in trouble at work from reading my little rant.

Have a good week folks
see you on the boards.
Though maybe less often.


· Registered
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good question
And I'll get personal
I'm moving to a cheaper place next month (as well as closer to my job) to try to stay afloat

I'm also a cartoonist and I am trying to find a way (and a theme) to work on and try to make some cash flow that way plus the writing

I am lucky my wife allows me the time needed to write

I am lucky I DO have a day job that handles most of the monthly expenses

But I AM in a slump of late because I thought I'd be a bit further along financially, creatively.

I guess I need to make a few adjustments since what I am doing now isn't working as well as I had thought it might.

So yes, I am doing this for money. A doubling of current numbers would help out.
And yes..... I am also doing it because I love it so much and I hope it shows in the work.
Kind of tricky double edged sword there

But I have been thinking that I might need to change genres in order to get where I want to be
Hope that answers the question

To Momilp- thanks for the kind words. Yes, I do love Crowell and maybe he'll find his way after I let him go. I think he'll be okay because he's tenacious like I am. But unlike him, I live in a reality that demands I need money every month. I love the guy but hanging out with him most of the time, of late, is costing me money. Time to leave him alone for a bit. I DO plan more in the future but that depends on what I can tweak with my time/life this year and next.


· Registered
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
" I suspect your feeling of failure is more out of failing to plan than anything you have actually written."

Julie   Damned good point. I'm working on that

Swolf    The covers were done by me and yes, I do not have the cash to pay for better   But I defend the covers by showing the sales of 80 books with no returns. I must be doing something right. BUT....  yes. At the current budget plan, I do think I'll have some saved up where I can afford new covers in 2012

My dearest Red Adept. I do love your honesty. And in fact I did go over the manuscript before resubmitting it with that new cover. I believe this person (who shall remain nameless) just hates. Must have had a really rotten day when he bought and read the book. He could have easily just went to Amazon and gotten a refund. I can see by glancing at his profile that he hasn't reviewed many books. And it looks to me like he just copy pasted his last review because I did go in there and fix that problem of the toys in the graveyard-- I don't think he actually read the newer version

YOU were absolutely correct with the review you gave me (thank you for the three and four stars on the stories themselves though yes-my editing did need some work.  I AM working on growing a larger number of beta readers to help me out.) Still... that one star is going to hurt me all over again. But as Alfred said to Bruce Wayne in Dark Knight Returns..."Some men just want to watch the world burn"   (That's for Mr One Star...Not you Kynn. Your low rating has served to guide me in more ways than you'll know)

· Registered
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Mel

Thanks to everyone who responded

I'll try to improve (as I always do) using what I have at hand (Beta readers, available cash & time and marketing etc etc)
Good luck to all of you!


· Registered
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I know. Everything you said is true.
And yet I keep at it every day. I pretty much have nothing else going aside from the cartooning and while I'm good at it- there is just as much work (marketing, promotion etc) involved in that as there is doing the actual drawing

I'm just in a slump the last month or so.
Facing summer and knowing the year is already nearly half over (Might have something to do with my turning 55 in July!)

On the positive side though....
I DO have 120 sales from the 5 books (and despite that annoying bad review- just one return)

I have a few more stories on tap for this year and next (and the possibility of one or two others that I might think up between now and then)

I'll be okay I suppose. I guess even Stephen King used to have a bad thought now and again while he was hammering away at those classics while cramped into the laundry room in his trailer with the kids crying and the wife worrying over the bills. Not that I expect to get his numbers (I am not THAT naive!) but I also know I need to enjoy the ride more while I'm strapped in

I guess I'm worried more about when the roller coaster ride will end (and maybe how much I paid to get on) than just enjoying the thrills of each dip in the rails as I go.

· Registered
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My goodness that's an impressive cover. Thank you.
But it's not quite..Oh, I don't even know myself what it is I'm looking for myself.

(Crowell, is shot in a cemetery by a suspect he had been chasing and he almost dies from the wounds. AFTER this, he is sort of 'recruited' by a few people in the after life to be a comfort station of sorts for people who are passing from this life to the next. At least, that's as near as he can figure what's going on.)-- so I took several photos in a handful of local cemeteries, leaving room at the top for my text as well as the bottom for my name.

I also made darn sure not to have any family names showing as well as not to use any distinctive looking gravestones
and yet-this is still sacred ground and I'm using it as a mere 'cover' for a book

So, I took a dollar pair of toy handcuffs from a store and placed them on a couple of poster boards and got my cover. I thought it was at least safer this way than using actual gravestones from a cemetery.

I am working on contacting a couple of people to barter for a cover (I need 3 plus an Omnibus version) or maybe even arrange a payment plan but that's not til summer because we're in the middle of moving.
I'm working on getting a good editor as well (not only for the 2 books already up but for the upcoming Halloween volume)

I DID at least go in there and fix the blurb in the Author page so it's a bit tighter. Still have to try and sneak a bit of time in to shorten the blurb in both books this weekend also. I have been told i give too much away (when what I was trying to do was entice people to get interested in stories being told- but I can see their point. A blurb needs to be more like a TV Guide teaser- or a good film trailer. Give a bit of plot but no spoilers)

I'm truthfully overwhelmed at the responses I've gotten. It was a kind of down day when I typed it up. (Though later that day I got a fan letter from someone who had read Empath and despite a few misspellings in the text (which is better than what it had originally been because I had gone in there and re-edited it (but yes, I am in the process of getting an editor to go over it) this person thought the character had a lot of potential and that I should hang in there.

So I am working on improving the product over the next month

It has also been suggested that I take it down and then reload it. (Can I do that? Should I?)

Meantime- thanks for the cover art. It certainly serves as a hint of the struggle Crowell feels with this service he provides these people he meets. And yet.... it's not quite what I had in mind.
THANK YOU though. You did say on your own webpage it was a late night impulsive thing you did.
I appreciate the gesture

What an incredible group of people you all are.
(I need to stop here because I hate taking up so much time because many of you have families and other things you could be doing. Though I know you are all trying to be encouraging and helpful)

I'll get there...(And Caedem.. despite the gesture- this is why I wouldn't want to use the cover by you. Is it part of a gravestone? Will the family recognize it? What of the artist? These things need to be considered (at least, being an artist myself, that's what I think. But THANKS so much for the effort, sir)
1 - 7 of 40 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.