Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Status Report - April 2014

In six days, tax filing must be done. Yesterday, DH and I got our returns back from our CPA, Ed.

What a difference from three years ago when I took my first tentative step into publishing. Not only did I make a profit for 2013, I had to pay self-employment tax!

Okay, I know most people aren't (or shouldn't be) excited about paying taxes, but for me, it means Angry Sheep is a real business. Not that it wasn't before, but this is my type of validation. Not getting a traditional deal, but having to cough up money to Uncle Sam.

Your mileage may vary.

As for what's happening in 2014?

The ramifications of the Kernel Pornocalypse are still being felt in Alter Ego's sales. On the other hand, word-of-mouth is starting to spread about her books. I'm getting requests for ARCs from book bloggers.

The fantasies under Suzan Harden got a nice little plug thanks to Jonathan Moeller's interview and the release of Sword and Sorceress 28 last fall, but the surge was short-lived. All I can do is keep plugging away at the writing for the small cadre of readers who like those books and keep my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, there's been shuffling and weirdness in the e-book retail world. Sony sold its business to Kobo, and Diesel shut down completely. I'm not holding my breath about getting paid for the last sales from those companies.

While total sales are down across the board, my Apple sales have been outstripping my Amazon US sales this year. In March, Amazon UK sales beat Amazon US.

What does this mean? I think it shows how wide open the world markets are. Most writers are only look at a little slice of America, and then only looking at Amazon. I.thought that was short-sighted three years ago, and so far, my opinion hasn't changed.

Barnes & Noble continues its death spiral. I've been lucky to sell one book a day when two years ago, I could sell 200 a day. As I've said repeatedly, I hate seeing B&N throw away its advantages, but they seem intent of commercial suicide.

As for Smashwords, I haven't made a sale there yet this year. I've heard a couple of different rumors regarding Mark Coker's intentions with the company, but nothing I can verify through independent sources. And these are the types of things that even if I asked Mark, he would have to lie because the truth would majorly fuck over both him and the writers distributing through Smashwords. So we'll see on that front.

Is the e-book market becoming saturated? Yes and no. There are thousands more books out there than there were three years ago. But like the other entertainment industries, a consumer is more likely to find enough material in her favorite niche to keep her happy. In four words--I am not worried in that regard.

My biggest problem is that my productivity for the last twelve months is down considerably due to the move from Texas to Ohio. Things aren't over yet. We still need to sell the house in Texas. So right now, I'm doing more general contracting than I care to and battling a colony of bees that are setting up shop in my siding.

Between a retailer upheaval and slow production, there's a reason for my drop in sales. I can't fix one, but I can fix the other.

After I deal with this stupid house and a possible killer bee invasion.


  1. It is good news. And I'm happy for you. Not so happy about the contracting and bee infestation but the other stuff is good.

    1. Yeah, it's been a positive step forward in the writing business. But I may have to call a specialist about the bees.

  2. I absolutely understand, and I envy you your tax bill. :)

    Best of luck with the bees. :P


    1. Yeah, not too many people get excited about taxes, do they? The bee guys just got here so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.