31 October 2012

Halloween-Countdown to NaNoWriMo

Well, this month has certainly been busy and gone already.  A few of those days, I wasn't even on the right day, usually two days off either way.  Most of my month has been planning, plotting, playing {a CCR cd that I recently unearthed, no doubt thanks to the brownies.} I have a new appreciation for published authors who manage to live a life as well as write.

The synopsis I posted for NaNoWriMo has been updated.  I've found a few more ideas to use and my map has disappeared. Back to the drawing board.  I have the quick one I printed out using my sister's printer. My email has been nutty lately. I get repeats of ones I've read and a bunch came through that I hadn't seen-from 2 weeks ago. I cleared it out on Sunday.  I'm not as organized time-wise any more. Well, that's due mostly to the handy dandy program I downloaded.  Now, if I'd been on the forums more at NaNo last year, I'd have seen another one.  Ahh well, live and learn.

My synopsis has grown to 7 pages-more editing?  As the synopsis for each of my novels was entered into the program, I realized that some of them contained mostly backstory= revision.  The only thing I don't like about this program is that I'm finding myself doing a lot more writing, researching and plotting.  Days and nights are blending together.  I see how some people can write up to 100,000 words during NaNo.  I'm easily doing 800 wpd {words per day} without half trying.  The other thing I'll have to do is break some of the scenes down as I just wrote while the writing was good. teehee.

Angela Ackerman had an interesting guest post that I read just today: Your Blog As A Promotion and Branding Tool-Nina Amir. One point that struck me was: "Writers write. That’s what we do. That’s what we are good at. And that’s why we balk at promoting ourselves and our books."

Sales experience is one thing I don't lack.  Gift shop-operating in the red to breaking even in two months to operating at a profit in three months.  It was simple how I accomplished this: I determined how much sales I'd need to do to cover my wages, then the department wages, then total department expenses.  Each day I worked, I had three goals to reach.

Minimum was my own pay and max was the whole department. As an added incentive, my son soon joined the department along with my niece.  Course this was after one expansion. The GM came in one day and looked at the space.  He said expansion could take place if we kept the revenue up for three more months.  Three months later, we had the expansion.

My take on promotion is don't worry about the huge numbers. Keep your goals simple and before you know it, your sales will soar.  And you'll have fun besides, if you allow yourself to have that fun.  Most people are happy to buy something when it's presented as a great benefit to them.  Just make sure you have a great book.  Self-promotion will become word of mouth promotion before you know it.

A simple formula I use is annual living expenses divided by 365 for the minimum sales.  Most expenses you'll encounter is simply a percentage of the gross sales of your book.  I understand industry standard is around 30-40%. Taxes will roughly be dependent on your tax bracket; you can get this from tax tables at the IRS, say roughly 35%. I use that figure because it kind of builds in a safety margin. So roughly 60-70% for expenses. So: $100 - $70 = $30 left for your use.  Yeah, there are deductions and so forth. This is simply the minimum that you would aim for. If you price your book at .99, you know you'll have to sell at least 100,000 copies of your book to get $30,000.  100,000 people out there in this land of 308.7 million people - 2010 USA census - who would be willing to buy your book. US & World population 7 billion worldwide.  {edit-works out to about 275 copies a day}

My plan-earn enough to pay professionals for the marketing stuff I just don't have the time for. When I worked in the gift shop, my boss took care of the day-to-day operations which left me free to concentrate exclusively on sales.

All the little hobgoblins, witches, vampires, spooks and other creatures of the day and night have now gone home to bed and I can relax til next year.  And now, I'm off to NaNoLand to procrastinate til midnight.


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