• Tag Archives Haunt My Heart
  • A year in the life of an indie-published book

    It’s that time of year, where we take stock of the year behind us and look forward to the year ahead.

    All in all, 2015 was a very fine year.

    I published five books in 2015. Three titles were indie published for the first time ever, and two were republished after a year-long stint with a traditional e-book publisher. Since Haunt My Heart was published on January 5, 2015, I thought it might interest people to see how it has done.

    Please keep in mind this is one indie publishing experience. My experience. Your mileage and actions may vary. Authors and publishers don’t like to share results. I guess they sometimes want to maintain the illusion of doing better than they really are or maybe they just don’t want to appear to be bragging. I don’t know why. I suppose everyone has his/her reasons.

    For me, it helps to see what others are doing to see if I’m on track or at least on a path for potential success. If we don’t track and evaluate what went wrong and what went right, how can we ever achieve our dreams?

    For the record, my copy editor in the table below was actually more of a proofer, and she was my extremely, grammatically inclined friend. I posted about The cost of self-publishing one book (Haunt My Heart) back in January 2015, soon after it published. Clearly, I spent more during the year trying to promote the book. I’m sure there are things I missed. Also, Haunt My Heart spent a year in Amazon’s KDP Select program. HMH expires from that program tomorrow, and then I’ll try my luck on the free market and on  every platform for a while. That post generated lots of love as well as its fair share of hate. So here we go again.

    By the numbers:

     Haunt snap 1 Haunt snap 2

     

    As you can see, I’m still -$734 from breaking even. My Reaper Series books made a bit of money for me this year, and overall, I should end up making around $5,500 total on my writing. Keep in mind, I’ve spent more than three-quarters of that back into the business with advertising/marketing/publishing expenses during the year. So yeah, nowhere near a reasonable profit on any of the five books yet. Publishing is still only a labor of love.

    I’m not going to lie. I’ve thought about quitting.

    Writer friends have talked me off the ledge more than once this year. But you know what? Lightning could still strike. It only takes one good break to reach a tipping point.

    And you can’t be struck by lightning unless you’re in the storm.

    I have an ambitious business plan mapped out for 2016, which includes audio books, and at least, three new releases.

    If you’d like to come along for the ride, sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.

    In the meantime, you can find all of my books and their links here: http://lisa-medley.com/books/ You can even start the Reaper Series for FREE on all e-reader formats.

    The best is yet to come.

    new-years-cards-8915-445x278

     

     


  • A souvenir turns out to be much more in Haunt My Heart

    Haunt 1

    Since Haunt My Heart is FREE now through Halloween, I thought I would share some excerpts this week to get you into a haunting mood. Don’t worry, my ghost hero is good.

    Haunt My Heart is the story of a hexed Civil War soldier who gets a second chance at life and love after he’s freed from a fetter in modern-day Fredericksburg, Virginia.

    It all starts when Sarah finds a ring on the grounds of Chatham Manor after a night of ghost-hunting. She takes home much more than a souvenir.

    Excerpt from Haunt My Heart:

    HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - Copy

    Ellie opened the driver’s side door, and Sarah waited for her to crawl across the seat of the old Mustang and pop the passenger-side lock. The broken power locks were one of many deficiencies in the classic car. Sarah retrieved her betraying phone from her pocket and powered it up as Ellie shuffled about inside the car.

    As she checked her phone display, a glint of light on the ground to her right caught her eye. Aiming her screen at the ground like a flashlight, she bent low and searched for the source of the flash. Just as she began investigating, though, she heard the lock pop, and Ellie pushed the door open. The door hit Sarah in the head, knocking her to the cold, hard ground.

    “Sorry,” Ellie said, scrambling to catch the door before it slammed closed again.

    Sarah mumbled a few choice obscenities and rubbed her head. She reached down and ran her finger over something half-buried in the ground.

    “What is that?” Ellie was hanging out the car, her body stretched across the seats.

    “I don’t know.” Sarah turned the flashlight of her phone up to full beam and picked at the object in the frozen turf. “Do you have a pen or something?”

    Ellie scuffled around inside the dark, rolling landfill that was her car—the interior lights long burned out—and produced a screwdriver instead. “Will this work?”

    Sarah took the offered screwdriver and dug at the buried treasure. After breaking it free from its cold grave, she examined it by the light of her cell phone. “It’s a ring.”

    “Let me see.”

    Ellie scrambled back into the driver’s seat. Sarah joined her in the car, then shut the door against the cold.

    “Hold the light,” Sarah said, digging a Kleenex from her coat pocket to clear as much of the mud from the ring as possible.

    The ring remained caked with mud, which filled the engraved edges, but the stone cleaned off easily enough. The set, a square cut black onyx, glinted. The cold metal of the band warmed in her hand.

    “You know what that is, right?” Ellie asked.

    “A ring?” Sarah couldn’t keep the sarcasm from her voice, not after the night she’d had.

    “An artifact.”

    “No. Someone just lost a class ring. Like one of the sorority girls.”

    “Does that look like a woman’s ring? No. No is the answer. That is a man’s ring. An officer’s ring or something. That could be a real-life, true-blue Civil War artifact.”

    “I doubt it. And if it is, we’ll return it. This is a national park. There are rules.”

    “I say finders keepers. Let me see it better.”

     

    Want to read? Haunt My Heart is FREE on AMAZON now through Halloween

    Haunt 3D copyBook Description:

    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

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  • TRICK or TREAT! Haunt My Heart is FREE for the first time ever!

    TRICK or TREAT!

    FREE on Amazon Kindle for the first time ever!

    HAUNT MY HEART
    DOWNLOAD HERE 


    Free now through midnight Oct. 31.


    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again? 

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

    HAPPY HAUNTING!

    If you like Haunt My Heart, please leave a review on Amazon. Many thanks!


  • $10 Amazon Gift Card April Book Reviews Winner!

    We have a winner!

    Reader and reviewer, Dowie from http://www.dowiesplace.com/ won the random drawing of April book reviewers and a $10 Amazon Gift card.

    You're a Winner $10 Amazon GC

    Woot!

    You can join in the fun for May. Read and post a review on any of my books in May on Amazon (and Goodreads for a double entry!), and I’ll draw a winner from the May reviewers for a $10 Amazon Gift Card the first week of June.

    What are you waiting for? You can find all of my books on my Amazon Author Page Here!

    Remember, Reap & Repent, book one of the Reaper Series is only 99¢ through May 31!

    5Reap & Repent (Bk 1)
    http://amzn.to/1AvrNfb

     


  • Reaper Series Revealed. Save the dates!

     

    Save the dates! It’s going to be a great summer of reading and reaping.

    covers cropped

    Reap & Repent (Book 1) Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    Reap & Redeem (Book 2) May 2015

    Reap & Reveal (Book 3) July 2015

    Reap & Reckon  (Book 4) in progress!

    The Reaper Series Synopsis: 

    The only thing worse than having nothing to live for…is having everything to live for.

    A small group of reapers and supernatural beings in Meridian, Arkansas are all that stands between humanity and the apocalypse when a fallen angel stages a demonic invasion. In their battle to save the world, each will meet his or her match, discovering the power of love…and the importance of risking everything to protect it.

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  • Money, money, money – the results of self-publishing one month recap

    It’s the one-month birthday for Haunt My Heart. In the spirit of full disclosure to everyone following my publishing and now my self-publishing journey and in the hopes of inspiring, informing and encouraging new authors with the truth… here’s what happened this month.

    Beware–the truth is in here.

    Thing started out pretty good (in my humble opinion). Of course, I only have my other author friends’ experience to compare it to. All in all it was better than some, worse than others. Still here’s what happened and how I did or didn’t influence it.

    The numbers

    I uploaded Haunt much too early on January 3 because I was anxious and unsure how long it would actually take to appear on Amazon. Official release day was January 5. I went exclusively with Amazon and enrolled it in KDP, which means it was also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited (the subscription program).

    Here are my Amazon sales rank results.

    Haunt Amazon sales rank month one

    It started out pretty strong. I didn’t do pre-order sales. It was REALLY hard to not do pre-order sales because I LOVE having those sales links. it makes it tough to do a lot of pre-promotion without sales links too but I wanted to biggest initial bump I could get. Right or wrong, I chose no pre-order. The highest sales ranking Haunt achieved was 24,881 on release day.

    Here’s my actual sales chart.

    haunt book sales month one

    I had a good bump the first evening after it went live and then the day after my Facebook book launch event. That other spike on January 16 was a result of the blog post I did The cost of self-publishing one book. That post got 1,149 hits to-date (547 on Jan. 16) and people went crazy over it. Mostly good, some negative. That post helped me to sell five books that day so, yay!

    month to date sales Haunt on Amazon

    I was a little underwhelmed with the Kindle Unlimited borrows. I mean, it’s FREE to subscribers. I thought it would reach a LOT more readers than it did. I’m not sure how to increase the exposure there. I started posting daily (for a week and a half) in six different FB Kindle Unlimited groups. I think that has gotten me maybe one borrow a day.

    No one likes to talk about the numbers but authors want–no–need to know. I don’t know why it has to be a big secret. We can learn from one another. It doesn’t have to be a competition. It should be a cooperation.

    Anywhooo…(steps off of soap box)…

    The money

    So, how much did all this amount to in hard-earned cash?

    This screenshot is my e-book sales.

    haunt royalties first month

    This screenshot was my print copy sales.

    haunt print copies royalties units sold month one

    Honestly, print doesn’t hardly seem worth the trouble EXCEPT for the ability to order your own copies for sale at book signings, conventions, promotions and to giveaway to family etc.

    $10.24 was the lowest CreateSpace would let me sell it for. $10.99 is pricey to me for a print book, but several people had insisted they really wanted my book in print. Ten of them bought it from Amazon.

    I did sell around 21 copies out of my car, at my in-person book launch and at my husband’s workplace. I sold those for $10 each so I pocketed around $5.50 a book on those sales, which was a better royalty BUT none of those sales counted toward my Amazon sales numbers. They could have really pushed up my rankings. Would it ultimately have made any difference? Gotten me onto any Top 100 lists? Would those same buyers have gone to Amazon to buy instead of buying my in-person signed copy? Probably not.

    I also gave away 15 copies to friends, family and for prizes.

    I gave away or sold the first 50 books I ordered and reordered another 40 for book signings etc. through the year.

    The review game

    Working with my street team, author network and some random strangers, I managed to accrue 18 Amazon Reviews and five on Goodreads. Of those reviews there were:

    Reviews for Haunt My Heart: 16 – 5-Star, 1 – 4-Star, 1 3-Star

    The 3-star review was from a random stranger who commented my book could have benefitted from some extensive editing (not for typos but for content). I refer her to this post The importance of beta readers and editing for self-publishing. You can’t please everyone 😀

    The promotion & marketing

    I couldn’t afford to spend much on promotion and marketing. What I did do was the following:

    • Facebook Book Launch event the night of release day online and in-person at a local coffee house FREE
    • Facebook post boosts with sales link $25
    • One day book blitz with Bewitching Books (around 20 blog posts, spotlights, interviews) $40
    • Guest posts/spotlights on author friend’s websites (around 20 posts) FREE
    • Posted daily for about two weeks in six different Kindle Unlimited Facebook groups FREE
    • Tweeted hourly for the first week, then backed off. I try to tweet a few times a day now $10 for Hootsuite but I’ve unsubscribed now. FREE
    • Random posts on Facebook until I annoyed all of my friends to death FREE

    The results

    So the grand total royalties for my first month of self-publishing Haunt My Heart?

    $246.87

    The irony of all of this is that as I was working on this post I received my third royalty statement from my traditional publisher. Since publication last March (for two books), I’ve made $287.01 with a traditional publisher.

    I’ve nearly made that in one month all by myself.

    The future

    My second self-published book, Reap & Repent, will release on March 2. Repent was first published last March with Harlequin. I’ve since had the rights reverted back to me to all three books in my Reaper Series. I’m excited about the opportunity to regain control of my writing and my career.

    I’ll never give control away again.

    Viva, Indie!

    Want to read Haunt My Heart or Reap & Repent?

    Haunt My Heart is available on AMAZON now in e-book and print.

    HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - CopyBook Description:

    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

    Reap & Repent:  Book One – March 2015

    Repent600x900Reap & Repent blurb

    They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

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  • A roundup of Haunt My Heart posts you may have missed

    Whether you’ve already read the book or are interested in how it came to be, here’s a roundup of Haunt My Heart posts you may have missed.

    Happy reading!

    How a ghost hunt became a book

    A ghost at Chatham Manor? The Lady in White and Haunt My Heart

    Fallen and fettered in Haunt My Heart

    Could magic win a war? Witchcraft and grimoires used in battle in Haunt My Heart

    Secret codes and magic texts in Haunt My Heart

    Ghostly encounters and spooky spectrums: A Civil War ghost gets a second chance in Haunt My Heart

    Ghost scripts in Haunt My Heart: Love letters from the other side

    Supernatural weapons and magical battles: Behind the scenes of war in Haunt My Heart

    Virginia is for lovers. Haunt My Heart heats up Fredericksburg

    Haunted Objects and Horrifying Hexes Haunt My Heart

    A souvenir turns out to be much more in Haunt My Heart

    Want to read? Haunt My Heart is available on AMAZON now in e-book and print.

    HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - CopyBook Description:

    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

    Don’t miss a thing! Sign up for my NEW RELEASE NEWSLETTER.


  • The importance of beta readers and editing for self-publishing

    Red pen

    My post last week on The costs of self-publishing one book. By the numbers., elicited some passionate responses and more than 900 views so far. The response proves to me that authors, new and seasoned, are curious to know if they are on the right track.

    All I can share with you is my experience–the good, the bad and the ugly–of my first effort at self-publishing Haunt My Heart.

    One of the biggest points of contention in that post last week was the discussion that I spent too much on editing (or in the case of the copy editing too little). Some suggested I could have used beta readers for the editing or a critique group and saved that expense altogether.

    I consider the building of my writing career to be the same type of investment one would make with any new business or franchise. No one starts a new business for absolutely no money. It cost money to make money and cheap is not always the best way to go. Sure you can rely on beta readers for your editing and make your own book covers in Canva or Word or whatever program you manage to manipulate successfully, but is that the best course? Does the quality truly reflect the image you want readers to have? Is it your best?

    For the record, I do utilize beta readers but their input comes well before I ever send my work to an editor. Once I finish the first draft, I follow Stephen King’s advice from On Writing and let the story rest for a week or two. Honestly, the longer the better. As an author, there’s always another story to be working on or a book to promote, or other authors’ works waiting patiently on my Kindle to be read.

    When I go back to that story, I reread it with fresh perspective. It really is like the King says, almost like reading someone else’s work. Next I scour through the manuscript for my personal demons: ly words, just, that, only, feel (show, don’t tell), was and all passive voice. I pay close attention to my POV and make sure I haven’t slipped out of character. I comb through those pages with care until I know I’ve done everything that I can from my biased perspective.

    Then I send it to six of my trusted beta readers. One is my first reader and not a writer, but she tells me what I need to hear, not necessarily what I want to hear. She tells me when my characters are whiney and unlikable or do ridiculous things that make no sense. She points out when I’ve had three days and no nights or my timeline is so wonky there’s no way it will work without time travel. The other beta readers are also writers.

    Their time is especially precious because I know they have their own projects as well but their input via Word track changes is priceless. They catch things readers overlook or are oblivious to like dialogue punctuation and POV head hopping.

    After I consider the changes/suggestions from all six, I pour through the manuscript yet again, polishing and shining until it’s the best I can make it.

    Then I send it to my editor. And she makes 1,091 comments of suggested changes. Not. Even. Kidding.

    Some of the changes, on Haunt for instance, were things like simultaneous actions. Two things that are physically impossible to do at the same time. Like these examples:

    Sarah joined her in the car, shutting the door against the cold.

    (How did Sarah join her in the car if she shut the door at the same time? One thing happened first: Sarah joined her in the the car, then shut the door against the cold.)

    Floating up and then out from his body, he stood beside it.

    (Pretty sure you can’t float and stand at the same time: He floated up and out from his body, then stood beside it.)

    Apparently this is a pretty common rookie mistake I make when trying to vary my sentence starts. I had 62 simultaneous action comments from my editor to correct. I challenge you to find one in Haunt My Heart now, ha!

    My editor makes both structural edits for me and light line edits in the first round. More line edits in the second round. And usually a third run through before we call it a done deal. At that point, I send it to my copy editor/proofreader for a final run through. My copy editor is an eagle-eyed grammar Nazi. For real.

    The final stage is formatting.

    I do not have the patience for formatting so I hire it out and it’s back in 24 hours. I could spend a week on it and still not have it right. I know my limitations.

    The last step for me is a final read through for any last-minute typos or formatting weirdness.

    By this time, I’ve read through my work eight to ten times. All the way through. Honestly, I sort of hate it a little by then, but I do it. For you.

    Nothing turns me off quicker than to find mistakes in a book. It happens to everyone. I found several in the latest edition of The Stand  by Stephen King and other bestselling novels. No one is immune.

    But I do my best to avoid it with several layers of editing. Every time. And when I do find something wrong, I fix it.

    No one is perfect but that doesn’t mean we can’t aspire to be.

    Want to read my first self-publishing effort?

    Get Haunt My Heart here: Amazon Kindle     


    3D Haunt my HeartBook Description:

    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

    Don’t miss a thing! Sign up for my NEW RELEASE NEWSLETTER.

     

     

     


  • #8Sunday Sentences from Haunt My Heart: Some days, nothing goes right.

    This week’s selection is from Haunt My Heart, which is available on AMAZON now in e-book, print and FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Haunt My Heart is the story of a hexed Civil War soldier who gets a second chance at life and love after he’s freed from a fetter in modern-day Fredericksburg, Virginia.

    Our heroine, Sarah, is in a tight spot. Have you ever been in a situation you didn’t know if you’d get out of? Comment below :D

     

    HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - Copy

    Thinking of that led her straight down the squirrel path in her mind to their night together. Or few hours, if she wanted to get technical. She’d had the best sex of her life with a virtual stranger and was now a prisoner with her supposed ghost lover in the back of a Men-in-Black car being taken to a secret government location.

    Yeah. That seemed about right.

    What she wouldn’t give to have Ellie here right now. She’d have this mess sorted in no time. Sarah fingered the necklace around her throat.

     

    That’s all until next week, folks. Thanks for visiting.

    Click on the WeWriWa link to check out the other participating authors. So many tasty samplings!

    Want to read? You can get Haunt My Heart here: Amazon Kindle     


    3D Haunt my HeartBook Description:

    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

    Don’t miss a thing! Sign up for my NEW RELEASE NEWSLETTER.


  • The cost of self-publishing one book: By the numbers.

    my bookshelf with Repent and HauntHaunt My Heart is in the world and exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Haunt is my first independently published book and I’m pretty dang excited!

    The best thing about indie publishing is that you get to make ALL of the decisions.

    The worst thing about indie publishing is that you have to make ALL of the decisions.

    There were a few trying moments. My friend and fellow author Cara Bristol talked me down from more than one ledge. Ultimately, it was the best decision I’ve made so far in my publishing career.

    I honestly thought that publishing with a big-name traditional publisher would sell more books for me via their brand than I ever could  on my own. This past year has proved to me that’s not necessarily true.

    I know lots of authors don’t like to talk about the financial side of things, but I think it’s important for aspiring authors to know what they’re getting into. Sure, there are a few publishing miracles and books (and authors) that rocket to the top of bestseller lists but most of us are here working in the trenches just trying to tell our stories and get them read.

    As a reader, I never considered what it took for a book to make it to my shelf or e-reader. Now that I’m on the other side of that curtain of Oz, all has been revealed.

    I kept a list of expenses thus far for Haunt My Heart and share them now.

    What self-publishing costs. Breaking it down…

    Haunt expense wp

    So, $1,315 to get this one book published in digital and print. I suspect it cost around the same for a traditional publisher. Obviously some books have a much bigger budget and get tons of marketing/advertising/special photo shoot covers etc., which would have to be added in. I’ll spend more on marketing myself over the coming weeks and months.

    I snarkily mentioned that the actual writing of the book is incalculable. Maybe not entirely. Haunt My Heart is 68,000 words. I average–during active writing–500-1,000 words an hour. Let’s say then, Haunt was written at an average of 750 words per hour.

    68,000/750=90 hours of active writing x $20 per hour (day job wage) = $1,813

    Of course that doesn’t count the undocumented pile of hours it took for research, editing, more editing, marketing and promoting. That truly is incalculable.

    Still, you get the idea of what goes into a book in time and money.

    What can you expect to make? By the numbers.

    The next questions everyone wants to know is how much am I making per copy. Well, let me tell you, for my traditionally published books, I’ve earned less than a hundred dollars for all of the combined editions and incarnations this past year and sold a total of 420 copies since March 2014.

    Do that math…don’t worry, I’ll wait 😀

    Now, it’s true I had very little upfront financial output for the traditionally published books. The burden of publishing costs lay with the publisher. I also did not receive any advance money. What I did get was the coveted CALL, and FANTASTIC editing. Those things were very valuable and overall it was a good experience. I have no regrets and how have three well-honed stories.

    I bought some promotional cards, banners, advertising etc. for each of those publications. Plus all the other ‘stuff’ it’s taken to be published. I also attended the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention two years in a row to network and market myself and my book. That cost me around $1,500 per convention. I’m skipping it this year.

    Since I began this journey in July of 2011, I’ve kept receipts of my expenditures. Nearly all of them. And now that I’ve finally received a paycheck, I can deduct my expenses from my taxes. Wonder how much those receipts have added up to?

    Are you sitting down?

    $7,156.35.

    So now, perhaps you’re wondering–I know I would be–how much I expect to make with my indie published book.

    For the print copies I’ll make approximately $2.48 per copy sold on Amazon at $10.99 each. For the e-book edition, I’ll make $2.75 cents per copy sold on Amazon at $3.99 each. I make considerably more selling print copies out of my trunk and at appearances. For each hand-sold book at $10 each, I pocket a little over $5. BUT, those hand-sales do not help your Amazon rankings one iota. So there’s the rub. Earn more, but hurt your algorithm potential.

    See why I’ve gone indie?

    The benefits of exclusivity.

    For Haunt My Heart, I’m going exclusively with Amazon and KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for the first ninety days. Maybe longer. The immediate benefits I see are these:

    1.  Haunt My Heart will be available through Kindle Unlimited‘s download service.
    2. Ninety percent or more of my readers are reading through Kindles or Kindle apps (or could).
    3. I have more of an opportunity of exposure through Amazon marketing and lists

    For each KU (Kindle Unlimited) download for which the reader reads at least ten percent of the book, I’ll get a royalty of approximately $1.50. KU downloads are ‘free’ to KU subscribers ($9.99 a month subscription for virtually unlimited reading from their available selection).

    In conclusion, to ‘break even’ on Haunt My Heart, I’ll need to sell approximately:

    531 print versions… or

    479 e-book versions…or

    878 KU downloads…or

    263 hand-sold print copies…or

    some combination of those three to recover the costs of publishing. That doesn’t include any profit or compensation for the time I’ve spend writing/marketing/promoting/ or thinking about this one book.

    I’m not quitting my day job. Not just yet. In my mind, the end goal is clearly to write and publish for a living and replace my day-job income.

    I turn 50 in 2018.

    I’d like to spend the second half of my life doing this crazy thing for a living from the Big Cedars.

    For a girl who’s adverse to math, that’s a lot of numbers. I hope it helps guide you on your writing journey. And may the words be with you.

    Have you ever tried or succeeded in working your dream job?  What happened? What’s your second act dream?

    Want to read my first self-publishing effort? Lucky you! You can get it here: Amazon Kindle     

    HauntMyHeartFinal (533x800) - CopyBook Description:

    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

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