16? Okay, I’m Excited.

16? Okay, I’m Excited.

File this under shameless brag. Or excessive celebration.

16. . .

The number of copies of Hood I sold yesterday on Amazon.

I had been averaging selling 4.4 books per day since release Jan. 13th. From what I understand that’s something to celebrate in and of itself. But 16?!? MAN, that got me excited.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from poker, it’s one thing. Celebrate your victories. If there are no big victories, celebrate the small ones.

Because it’s hard to stop yourself from feeling defeat when it happens. So you better damn well enjoy victory when it comes.

If there’s anything else I’ve learned from poker, it’s that past outcomes are not an indicator of future success/failure. Over a long enough sample size, sure, past data can be used for information. But we’re talking 2.5 weeks here. I can’t rest on my laurels. Gotta keep swingin’ the bat for my book!

Anyway. I just wanted to enjoy this, and share it with you all, specifically those who have helped me get the book to where it is. It’s been a long road.

So from the bottom of my heart, here’s some amazing (bread)cat pictures.

-Evan P

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large2.jpgAnother-Grumpy-Cate-meme

A Pure, Unexpected Joy.

A Pure, Unexpected Joy.

There are a hell of a lot of feelings out there.

Publishing a book has a way of eliciting many, many of those feelings. Excitement, anxiety, trepidation, hope, raw fear, doubt.

After the book is in a place where you finally say: “I think that’s it. I think it’s ready.”

Then comes the magic. You set it free to roam the scavenged wastes that is the world of E-publishing. Its rifle, your plot. Its ammo, your character depth. It’s food and water supply, your cover, blurb and marketing skills.

It must fight to try and become king of the wastelands.

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Credit: maciejkuciara

Or not. But y’know, it sounds cool to say.

I was so nervous when it was going live. I didn’t know how I would feel. But something happens to you, the author, when it is published. There is this joy. At least, there is for me. Getting to reach out to people, getting to connect with old acquaintances and close friends and family and strangers over this labor of love you’ve created, this creation that is born of your mind and gives wonder and excitement (hopefully) to those who read it. . . Well, it’s just an awesome feeling.

Every day, I wake up, and it feels like Christmas. I rush over to my computer, turn on the dashboard and see how the book is doing. How many KU pages have been read? How many books have been bought? A lot? A little? None at all?

I get excited not because I made two dollars when someone clicked a button to buy my story. I get excited because My baby is out there, and people are reading it. People I know, people I don’t know.

Some will hate it, some will love it, some will tear it apart, some will sing its praises, some won’t finish it, and some will simply say meh, s’aright.

And it’s all awesome. I love it all. It’s so much fun. I’ve worked so hard on this book for so long. I just want to see it all. I want to see the hate and the love and the indifference because it is all a part of the experience.

Now all I have to do is write the next book. Deep Breaths.

-Evan Pickering

Two Weeks of being Published on KDP Select

Two Weeks of being Published on KDP Select

I’ve pored over various articles of various successful Indie authors proclaiming the benefits of either going KDP Select or publishing on multiple platforms.

I’ve come to a serious, important conclusion:

No one knows what the hell is going on.

Admittedly, many by their own admission. I read a great blog post by Hugh Howey on his forays with exclusivity. He, like many, can see the benefits of going KDP select and going multiple-platform.

Alternatively, Joanna Penn, who I had the pleasure of talking to face to face at Thrillerfest 2015, wrote a great article claiming that if you are making a series, multiple-platform is the way to go. It’s sound logic; the greater visibility you have for book one, the more potential sales there are for later books.

Problem is, I’m not sure we have a great idea for which approach actually grants greater visibility. It seems to vary from a case to case basis.

For me, I’ve been very happy with KDP Select thus far. I’ve made almost as much money on Kindle Unlimited Book Lends as I have with selling the book itself. And I’m sure it helps tremendously in raising my Amazon rankings and getting it out there.

A bit shy of two weeks of results: (published book on Jan. 14th.)

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I’ve been pretty happy with consistent book sales day-to-day. I’ve been extremely happy with my KENP page reads. (yesterday was my most, 3600 pages read in one day!)

If someone buys my book, I make about $2.10. If someone reads it cover-to-cover on KENP, I make $1.35. That’s not bad at all for being “free”.

As of right now, I’m ranked #144 in the Dystopian category on amazon, and #229 in Post-apocalyptic. I’m pretty tickled with that for being two weeks in.

I wonder what my numbers would look like if I had not opted for KDP select. It’s impossible to know, really. Though I’d have to be selling a decent amount of books on Kobo/Smashwords/ the rest of ’em. But am I sacrificing long term visibility?

Who knows. I’m just happy the book is doing pretty well thus far. Better than I expected for my first two weeks, anyway. Booya.

 

-Evan Pickering

Snowed In With No More Time

Snowed In With No More Time

There’s just never enough time.

On monday, my life becomes crazy again. So naturally, I’m trying to shoe-horn way too much into two days, while trying to ‘relax’.

But I can only spend so many hours a day marketing and formatting Hood for Print-on-Demand.

A man has his limits.

This should be by all rights a fun, relaxing blizzardy day. I suppose the only person stopping that from happening is me. There’s just too much I need to do. Too much I want to get done, too many things within my control.

Being an Indie Author is awesome; you control every element of your writing, of your production, you are the executor of your own grand designs.

But it also is just so, so much to do.

First off, I need to get started on the next book in the American Rebirth Series. Number one way to better your career-WRITE MORE BOOKS. I also need to continue my marketing campaign, and I need to put in hours for my other job, and I need to shovel the driveway (damn you Jonas!)

Blah Blah Blah.

One thing I try to remember, which I usually do a terrible job of remembering, is to set some reasonable expectations for my day. Or at least just demarcate what is doable for one human in one snowed in apartment.

Otherwise, I’ll end up like I am now. Stressed out, not feeling any satisfaction for anything I get done.

So this is my diary for today. My typographical catharsis. Brain cleanse.

DEAR EVAN,

RELAX. EVERYTHING IS FINE. YOU’RE DOING GREAT. YOU’RE GOING TO KEEP FURTHERING THE BOOK’S SUCCESS. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. ENJOY ALL THIS. THERE’S ONLY ONE JONAS TODAY.

CONFUSINGLY,

EVAN

 

A Moment of Reflection.

A Moment of Reflection.
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Dan, my brother, and Myself (right) circa 2008ish

Part of the many things one must undertake when being an indie author is writing about yourself.

It’s always a weird task. By nature, you need to be self-promoting. But I think many writers feel a natural humility, a self-effacing tendency that says there are so many more better than me. But, people don’t want to hear about other people when they’re looking at your book. They want to know about you.

So, this is what I came up with for my Amazon “about the author” page:

Like so many of you, I am a man obsessed with stories.

From the earliest parts of my youth that I can remember, I yearned for imaginary worlds. I created stories and lived them out in my own footsteps, found myself engrossed in fantasy novels, mystery novels, roleplaying games, television shows, perhaps most of all, history.

The world, to me, was a great story, filled with endless billions of stories, alive and dead, real and imagined. I did not seek to know them all; but only to be enthralled with as many as I could possibly come by.

So when I was 18, and I first attempted creative writing, it suddenly made sense to me that everything else I had been pursuing fell woefully short of something deeper in me. Now, all I want is what many writers want; to share their own stories, to evoke feeling and inspiration and motivation in others.

After all, so many who have come before have done the same for me. I look only to continue the tradition. In my own way.

I’ve been a professional poker player for eight years. I’ve backpacked europe, I’ve biked alone across the northeastern US by myself when I was eighteen. I grew up living on a boat half the year every year. I’ve hung out in grimy side streets and in sprawling mansions and empty parking lots. I’ve read a lot of books, played a lot of video games, I’ve grown up and I’ve stayed young and no matter what I learn and whatever I believe life is in this moment, I’m still searching. I think I always will be.

-Evan Pickering

You like me! You really like me!

Post-Apoc blogging at it’s finest.

From the Wastes...

I was just recently notified by S.C. Flynn that I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Imagine my surprise!  Thank you, Mr. Flynn!  This month marks my one year anniversary of this blog.  I’m not even sure that what I’m doing could be considered as real blogging.  I’ve never learned how to do it properly, I just created a WordPress Blog and started writing about stuff I like.  I still really have no idea what I’m doing.


I believe it is at this point where I need to tell you a few tidbits about myself…

  1. I grew up on a dairy farm in western Montana, a child of the 70’s/80’s.  Mornings started at four a.m. and the day ended around nine p.m..  I hated pretty much every moment of it.  I found that reading offered a much-needed escape from the shoveling of manure.
  2. I joined the U.S. Army, expecting…

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HOOD is live on Amazon Kindle!

HOOD is live on Amazon Kindle!

I can hardly believe this day has come!

Surreal is not a strong enough word. More like unfathomable.

Hood, Book 1 of the American Rebirth series

There she is. In all her glory. It’s taken me a long time and it’s been a lot of hard work, but the book is live on Amazon.

I don’t even know what I’m feeling. Pride, Joy, Anxiety, Hope, the desire to start editing again, lol.

Most of all, I knew it was time to put it out when I could read it (after so, so many edits) and feel happy, satisfied, excited with what I had put down on the page.

It’s easy now to think I need to do more, I need to keep working on it, blah blah blah. Yes, I’m sure I could work at it even more. I’m sure i’ll do some tidying up on it from time to time. But the bottom line is:

I’m proud of it. I love it. It fills me with joy.

So, it was time. And now its here. Now comes the simple task of marketing it (lol).

For all of you who have been waiting for it. . .

Ta-daaaaa

Evan Pickering