Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 Taught Me These Things

Hello, 2014. You've been around for a little over a week now, and I wanted to give you a proper greeting. So, hi. You're going to be a good year. I know it.

As I say hello to 2014, it's only fitting to say one last goodbye to 2013. It was a very good year--and one which taught me a few things:

1. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And by Santa Claus I mean a woman with whom I am madly in love. We married in July and care for a half-dozen kids in our home. And--AND I am very happy. Yes, it can happen like this. It does every day.

2. I can still write. I've had to shake away some rust (some of my work hasn't been my best), but the desire is there--not the feverish drive it once was, but that came from managing demons as much as desire to tell stories. Now, I have the desire, but the demons are not snapping at my heals. This is a better seat from which to write.

You can read the first published piece I penned after my hiatus at Weirdyear. It's a bit of flash I call "Doubt"--and I'd be thrilled it you'd give it a read. 

3. Even while I spent more than a year on hiatus, books and stories continued to sell via Smashwords and Amazon. Upon returning, I've found Amazon a much more crowded landscape than ever. My sales through Smashwords and its affiliates were roughly flat. Considering I spent zero time promoting my writing for the majority of 2013, I find that quite interesting. I actually broke down my numbers (which weren't record breaking in any way), and found a few interesting tidbits. My top five paid sellers* were as follows:

A Feast of Flesh: Tales of Zombies, Monsters, and Demons 141
Violent Ends: Horror Stories 120
Thirteen Shadows: Ghost Stories 76
The Bottom Feeders and Other Stories 74
Write Hard: Prompts, Prods, and Pep-Talks for Writers 26

Some books sold very litte--only 4 copies of The House Eaters for example. Was it the presence of words like "horror stories" or "ghost stories" or the goldmine "zombies" in the titles of the others? Was it price? None of these numbers will break records, but I like to think about data. Freebies "sold" many more copies, but I didn't include them here. For those keeping score at home, Write Hard was my bestseller for Kindle via, but not all of my books were available for Kindle during 2013. 

4. I missed shouting at the universe via this blog, Twitter, and the InterwebTM in general.

5. I have much more to say before I take the big dirt nap. Years and years of stories to tell. Will you listen?

My 2014 goals are forthcoming. Really.

I promise.

*for the past two years, I've donated every dime of my net Smashwords earnings to local and international charities. No writer's work is paid what it is "worth" but I can make my work worth more in terms of education, food, and healthcare in the right hands.  Heifer International and Health Care Access are two of my favorites.

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