Random updates


The sale that started back in September went very well indeed.   The $.99 price brought in a lot of new readers.

At the moment, that price is still in place (due entirely to inertia on my part) and I’ll probably go back to regular pricing sometime next week.  Just so’s you know.  In case, y’know, you wanted to use that information…

Some actual numbers: On the first day of the sale, September 13, my Kindle report shows 1,895 ebooks sold, of which 1,682 were Book 1, The Steerswoman.  That first day was the best, and worth the cost of advertising all by itself.   Prior to that we were hovering around 5 to 10 books a day; and after that one big day, things started  trending downward for the rest of the month.  The average for those days following the peak day came to around 94 books a day, and we ended on 33 books the last day.

In October, the average stayed around 30 a day, which previously I would have considered amazingly good!  And this month (November) we’re back to 10 to 15 a day.

So: well worth the price of advertising through BookBub.  Got my money back, and more.


kindle september sales

It was fun watching this in real time.


And I must say, I love it that Kindle gives me close to real-time sales.   When these books were first published by a traditional publisher (Del Rey/Ballantine), reports on sales would only be available to me once every six months, and even so would only refer to the sales  from about a year before.  So there was no way to tell if any thing I did — like, write a great blog post, do a book-signing event, attend a convention, win the Nobel Peace Prize (hint: I have done some, but not all, of these things) —   had any effect on sales whatsoever.  No feedback, no control.   Until it was Too Late to Do Anything Useful.

And even when things were going well,  you couldn’t be encouraged by it, because you were still in the dark!

Ah, the bad old days.  The Internet changes everything.

Other updates: I continue to plan my escape from the Day Job from the Black Lagoon,  but am still on pause mode, while I undertake some routine medical tests (from which I expect nothing but good news, I assure you).  I need to evaluate their effect on my Escape Fund before I make any startling moves.

(And thank you, Day Job, for switching from Super-excellent-low-cost-health-insurance-that-saw-me-through-all-my-cancer-treatments,  to Twice-the-price-plus-high-deductible-might-as-well-go-on-Obamacare-because-what’s-the-difference?  You have cleverly removed my main reason for remaining here, greatly simplifying my choices!  How kind of you.)

Those of you who continue to ask about helping with the Escape Fund: you are wonderful human beings.   When I decide which way to go — with crowdfunding, or Patreon, or Kickstarter — I’ll make it known to all.  Right now, just knowing you’re in my corner is greatly encouraging.

13 Responses to “Random updates”

  • deb Mensinger Says:

    If you use fundrazr for crowdfunding, in addition to donations to the sight with the usual percentage of the top, donations can also be made directly to you. (I have been developing a sight to save the trees at our beloved campground and thought that was a good option. Many people would like to see 100 per cent of their donation go to those who will benefit directly.) Good luck. I wish you freedom as a holiday gift.

  • Lindig Says:

    I have writer friends and have heard a lot about publishers reluctance to tell authors how their books are doing. They don’t actually wants authors to know anything ’cause that gives them power. If the pubs have all the info, they can pay as they want, 6 to 12 months later. It’s a wonder anybody came make a living. And I do hope you can escape from Day Job; sounds like it’s going downhill fast. What about internet jobs you can do from home? There are some respectable sites to sign up with. And I’d love to be able to support you on a regular basis — to be a patron. Be well and be happy and be successful.

  • Ben Says:

    US health care continues to baffle me, but what do us Old Worlders know …

    Also, totally subjective business observation: sales seem to be “the” thing to sell digitally. People love them. Do them at every opportunity – Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, International Beer Day, …

    Probably the fear of missing an opportunity that gets people to buy so much. Even if a 50% discount effectively just makes 2-3$ difference, apparently what matters is that it IS a discount 😉

  • A Says:

    My mother’s job, which traditionally had pretty solid health benefits, just did a lot of price hikes too. Bleargh. Best of luck with tests and planning both!

  • Tammie Says:

    Book Bub did bring you to my attention. I bought and read all of the books which I liked. I look forward to the next one.

  • Jason H Says:

    In. Your. Corner!

    As someone who managed to stumble into a job writing for a living and a huge fan of your work for a decade, I’ll by God be supporting you, financially and emotionally. Literally and figuratively.

    Plus, buying books!


  • Kyoko Says:

    I’ve been trying to get all of my friends to buy your books, esp with the sale! I would also love to help if you decide to set up a Patreon or whichever platform you choose.

  • Heather Says:

    As I understand Patreon’s business model, patrons pledge regular donations (from which Patreon presumably takes a cut)to content producers, and in exchange, the content producers are expected to provide content at regular intervals. Said content may be available only to patrons, or may be available to the public. I could readily imagine setting things up so that patrons see the content first.

    As an author, well, novels take time to write, but short stories can surely be knocked out faster, and might be suitable content to provide to your patrons if you go that route. If you can put in forty hours or more/week writing, then finding time to write short stories unrelated to the Steerswoman setting or in the setting but not directly connected to the main storyline might be possible, maybe as something to do when writing is stalled on your current novel. I’d certainly be willing to pledge a couple bucks/month for the occasional short story while waiting for you to finish the current novel.

  • Cause and Effect Says:

    […] Kirstein(And thank you, Day Job, for switching from Super-excellent-low-cost-health-insurance-that-saw-me-through-all-my-cancer-treatments, to Twice-the-price-plus-high-deductible-might-as-well-go-on-Obamacare-because-what’s-the-difference? You have cleverly removed my main reason for remaining tied to your sinking ship, greatly simplifying my choices! How kind of you.)An author whose work I enjoy more than her politics wrote the above on her blog. While cancer isn't something I would wish on anyone, and the economics of health insurance are definitely complex, this particular pair of ideas placed so close together demonstrate such a dramatic lack of self-awareness that I felt it warranted comment.Did it never cross her mind that, having just gone through significant and expensive health care treatments, her employer may have been feeling the financial pinch of raised healthcare rates or (if they self-insure for their employee's medical costs) that her own health care costs had a direct impact on the company's bottom line?Evidently not even enough to feel a little gratitude towards a company that just in the last year or so paid for the cancer treatments that saved her life. […]

  • Brian Says:

    Much could be said about “Cause & Effect”‘s comment. Here are a few points:

    Should Rosemary feel gratitude for being provided cancer treatment?

    People take a job because the benefit they receive is worth more than the time they give up. One of those benefits is the health package. If her company had not offered such a package, they would not have been able to secure Rosemary’s services. Thus the health benefits she received were what she was owed. No gratitude was necessary. It’s like Rosy pays a grocer $1 for an orange. She doesn’t feel gratitude when the grocer hands over the orange. Rather she would feel outrage if he didn’t.

    Did the company lose money because of Rosemary’s cancer?

    “Cause & Effect” discusses the financial impact if the company self-insures. No small companies self-insure unless they are owned by billionaires. If they did, a single catastrophic claim could cause them to go out of business.

    In the case that the company has insurance, “Cause & Effect” is concerned that its premiums would go up due to Rosemary’s illness. This would not happen. Insurance companies pool the claim experience from multiple small companies and set rates accordingly. In the aggregate, the number of claims stays roughly the same from year to year. The cost of Rosemary’s treatment had no impact on the company’s bottom line.

    Does Rosemary lack self awareness?

    It is clear from what she wrote that Rosemary feels bitter towards the company. The context for this can be gleaned from her previous posts. In summary: the company told her they valued loyalty, and gave her a loyalty award after she had been there five years. In retrospect, Rosemary learned that this was a one-way street, when the company fired her without any notice or any severance pay after ten years of service. The firing itself was done in a mean spirited and cowardly way. Doing it right before Christmas meant that the company didn’t have to pay Rosemary for two holidays. And her craven boss took the day off so that Personnel would have to do the firing.

    Rosemary’s recognition that she has been treated shabbily demonstrates splendid self-awareness.

    I checked the link back to “Cause & Effect”‘s website. It seems he is a Libertarian. Libertarians have a reputation for making blanket condemnations based on floating abstractions that have no tie to reality. “Cause & Effect” is firmly rooted in this tradition.