Michael Haskins

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ego Vs Bank Account

I closed out my scheduled book signing of “Free Range Institution” Thursday of last week at the North Palm Beach Library. Diana Kirby from the library introduced me to the

small, but enthusiastic gathering.

It has been a long two-month road trip and the turn out was always less than expected, even at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I spent Thursday & Friday in Deerfield Beach since I had to attend the Saturday board meeting of the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

Friday gave me time to think over the book signings. The crowds were less, but each store had books for me to sign that were sold from its website or to a store regular that couldn’t make it. That was good. Usually about half those in attendance bought books.

I am not going to get rich or even meet costs from book signings. What I hope is that name recognition will build and maybe by book four or five the sales will be better and attendance at signings will grow.

While on the road, I checked my Kindle sales for “Chasin’ the Wind,” “Tijuana Weekend” and short stories. The sales increased after my ad in Kindle Nation in March. In April I had more than $300 due in my back account and the sales are continuing to look good in May.

The $100 ad certainly paid for itself and then some.

My next book, “Car Wash Blues,” is due out in August 2012. I am working on the fourth in my series, “Stairway to the Bottom,” and hope to be finished by the end of the year. I am seriously thinking of publishing it on Kindle.

Having the hardback edition of my book on my bookshelf or held in my hands is certainly a great feeling. It boosts my ego but not my bank account! The last I looked, gas stations and supermarkets didn’t accepted boosted ego in payment for overpriced gas and/or food.

I have two Mick Murphy novels I wrote in Mexico (“Tijuana Weekend” being the third, but is already on Kindle) and I am thinking of beginning to rewrite them soon for Kindle. I also have a short story or two in mind and might write one of them in hopes that The Saturday Evening Post will accept it. Of course, I always hope Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine will be interested in my short stories. The Post wants stories less than 5,000 words, while EQMM lets me write up to 10,000 words.

If my Kindle sales average$250 a month for a year, it doubles what my publisher’s advance was. Also, if I own the book that is on Kindle I can have Amazon’s CreateSpace issue trade paperback copies for sales, so my ego will be somewhat appeased and I will have copies to sign in bookstores.

Mike J (www.writeonthewater.blogspot.com) has said, in writing on thd blog and in talking to me, that the more books available on Kindle improves your chance for more sales. So, if I add the two “lost novels” written in Mexico to my Kindle/CreateSpace lists, my sales should be better than $250 a month. Maybe double?

Before I can do anything, I need to finish “Stairway to the Bottom,” and get back into the daily writing mode. After two months away it is not as easy as it should be.

By the end of this week I will be back to writing in the morning, reading in the early afternoon, and editing what I’ve written before dinner – I hope. My evenings will be set aside for the battle between ego and checking account. Am not sure which one I hope wins, but one of them will.


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