Saturday, January 14, 2012

On A Turning Point

So, Wolfhound has been doing pretty well lately.

To be honest, that's kind of an understatement. December was about twice as profitable as we had expected, and as of right now, we've already passed the dancing-in-the-street threshold for January. We've gotten six different reviews from people with really positive comments, which is always encouraging, and made it pretty solidly onto three of Amazon's bestseller list categories which will probably help us continue to sell. Plus, we've even managed to put together the Smashwords version of the book! The one thing we haven't been able to deal with has been advertising--I've been so busy trying to keep my writing schedule that ads and stuff have taken kind of a low priority over writing itself--but I guess that can be expected when I've got a full time job to worry about and a family to help. Hopefully at a future date I can make the whole ad thing work, but for now we are doing good!

I suppose that in a lot of ways we've now reached a turning point because as of now, Wolfhound has repaid our initial investment in the book. The copy edit and everything else is now paid for. Anything we make from here on forward is pure profit. On top of that, we've managed not to just rest on our laurels. We're now about to publish a second book, which might possibly grow just as fast as the first one did, which means that in a couple of months they might be both paid back. We've become profitable as a small business! I didn't expect to reach that point until next year. It's incredible.

Of course, this means we're going to have to adjust our expectations going forward. My standards of success have been kind of inflated, and I'm wondering if that means I'm going to face a few disappointments later on. Still, it will be worth it to see this opportunity go forward. What's life without a little risk, right?

I just want to thank you guys for all of your support. It's been a great ride so far, and it's only going to get better from here! See you around.


  1. That's awesome! Congratulations on your success. It's quite a feat to get on any bestseller list, so to get on three at the same time is quite a staggering feat. Aren't you glad you indie published? ;)

    Out of curiosity, what do you think is driving your sales? Are you or Emily doing something behind the scenes, or is this all just the momentum snowballing after an initial push?

  2. There isn't anything in particular that we are doing behind the scenes. I'm half convinced that the success of Wolfhound is mostly just plain dumb luck--which I'm really, really hoping does not run out anytime soon.

    There are a few things that we did to kind of push the odds in our favor, though. We're priced low enough to be in the 'impulse buy' zone, but high enough to enjoy the 70% bonus, which I think helps. At the back of Wolfhound, we've also stuck in the blurbs for the next three books we've planned, Hector Kingsley, Iron Angels, and the sequel to Wolfhound, Badger. I kind of copied that idea from the Baen Star Wars books, which always had blurbs from other Star Wars books at the back. I think that lets the readers know that there are books on the way, so even if I only have one, there's a publishing schedule that they don't have to check my blog for (which they haven't. Even with our numbers, my blog gets like five people in a day if I'm lucky). Having a sequel come so close on the heels of the first book probably won't hurt either. If they really liked Wolfhound, they can feel good about recommending it to other people because book two is coming out this summer--not some time in the distant future, Robert Jordan/George RR Martin/Patrick Rothfuss style.

    Other than those things, I don't know of anything else we've done. Outside of a handful of interviews, we haven't done any advertising whatsoever, which is something I'm kind of worried about actually. We are up on the LDS Publishers blog, but I don't know how much that has helped.

    I don't know if any of this is stuff you can use--or if you even want to use it, I'm betting there as many ways of doing this career as there are indie authors--but I hoped this half-baked rundown of our strategy helps. Here's hoping our publishing schedule doesn't break me in half like a fragile toothpick! See you around!