Real Numbers from an Indie Publisher

If you are an indie writer, you might be like me and feel that all indie writers are bringing in at least 50K a year. Part of the problem is the only people posting numbers are the super successful. But I’m going to keep it real. If you are not even close to a four figure yearly income from your books, much more a five figure income, this blog is for you.

I’m at three figures! Of course, it’s gross and not net, but hey, I’ll take it. Since June, I’ve wanted to sit down and look over the sales figures, but I also didn’t want to do it because June was so bad. But July was good once again, so I took a peek.

My seven month publishing numbers:

Published 9 works and 86,500 words.

Republished one work with a new cover and added fractals.

Designed and created 4 covers.

Sold 223 books which is a book a day average.

Made almost $250 in royalties.

The disappointments:

Though sales and downloads for my billionaire serial started strong, they fizzled for the last two episodes. The blog readership for the pen name was steady, so I have to wonder if readers quit buying and started reading for free on the blog. I also sunk a lot of time and money into a picture book for the series, and it didn’t bring new readers as hoped for.

The surprises:

My holiday series has had steady interest despite the only holidays in the series right now are fall holidays. An even bigger surprise is the first episode of my slipstream romance is my third best seller.


I’m going to keep at it. I was pretty upset at the end of June, but after taking a few steps back I see that I’m having some successes. I’m hopeful that the next holiday books will have good releases.

How is your writing year going? I’d love to hear your ups and downs!


Spark Tally!

So how did your week wrap up?

More photo editing for me. Yesterday I redid the first chapter without text. Today I worked on the second chapter. Still no voice for the book, which is distressing. Maybe after I get the layout down the words will come.

I saw exciting news today that I wanted to pass on. Some of you may recall that I have a short story in the anthology A Kepler’s Dozen. The editors are doing a new collection!

If you want to read more about it, check out David Lee Summers Blog. I’m going to try to put romance aside enough to get one submission in, but it’ll be tough. I hope you guys submit too!

Here’s a clip to whet your interest:

Three years later, the number of planets has literally exploded and we find ourselves looking at a proverbial wild west. So, we want to continue exploring what Kepler’s worlds might be like by telling stories of the rugged men and women who either might explore those worlds, or might come exploring Earth from those worlds. The anthology is tentatively titled Kepler’s Cowboys and you can click here for the detailed guidelines. Submissions will open on June 15, 2016 and we’ll remain open until we’ve filled the anthology.

Tomorrow I’ll draw a name from the commentors this week to give away a $5 gift card to Amazon or Starbucks. Post your progress today for a chance to win. Whatever it is you’re working on. Like me you may not have a word count, but I’d love to hear about your project.



Happy New Year!


Yes, I am alive :) Sorry It’s been a month since I’ve posted. Julie was in town for a lovely long visit, plus the usual holiday stuff kept me away.

How is everyone’s writing going? Have you kicked off your goals for 2016?

I got together with my publishing team and plotted out what I’m publishing in 2016. Unfortunately, it’s all under my pen name so I can build up that audience and money. I do plan on writing more in the fairy tale series I started with Rapunzel: Stay at Home Mom, but I think I’ve mentioned that to do that the way I want will take a lot of money for the illustrations.

I will be publishing some fantasy romance under the pen name this year. If you’re curious about those stories, just drop me a line and I’ll tell you about them.

So what does that mean for Enchanted Spark? My plan is to do Monday blogs still. I have one about endings I’ve wanted to get up for awhile now and some blogs about what it feels like to be writing consistently. I also would like you guys to guest blog for me. There’s about half a dozen of you who post comments regularly. Some of the comments are real gems about the writing process, but I fear they get lost to the casual reader who skims through the main posts. So you can either raise your hand via sending me an email about a post you’d like to do, or you can wait for me to call on you like a teacher in class 😉 Seriously, though, I’d like this to become a blog where you guys contribute and it feels more like a discussion group.

When we plotted out what we’re publishing in 2016, Julie said that I had about three years worth of stuff coming out in one year. She’s right, but as an indie writer I think it’s really important to keep my name visible as much as possible. Being on the New Release list on some sites is a really good way to do that. That means I’m going to be writing a lot. I want to hit 15,000 word counts consistently each week. Something that helps me stay on track is bragging about how much I’ve done or shamefully posting that I’m still at zero for the week. So I’m bringing back mid-week Spark Checks on Wednesdays and posting Spark Tally every Saturday. I hope you join me! And if you’re new, please pipe in!

That’s all for today. Please post your writing goals in the comments below and come back Wednesday for Spark Check!


Rapunzel Blurb

Happy Monday!

It was a busy weekend for me. My husband and I formatted Rapunzel: Stay at Home Mom for Kindle, Nook and PDF. I’ve been pretty worried about getting the graphics to show up, but that ended up being no problem at all. If you decide to go into the self-publishing business, I highly recommend the formatting program Jutoh. It’s a fair price, and for the grief I think it saves, actually a bargain.

When we published the novel under my pen name back in October, everything was frantic because of my insane deadline. We were formatting it a day before it was due to be published. This time we have the luxury of catching more mistakes and getting it just right before publication. There is still a little bit of insanity because Julie and I are also currently editing the next romance under my pen name. Skiing is a part of the romance and I told her soon she would be seeing Rapunzel swooping down the slopes with her hair streaming behind her.

Rapunzel, however, is not a romance. As is tradition with fairy tales, I’ve changed it to suit the times and am using it to exaggerate parenting issues today. Here’s the blurb:

Shut away from the world as a child, Rapunzel is now obsessed with the safety of her own children. When she locks her kids in a castle tower, her husband decides it’s time Rapunzel had a day off at Sleeping Beauty’s Spa. But the path to the spa is perilous, culminating in a confrontation with her fairy witch mother. Should Rapunzel have stayed safe in the tower after all?

The countdown is on! Only twelve days until publication on January 31. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!


Spark Tally, Publishing Strategy and Secret Desire

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about a publishing strategy that was new to me: writing on smart phones. I got a little side tracked ranting about the story written on a smart phone that’s being published in the US, but I thought the strategy was definitely an interesting one. For people who have crazy busy jobs and still have the urge to create, it seems ideal. It was no surprise to me to find out cell phone novels originated in Japan where they are crazy busy from midschool on (at least according to anime).

Today’s strategy is much more of a long game than phone novels, but it has a higher payout: becoming a politician.

I’m surprised I didn’t see the political road before. Every election I want to run for office because no politician knows how to run the education system. The simple fact is politicians are more often lawyers and never educators. It doesn’t matter what side is in office, none of them have a clue.

But I’m getting sidetracked. Julie even bought me a book about campaigning, which I’m sure will be used as research for a novel, but now I may use it to run for office since it seems like an awesome route to a book deal.

The idea came to me when I was watching Alpha House, a show about four senators sharing a house in DC. At the end of the second season, some are hoping to hang on to their seats while others are being rocketed to presidential contenders. Two of them talk about writing books and one quickly lands a deal. When I looked up the reality of the situation, publishers seem to love politicians. Just this year, NY Governor Cuomo signed a book deal, and Senator Ted Cruz from Texas signed a book deal for 1.5 million dollars. His deal beat out the record held by Sarah Palin at 1.25 million. These aren’t even presidents or former presidents.

It’s clear I need to run for Governor of NM and use the election to push my romance books. If nothing else, I think the attention could land me on the Colbert Report even when he takes over from David Letterman. Erotic Romance Author Runs for Office. But Colbert is a huge LotR fan, so maybe it would be better to publish my fantasy books and push those when I run for office. My secret goal for several years has been to become a popular enough author to get invited onto his show. Man, I don’t believe I didn’t think of this before.

Of course, it takes huge amounts of money to run for office so I need to sell a lot before I can run…

Anyway, my word count for the week is zero again, but I did work. I read through my next novel to be published and sent it off to my editor. Now I have to prep myself for it’s return. I also interviewed a former bank manager for a character. Does anyone know a former sniper I could interview? I’m totally serious. If you do, please email me: Otherwise I will just have to watch Top Shot again. Not quite the same, but fun.

How many words did you write this week? Please let me know! And what political office would you run for?

Spark Tally Saturday!!

Sorry I didn’t get this up yesterday. It has been a crazy few weeks and we ramped it up for the final push. We got my first novel published today!!! Hooray! It’s under a pen name and I’m really excited about it. There’s still a lot of marketing to do, but getting the file ready was a ton of work. But it looks gorgeous thanks to my husband, and has great editing thanks to Julie.

I wrote 4000 words in edition to all the other work. It’s been crazy.

How did you do?