It’s that time again when I look back over the past year to see what I achieved and then to look forward to where I want to be in another years time.
I had high hopes for 2021 from an events perspective but when the year started with three cancellations I wasn’t going into the latter part with much hope. I also wanted to make a big dent with my work in the weather apocalypse series, now codenamed The Purple Rain series, plus I aimed to release the two novellas, Beginning of the End, and Capital Action and also get what is now called The Gemini Assignment out to readers.
All of this I achieved. But not everything I wanted to do went to plan. One of my main aims was to upscale advertising and therefore sales for the IN THE END series. The opposite happened. With sales falling and the impending fear of how Apple’s privacy changes were going to effect advertising cost, I pulled the plug. This at first seemed okay, with the after effect of the advertising carrying my sales and profit for four months, but then reality set in and sales fell with it.
I’d also hoped to find my mojo with advertising the Agent Carrie Harris series, which although I have made good progress on, including changing the covers, I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be with understanding where the readers are and where I could engage with them. With that in mind I started a new facebook group, The Ops Centre, I’ve been neglecting it for a little while, but with more interviews coming up, I hope to give it more energy to help it grow.
Events eventually turned our pretty well, with a decent response to my zombie books, and then again to the redesigned covers for Agent Carrie Harris, I go into the 2022 with a great optimism. Perhaps the in-person market is where the Carrie Harris books will flourish.
In May I started a fan club, and with 1,800 members it surely must be counted as a success. It is a place I can post and converse with friends, I can try out different things and just have fun. Most of them are fans of the apocalypse and have read IN THE END so this really will come into its own when I release the first in my new series.
My mailing list grew so big I had to move it to a cheaper (and better) service. It’s still not my most effective channel but I’m still working on getting it there with list swaps to introduce new authors to my list and for them to introduce me.
I also sell my own t-shirts now! Who would have thought it and although sales are not out of this world, every little helps and it’s somewhere else I can grow the brand.
I released the zombie series as a boxed set on ebook, which sells okay, acting as an alternative way for those who want to get more value and are willing to take the risk on an entire series in one go.
2021 IN NUMBERS
Figure show units for 2021 against 2020.
Ebook & Paperback Sales = 2,007 (Down by a third)
Kindle Unlimited Page Reads = 893,000 (Up by 12%)
Audiobook Sales = 756 (Up by 10%)
Paid book sales total = 5,315 (Down by 10%)
In 2020 my sales increased ten fold from 2019 and this year my sales were 10% down on 2020, but my gross profit doubled. If things keep going the way they are, it’s not looking great for 2022, but we’ll see.
LOOKING TO 2022
I’m heading into this next year with two clear objectives. The main one is to get the new series first book out in the first half of the year and I’m in a strong position to make that happen. If I can get the draft finished in the next three months, I should be looking at an end of Q2 release.
My second objective is to complete a half-decent draft of the IN THE END standalone book. Although I think I have an excellent story to tell, and it’s already mostly outlined, the choice of this being my next writing focus is purely because I think it will sell and it will also help sell the existing books as well.
Other goals include releasing the second in the James Fisher series, the sequel to FATE’S AMBITION, but the other projects must come first. I hope to have a strong year for the events and depending on how they go will determine if I make bookings for an even more significant schedule for 2023. I want to know if I ever go full time, could the events be a way of supporting my writing in the long term, or is the time better spent on actually writing more books. I love attending the events, but the jury is still out as to whether they financially make sense.
I also want to outline a possible new novella for Agent Carrie Harris, perhaps to replace Capital Action, which is not leading to read through despite the numbers given away / purchased. In the meantime I will write some short Facebook sharable fiction to see if I can drive interest.
Of course I will continue searching for the golden ticket when it comes to marketing, I may pick up Facebook ads again, but for now I plan to concentrate on the AMS ads and developing my list with swaps. Ultimately I want this coming year to be about writing and not getting hung up on selling books.
As this blog can be a bit of a distraction from my writing and ultimately doesn’t provide any income, I’m thinking about making the blog post every other week. No decision has been made yet.
Well, I think that about covers everything. I’ll be back next year. Have a great time, however you plan to celebrate and comments and suggestions are welcome as always.
Whew, great GJ. It sounds like a very productive year.
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