Sunday, December 30, 2012

This and That

Last update for 2012 - hard to believe that 2013 is literally right around the corner. It will take me a few weeks to get used to typing 2013 or writing it but by time I start attending events, I should be able to handle it - lol.

Sales have been slow all year but I can't complain because I have had some sales. I would have loved to have seen twice or three times my actual sales, but there is always next year. Hopefully with new stories coming out, my sales will increase.  I wish I knew someone who could do covers fairly inexpensively for both print and ebooks since I'm working on making Kelly and Emma into a series.

What I've decided to do  is open the series to 4th through 8th graders who would like to see a new story featuring Kelly and Emma, keeping in the tradition of Nancy Drew or any other type of mystery on those lines.  I created a flyer and sent to about 30 or  more  elementary and middle schools asking for students who would like to have their story idea published to submit a 1-page synopsis of a story with a title that they would like to see turned into a novel.  If their idea is chosen, they will receivea signed copy of Finally Home plus a signed copy of their story when it is published.  In addition, their school will receive a signed copy of Finally Home plus the student's story when it is published.  It is possible that I could give away over 60 copies of Finally Home.  Mr. Hughes said it best that this sounds like good publicity for me.  I hope most of the schools participate.  I decided the other day, while chatting with Mr. Hughes, that I would probably pick one story from each school that participates.

This writing event is open to homeschoolers as well, so if you know any students who are in the age range and would like to participate, please pass this information on so that they have an opportunity to participate.  The writing contest ends January 31, 2013, so there is plenty of time to submit ideas.  If you would like your student's school to participate, please send me the school librarian's contact information so I can email the information to her and she can pass it on to all the schools. 

The red, white and blue afghan drawing was great. I didn't really count how many entries I had but it had to be well over 300 (considering two sales in November ended up with 35 and 40 entries).  I will keep the cost of the tickets down to 2/$1 and with every book purchase 5 tickets given.  The winner of the afghan was local and she was so surprised and very appreciative of winning.  I know with the cold weather that the afghan has probably been  used a good bit this month.

I think I have a premade cover for "Butterfly Halves" so hope to be able to get the cover next week and publish it as an ebook.  I will be on the lookout for a premade (inexpensive) cover for "La Cave" and "Zombies Amuck" throughout the year plus covers for new stories in the Kelly Watson series.  The state books are on hold for now since I can't pay Heather for the covers, illustrations and book designs.  I'd love to get back to them but until my sales are up to 500 print runs of each title, it's hard to pay her.  I've not forgotten her but she has probably written me off and I may need to look for a new illustrator for the state stories. I'd love to pick  up a sponsor for those books so that all I would have to do is write the stories and then shoot them over to Heather to do her illustrations and the covers and get everything ready to go (by having a sponsor, I would be able to pay her immediately and not have to worry about  it).   I'll keep working on this aspect of the state stories and hope something good turns up this year.

On the sales front, I averaged 28 books sold per quarter, selling a total of 112 books which covered both ebooks available and print books available.  Compared to 2011, I almost doubled sales. If I can double sales in 2013, that will be a step in the right direction.  My best month was November when I sold 18 books total (3 of Finally Home and 2 of each of the state titles save 4 of Successes plus 1 copy of "Train of Clues"). I will need to order some more of "Train of Clues" and Finally Home to start building my stock again as I am running low on both of those.  I'll have to do an inventory so that I can start getting my state stories up in stock as well but I'm pretty good as far as what I do have available right now.

I did sell one of  the Carolina (USC) colored scarves; two of the Clemson (University) colored scarves and no other scarves or afghans this year.  I ended up giving three of the afghans away to my kids for Christmas, so I still have 5 afghans available. I need to restock yarn for the bookworms and get those done before March so that I have a ton of bookworms going into the event season. 

March is the SCASL conference and then I have to decide where to go from there.  So here's to a good year and hopefully a spike in sales - See you all in the postings and hope you have a safe and blessed New Year celebration - Mrs. E :)


Susanne Drazic said...

CONGRATS on this year's book sales. I hope 2013 is all you hope it will be. Happy New Year!

elysabeth said...

Thanks, Susanne. Hoping this year sees tons of sales and new outlets. Working on making the characters from Finally Home a series. Hope you and yours have a great new year. E :)