If you want to be happy for the rest of your life…

…marry a geek girl. At least, if you’re an author trying to make it in the Indie world. Over the last month my wife Beth has done a fabulous job as she has taken on my publicist/marketer role. I’m probably going to miss some of the things she’s done but here are a few:

Twitter – she’s built up a Twitter following that had an obvious and measurable impact on sales. The impact did decline for a bit but has now started to pick back up as (I presume) her net widens.

Facebook – she has updated and kept my author page current, and frequently posts as “me” to free me up to write and do other things.

Web site – she has created a new and better web site for me at http://www.davidvandykeauthor.com, and has linked everything so it all works, as well as getting Amazon Associates to work so we make a little extra for sales through our own site.

CreateSpace – she hasn’t quite cracked the code on this but is determined to learn how to load my books on CreateSpace POD so we can have hardcopies. Physical books can be useful for a lot of things – giving to people that have not gone digital, giveaways, book signings, promos in local brick-and-mortar shops, and just to feel like it’s all real.

Other booksellers than Amazon – we are branching beyond KDP as the books come off Select, and she has loaded onto Bestindiebookstore and Kobo so far, and will be working on B&N and Smashwords next I believe. Losing Select will lose the free promo (which I think has become counterproductive) and the borrows (which amount to about 7% of sales) but I think in the long run will reach far more audience.

Other web sites that do author profiles and reviews the names of which I can’t even remember.

All of that in a month or perhaps five weeks. She’s a keeper!

But what effect, you ask, has all that had on anything? Because as an author that wants to make living doing this, at the end of the day it’s about sales. So you be the judge, here’s my sales stats over the past months (in book numbers, not dollars):

Aug 81
Sept 126
Oct 151
Nov 129
Dec 254

Just by those numbers you can imagine my December elation especially after the drop in November. So Bravo for Beth, she’s done a fabulous job and if ever there was a testimony to the old saw “behind every successful man there’s a woman” then this is it.

But what about writing, Dave? I knew you were going to ask that, so here it is: I’ve got 10K words done for my novella “First Conquest” that will be coming out in March if all goes as planned, as a joint project with the mil-sci-fi authors BV Larson and Vaughn Heppner. I am not sure what the title of the book will be: a similar thing they did before was called “Five by Five,” perhaps this will be “Three by Three,” or perhaps it will be “Five by Five #2” if Larson gets another couple of guys on board. The “Five by Five” has a military cachet to it, as it’s radio code for “loud and clear” as in “I read you five by five.” The theme for the book will be “Planetary Invasion” and my novella will be set around one hundred years in the Plague Wars future, as humans make their first conquest of a Meme star system. Those who have read Plague Wars will enjoy seeing some familiar characters including Jill and Spooky, and some new ones that are nevertheless related to the old – children of some other characters, for example.

As soon as I finish drafting the novella, I will begin work on the fifth Plague Wars book, though I am beginning to regret that series title since the plagues have more or less been dealt with and we have moved into the realm of the military. This fifth book is tentatively titled “Comes The Destroyer” and will cover the nine years since the end of Orion Plague until the Meme invade the solar system. I am not sure whether there will be a sixth book or if I will just use the novella to launch a new series of pure mil-sci-fi space opera kind of books.

So Happy New Year everyone, let’s hope and pray that all good wishes will come true.

-David VanDyke http://www.davidvandykeauthor.com

One comment on “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life…

  1. It’s always nice to see sales numbers rising, gives you a sense of doing something right anyway. Must be nice to have someone that is tech-competent on hand, have to admit I’m not competent myself and the only thing I will allow my husband to do is turn on the light in the office. My solution is to *adopt* a techie kid on occasion.

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