July Saleswanking

Spreadsheet of dooooom!  Clicky for legible, if you’re so inclined.

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 7.45.25 AM

So, for perspective’s sake, July 2014 had thirteen sales.  So 240 is better.  Best month ever, in fact; first one to break 200 downloads, and that by a decent margin.  And that’s even with my first 0 day in, like, two months!  It’s even still a record if I completely discount the sales from during InConJunction, which is kind of insane.  Hell, even if I don’t count the vaguely ridiculous 170 I got from openbooks.com, there’s still 70 spread out everywhere else.  At this rate I should break 1000 for the year sometime in August unless I crater next month.  Which hopefully won’t happen.

If I’ve got a complaint (and “complaint” isn’t really the right word) it’s that the lion’s share of my downloads are still not making me anything.  I had 170 from OB and another 38 (which also represents a record) from Smashwords, all of which were from Benevolence Archives.  Meaning that of the 240 only 32 actually involved money changing hands– not even fifteen percent.   The plan has always been that eventually the folks downloading BA for free will come looking for my other books– and the other big thing this month is that everything is available on Smashwords now, so it’s easier to find my nonfree books than it was in June.  (Sanctum still hasn’t popped on the other sites; I’m still trying to iron out some issues with the table of contents, but that should be fixed in the next couple of days.)

It’ll be interesting to see if I get some sales through Smashwords this month; historically that hasn’t worked very well.  Amazon’s been basically a dead zone all month, with a total of eight sales.

Actually, one more minor disappointment; I figured putting BA 1 into print would pick up at least a handful of sales and it hasn’t.  That one sale was to me.  But it’s in print so that I have it available at conventions, so… whatever.  I’ll live.

Oh: as an experiment, I dropped $30 or $35 into a Twitter promotion on my birthday and it got me nothing.  Lesson learned: never do that again.

Onward and upward, y’all.  We’ll see if I can beat some more records in August.

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I would not have expected that hearing about the death of Rowdy Roddy Piper would hit me quite this hard.  But it has.  I’m genuinely upset right now.

Is it too much to hope that he’s saying that to St. Peter right now?

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In which that’s not fair at all

So, see that fortune cookie in the post before this one?  It’s from yesterday.  We had Chinese last night.

I’m going through the blog in search of material for Malumba right now.

Check this bullshit out.

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b6937021It’s been interesting, over the last several days, going through literally every single post of my previous blog in search of material for Searching for Malumba.  My previous blog started in 2004 and finally petered out in 2009 or so, with a brief revival before moving to this space a couple of years ago.

I was really really angry during those years.  Like, all the time.  This isn’t a revelation to me, mind you; it was the Bush years, and I have not forgotten what those years were like, but getting the compiled output of my brain for five straight years of that nonsense– plus a year or so of startled relief toward the end after Obama’s election– all dumped into my brain at once has been a little sobering.  I also had a horrible job for a good chunk of that time that didn’t help at all.  Right now I’m just compiling these posts, but once I start actually rewriting and editing I will be removing a lot more profanity from the earlier posts than I will from the newer ones.

(I won’t be removing all the profanity, mind you, which will make my book a bit atypical in the “teacher memoir” genre.  Most of those books are sanitized for the delicate sensibilities of the elderly kindergarten teacher.  I will not be doing that.  My policy on profanity for The Benevolence Archives has always been to remove about half of it on second pass, and I’ll be following more or less the same policy for Searching for Malumba.  I’m considering putting a parental advisory sticker on the cover.  I need to find out if that image is copyrighted or not.)*

Actually, speaking of copyright, the other thing I need to do is contact William Carlos Williams’ estate and see if I can get permission to reprint This is Just to Say in the book, because one of my favorite pieces is about that poem and it won’t work if I can’t actually include the poem.  I’d quote it, but it’s only about 50 words long, so “excerpt” becomes “reprint half of it” really quickly.

Anyway.  The image, in case you’re wondering, was one of my favorites from that time.  I have no idea if I found it that way or if I added the speech bubble, but either way I cracked up and immediately saved it once I found it.

CLMZjQ7UkAEYTNj.jpg-largeI’m starting to Sunday a bit, I think.  I haven’t gotten a single callback for an interview all summer despite applying for several jobs that I’m perfectly qualified (if not actually ideal) for.  I’ve told my principal I’ll be back at school on Monday; the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stuff we ordered at the end of the school year is currently strewn in boxes throughout the building and it will take at least a week to get through everything in anything resembling a coherent fashion.  I still have one solid chance at a position that will keep me out of the classroom but I don’t know how much I should get my hopes up, especially since it comes with its own baggage anyway.

If I get the other job I intend to keep looking for other work, because it’ll be a job I can quit midyear without screwing anything up too badly.  If I’m in the classroom… I don’t know.  My wife insists that I need to keep looking even if I’m teaching.  I don’t know if I can quit on a group of kids partway through the school year.  And you never know; I used to like teaching quite a lot, and I’ve been reading lots of stuff about liking teaching.  It might end up being a good year.  I might not want to leave.  But one way or another this has to be my last year with this district.  Cold reality is starting to creep up in a way that has nothing to do with me and I need to be gone before all the rats flee the ship.

Actually, that’s not true.  I still love teaching, if by “teaching” you mean “helping other people to understand things.”  It’s everything else about teaching that I hate.  All the non-teaching stuff is awful and gets worse every single year.  Entertainingly, the IDOE is commissioning some sort of group to figure out why nobody seems to want teaching licenses in Indiana anymore.  It’s been fun, because every article I’ve seen about it has been swarmed by teachers going “Are you kidding?  You need to ask?”

The reason no one wants to teach in Indiana anymore is that the laws and policies passed by the Indiana legislature over the last dozen years or so are having their intended effect.  This is exactly what they wanted, and no one anywhere has any right to pretend to be surprised.

So.  Yeah.  Plenty to do today; I just need to decide if I want to focus on fiction, nonfiction, getting my head back on straight, or getting my house back under control.  Only a few more days before my time gets substantially restricted again.


(* Answer:  No!  It’s basically just text and as such is ineligible for copyright.  At least according to Wikipedia.  So I probably will be including it, because doing so entertains me.)**

(** Slightly more complicated than that, but it still looks like it’s free so long as I file the proper paperwork.)

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My knees declared war on the rest of me last night as I was trying to grout the floor in the bathroom.  I had actually bought knee pads for the occasion but apparently my legs are bigger than I thought they were and even the XL size were just big enough to technically fit, if by “fit” I mean “be incredibly painful, and not solve that glass-marble-pressing-into-the-side-of-my-kneecap thing that’s been happening lately.”

I took enough ibuprofen to kill a horse before I went to bed last night, and then refused to even entertain the idea of getting out of bed today before four digits were visible on the clock next to me.  Then the power went out in my neighborhood, rendering me unable to do basically anything I’d wanted to do with my day at all, since the bathroom lacks windows and external light.

So I sat around and read on my Kindle, finishing Katherine Lampe’s The Unquiet Grave in the process, a book that I five-starred on Goodreads upon finishing it and which I’ll talk more about later.

Bathroom will be finished soon.  You’ll get pictures then.  No more until it’s done, or at least this phase is done.  This phase doesn’t include lighting, though, so the bathroom’s still gonna look a bit weird until we get that fixed.

Other than that, I’m taking a mulligan on today.  Hopefully tomorrow will be less filled with pain and more productive.

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