First day of fall today, supposedly. Not that I could tell; it was goddamn near 90 outside, the hottest day in weeks. We’ve had a couple of mild summers in a row around here, which is good since I’m incapable of handling heat.
Trying to decide what I ought to do next. Tales: The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 3 is out next Tuesday, and can still be pre-ordered digitally for $2.99 or– sssh, don’t tell anyone— bought in print for $8.99. Unless you’re a Prime member, the book’s not getting to you before the 26th, so we’ll call it day-and-date and not worry about it. In general, presale numbers have not been making me happy. My presales have gone up with every book until this one, but with four days until release BA 3 has fewer presales than anything else I’ve released so far. I’ll take the blame for a good chunk of that; I haven’t had the time or energy to invest into properly marketing the thing, and it doesn’t help that blog traffic has looked like this for a while now:
Now, 2015 is a little unrepresentative– a single post was good for over a hundred thousand of those hits, and there’s still a few months left in 2017, but the overall downward trend is pretty evident. My twitter feed has been locked in at about 10K followers for over a year now, and nothing I can do will move the numbers. And the books aren’t selling very well, and aren’t getting reviews at all. I just fiddled around in KNP’s sales dashboard to generate a useful graph, but just picture a line dwindling to near-zero several months ago and staying there, other than a brief blip when Balremesh came out. Presales on that were good, but it appears that everyone who wanted it pre-ordered it. I’d blame the occasional free weekend, but my sales were shit before I put everything back on Kindle Select again, so nothing’s changed in that regard.
This is starting to sound like a Goodbye Cruel World sort of post, and maybe it should be, but it’s mostly me casting around trying to figure out how to shake things up in my life. Being an author is important to me, but I don’t think I can really go back to doing that until I figure out a way to not be a furniture salesman anymore– I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all these sales downturns started hitting when I stopped teaching, and got seriously bad when I started at my current job. The blog traffic predates that, yeah, but it’s kinda tough to surpass a year where you have a single post get 39,000 shares on Facebook.
And then there’s the question of the Next Book, and whether I should even try to start the next book right now, or focus on fixing everything else before I worry about that. It’ll probably be me going back to the Skylights universe and trying to nail the sequel to that book properly, but there’s another book bouncing around in my head trying to get out that doesn’t fit in with any of my established universes and might be fun to write. But I’ve kind of liked the last few weekends where I’m not stressing about whether I’m writing all the time, so maybe I need a break. I dunno.