Saleswanking 2019, and Writing 2020

Don’t worry, this will be brief, because there’s not a whole damn lot to talk about: I sold exactly 114 books in 2019, 91 of which were in person and a whopping 23 on Amazon. I had no new releases of any kind this year. I intended to spend most of the summer broadening the places where my books were available (I went off KDP forever ago, so I’ve been Amazon-exclusive with no real benefits for it since then) and working on a new novel (I have three in various stages of not-finished) but the Ongoing Medical Calamity derailed the fuck out of that. I’ve written some microfictions and maybe a couple of short stories this year over at Patreon and that’s it. I went to … three cons, I think? Four? Kokomo-Con, InConjunction, ConGlomeration, and Hall of Heroes con. So four. I know I canceled at least two because of the Calamity, and right now I’m only scheduled for one in 2020– Indy Popcon, which was one of the two I cancelled last summer.

I said this yesterday, and let me repeat it: there is no risk– none– of the blog going anywhere, because it’s too important to my ongoing mental health even before you get to the part where I like writing here. But for the first time in several years I’m thinking about deliberately hitting pause on calling myself an independent author for a while. I’ve mostly been ignoring my books on here except for the occasional Station Identification post on the weekends and the static links on the right; I may as well put them back on KDP if I’m not going to do the legwork necessary to have them available all over the place. I don’t write a lot of fiction any longer because with everything going on in my life I haven’t had the mental space for it, and I require an enormous amount of headspace to be able to write fiction. Nonfiction? Blog posts? Dead easy. But I don’t like writing fiction, and I never have– what I like is having written fiction, which is an amazing high that unfortunately requires me to spend hours pulling teeth first. I think about writing fiction all day, every day, I just don’t actually do it.

It might be time to put it away for a bit and not think about it at all. I’ll either get my mojo back, which would be good, or I won’t, which really won’t be any different from now except for the guilt. My family’s health situation isn’t getting better anytime soon– there is no silver lining to this cloud and no light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s not depression talking, it’s unfortunate and inevitable fact– so the only thing to do is decide what to do about it. I can make a serious effort to reprioritize my fiction, which means finding some other things to put away, or I can put it away. I just need to decide which one I’m going to do.

Kokomo-Con 2019 Wrapup

The following things are all true; I am finding that I’m terrible at evaluating how these shows actually go, and this one was more mixed than most:

  • Attendance was pretty good; they announced about a thousand people through the door at the end of the show, which was a couple hundred more than last year, I think.
  • Weirdly, there were a lot of empty booths, which I don’t think was the case in previous years– any booth that was empty had a placard on it for someone, which means there was a last-minute cancellation. This time it looks like a lot of them just didn’t sell for some reason.
  • I sold half as many books as I’ve sold in previous years.
  • I paid for the table, which is always the goal, and there’s $150 in my pocket that wasn’t there on Friday.
  • Despite the poorer-than-usual sales, there were three other authors there who I’m friends with and know from previous shows, and I outsold all three of them, and in two cases pretty considerably.
  • Damn near every single person who came up and bought a book mentioned that they’d bought books from me at previous shows and were back for more, which is always an awesome feeling. One person came over to apologize for not having gotten to my book yet, but he wanted me to know he was still going to read it. Dude, I left a Salman Rushdie book on my unread shelf for a year once. You can make me wait. The book ain’t going anywhere.
  • The exception to the above was a guy who I talked to for five minutes who then bought every book I had except for Searching for Malumba.
  • Unrelated to the con, but fun: there was some sort of car show in central Indiana somewhere on Saturday, and the whole way down we were surrounded by Corvettes and classic cars driven by people who almost certainly didn’t know each other but figured out that they were all going to the same place and so fell into caravans. It was pretty cool. Also cool: passing six Corvettes in a row on the highway when you’re driving a Kia Soul. 🙂

So, yeah, pretty spectacularly mixed, yeah?

I was planning on taking a year off from this show– I love Kokomo-Con, and I’ve been three years in a row, but there’s a more writing-focused three-day con in Louisville on the same weekend that I’ve heard all kinds of good things about and I was planning on checking that one out in 2020. However, next year the Kokomo-Con is moving a weekend deeper into October, so it’s possible that the shows won’t overlap with each other next year, in which case I’ll need to decide if I want to/am able to do two shows in two weekends. So I’m not reserving my 2020 table just yet, and we’ll see what weekend the Imaginarium ends up being next year.

Kokomo-Con 2019!

I’m here! Get here!

Oh right also

My books did show up, so I’ll have all of my titles with me at Kokomo-Con.

… you are going to come see me at Kokomo-Con, right?

KOKOMO-CON X THIS WEEKEND!

This Saturday, October 12th, I will once again be manning a booth at the 10th annual Kokomo-Con, held from 10 to 5 PM at the Kokomo Event Center at 1500 North Reed Road in, you guessed it, Kokomo, IN. I’ll be in Booth 64, a nice corner spot near the back, with the usual assortment of stuff (I hope. My restock books get here Thursday.)

This is the third time I’ve done this show, and it’s always fun. It’s also currently my last planned show of 2019, although I may find a way to squeeze one or two more in there if something happens to pop up at the last minute.

Cosplay! Books! Comics! Toys! Central Indiana! Come see me!