In which that’s enough of that

So here’s the thing about the con I just did: I like all the people who run it. For the most part, I liked all the other vendors I talked to. I really enjoyed the panels I did; they weren’t heavily attended, but it turns out if you put a bunch of authors in a room and tell them to yap about something we’re perfectly happy just to talk amongst ourselves for a while even if there aren’t a whole lot of people there to listen.

Actually, true story: one of my panels was scheduled against the charity auction, which was heavily attended, and as a result there was literally no one there when our panel was supposed to start. The four of us just got to talking about microfiction anyway. Eventually one person showed up and joined the conversation. We did some readings, just for the hell of it. We had one person attend and it was the best panel I did, and I didn’t record it because I didn’t think it was going to last an hour– and somehow it did.

So, yeah, I’m not going back.

And, like, it’s weird– I like these people, and I had fun, and I’m not even going to use the name of the con in this post specifically because I don’t want anyone connected with the con finding it by accident, because this isn’t their fault. It’s not a poorly run show, but this is a small show, and the majority of my sales over the weekend were to other vendors, which is practically unheard of– and there were long stretches of time, especially today, where I didn’t see anyone in the vendor room who wasn’t a vendor. That’s not sustainable. It’s just not.

And the people who do show up for this con tend to do all of the cons in the Indianapolis area, which means I’ll catch them at some point at some other show. I recognized easily 50% of the folks who walked past my booth on Friday. There was a guy who was a booth barnacle from Hell for both of the people on either side of me who was at ConGlomeration in Louisville, and I’m pretty sure he was at the last one of these cons, and when I’m recognizing even the people I don’t want to see again? Sigh.

It’s just not worth it to me as someone who at least hypothetically wants the chance to make some money at one of these damn shows. And, of course, the flip side of that was the couple of people who did buy something from me at the last show, remembered me, and bought more books– I love that. It’s a wonderful feeling. But I spent $90 on my hotel room last night and sold two books today, for an amount of money that did not cover my breakfast and lunch today.

And … yeah. I’ve still got two or three more shows coming this year– and I had to cancel two because of the family stuff I’ve been going through in the last couple of months– but I have to start being a lot more selective about which shows I go to, and this one just can’t make the cut again. I’m not happy about it, but I don’t think I have a choice.

Blech.

Day two of the show, and … this isn’t going well. My panels today were fun (in general, I’m finding I really like doing panels) but just like the last time I did this con, all of the vendors are unhappy and attendance seems really low. I mean, I’ve already sold more books than I did in 2015 with all of Sunday left to go (and I spent several hours away from my booth doing panels today) but “better than the show where I sold no books the first day” isn’t a high mark.

It’s 8:09 and I’m ready to be asleep. I’ve got a big-ass book to work my way through but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was asleep by nine.

#Saleswanking for 2018 and more

This is going to be a very short post, considering the amount of work that went into it, because Amazon and Square don’t play nice with each other and neither of them makes it especially easy to get these numbers in a format that I like. HOWEVER! I haven’t looked at book sales in a systematic way in a while, so this kinda needed to happen. And, frankly, included some nice surprises.

Note that “Amazon” includes both paid sales and free downloads, and I’ve smushed together both physical and digital copies as well; nearly all of them are digital. The Square sales are sales in person; some of those are going to be free giveaways for one reason or another but all of them involve physical books given or sold to people by me. This is 2018 only:

Eight hundred and fifty-seven books seems like a lot, honestly. The little discrepancy you see with Click from 2018 to the total includes the 14 people who got free copies through Patreon, which is one of the only ways you can get the book (pledge more than $2 a month!) and the 9 on the Square set were sold in person at conventions, which is the other way to get it.

As of right now, my books are starting to drop off of KDP Select, which means I’m about to lose the ability to give them away on Amazon. I am either trying to get all six of them (Click isn’t on Amazon) on the same schedule or about to broaden back out and put my books on other sites again. I haven’t decided. As of January 2nd, everything will be off KDP select, so I’ve got a few more days to think about it.

The overall numbers really surprised me. I didn’t think I’d moved this many books.

So, basically, if you include the occasional sale that isn’t captured here (Barnes and Noble, Apple, non-convention personal sales that I didn’t bother recording in Square,) I’m probably at right around five thousand books sold or downloaded since I started doing this.

Which, on the one hand, is a larger number than I thought it was going to be, and on the other hand, if I look at actual money earned from this … yeesh. I’m not going to share that because Amazon accepts currencies from all over the world and I’m not about to start digging through my tax returns, but suffice it to say that I’ve absolutely lost money at playing author since 2014. Cons and hotel rooms and book printings and all that cost money, and again, a lot of those Amazon numbers are from giveaways, not sales.

The totals for in-person sales, which are included in the above– this is just a summation of the “Square” lines:

Which, again, this isn’t nothing. Every one of these represents an actual human standing in front of me who bought books from me. Am I J.K. Rowling? Hell no. But this is a lot larger of a number than zero, which is what it would have been when I started doing this.

I should probably set some hard and fast goals for 2019. Not yet; I need to absorb these numbers first. But maybe that post is coming. Tomorrow, the 10 best books of the year.

Luther Siler Black Friday deals!

Covers to my books

Ha!  There are no Black Friday deals!  My books are cheap.  Everything is between $0.99 and $5!  Go save money on an e-reader and then fill it up with some awesome new books:

You also have the option of joining my Patreon, which gets you Click at the $2/month level and beyond.

Happy shopping!

My con appearances for the rest of the year (and January!)

comiconlogo-Retina.pngJust because it’s been on my mind lately, and also because I’m not really interested in talking about school right now, here’s some information about upcoming conventions I’m going to be attending:

FIRST!  I will be at the 2nd Hall of Heroes Con in Elkhart, Indiana on September 8th and 9th– just a few days from now!  This will be the first con I’ve attended that was close enough to my house that I will be able to just drive to the con each day rather than having to worry about couchsurfing or getting a hotel room, so I’m pretty excited about it.  I’m on the 2nd floor of the Lerner theater in booth H4, directly across from the entrance to the Crystal Ballroom.  Folks who have been there in the past tell me this is a pretty primo spot, so I’m excited.

SECOND!  I will be at Kokomo-Con on October 13 in Kokomo, IN.  I went to this con last year and had an absolute blast, and had bought my booth for this year’s show before I even left last year’s.  It’s only a one-day show but I had a tremendous time last year and I have high expectations for this year’s show.  I just found out today that I’ll be at a three- day ed conference in Noblesville (just south of Kokomo) on the 10th-12th, so the logistics of getting down there just got sorta complicated and I’m gonna be tired and crabby, but still!  High expectations!  No word on the booth yet, but I don’t expect to be hard to find.

MAYBE!  I have been to Indy Pop Con twice, and am already signed up for next summer’s show, but they just announced that they’re expanding to Fort Wayne and will be doing a two-day Pop Con on December 29-30.  I will probably be doing this con, but I’m waiting for a paycheck or two from the new job before I put the money into it and I also need to be sure I want to do a first year con.  I’ve found Pop Con really well-run, though, so it ought to be okay, even though it’s on really short notice and it’s probably going to be a damn disaster but what the hell let’s risk $150.  Fun!

PROBABLY, I HOPE!  I am signed up for ConFusion 2019, which is January 17-20, and I need to figure out if it’s really all four days, but the vendor tables are juried and the deadline isn’t until August 31 so I don’t know if I’m actually officially accepted as a vendor yet.  I mean, I’ve never not been accepted for one of these things, so I have high hopes, but it’s still possible they’ll say no.  A lot of authors who I’m huge fans of are regulars at this con, so I’m crossing every digit I have that I get to go.

Mark your calendars and come see me, dammit!