Monday, July 30, 2012


LoNoWriMo is local novel writing month, and this is my second in a row. LoNoWriMo is where you sit down at your computer and write a novel in a month, without the fanfare and public suffering of NanoWrimo.

To sign up for LoNoWriMo, just open your word processor and start typing.

Last month I wrote a 30,000 word middle-grade novel which I'm currently editing into shape. This month I'm writing Hal Spacejock 6. My target is around 65,000 words over July and August, and last night I cracked 45,000. The draft is going well, and it shouldn't need much editing to get it into shape. (Famous last words.)

Sales of my Hal Spacejock ebooks really took off in July, partly due to the release of the fifth novel in the series, and partly due to lots of people buying the books. Heh.

Hal Junior has been quiet on the ebook front for the past 7 or 8 months, but in July sales are about ten times average. I dropped the price of Hal Junior 1 and 2 to 99 cents for a while, to increase visibility. When Hal Junior 3 comes out, I'll set the first book to free and price the other two at 2.99 or 3.99 each.

Some people have asked me whether it's still worth bothering to publish paperbacks, and my answer is 'it depends'. If you're looking to spend big on jacket art and design, interior layout, etc, then you really have to ask yourself how many copies you're likely to sell. (Right now, the Hal Spacejock ebooks are outselling paperbacks by 100 to 1, but despite that I will always offer printed editions of my work.)  Another strategy is to test the market with an ebook first, and only go to paper when the ebook income justifies it. It still hurts if you have to spend four months royalty on jacket design, though, which is why I said 'it depends'.

So, what's your strategy? Ebook only, ebook and paperback, paperback only or chasing a publishing contract?

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Vero said...

My novel isn't yet publishing ready, but when it will be, I will probably first try to get it published traditionally in the States (agent and all). We'll see.

But I'm sure ebooks will beat the paperback numbers anytime from now on. Unless aliens fry our electrical grids, there's no stopping electronics anymore. ;)

Simon Haynes said...

When I started out in 2000/2001, my strategy was to raise my profile by submitting (and hopefully selling) short fiction, while at the same time shopping my novel around publishers.

If I were starting over from the beginning my strategy would be similar. Selling a short stories to paying markets gave me confidence in my ability. I guess it was a bit like passing a driving test. Self-pubbing without any sort of credit would be like hitting the road without a single driving lesson under your belt - everyone else is going to steer well clear ;-)

DMS said...

Congrats on all of your writing! You have been a writing machine. Good for you! It sounds like your books are selling well. I am someone who still loves a book in print (I still don't have an ereader- but I plan to get one at some point since some books can't be read otherwise).

I think when self-publishing ebooks are a good way to get a feel for the market. Some books are tougher depending on the age the book is intended for. Many MGers have ereaders, but so many do not. I think more YAs and adults have ereaders.

Well, your post has given me a lot to think about. :)