January 1. I started an ambitious project to write and publish six full-length novels in six months. Today is the last day of my project and therefore it is time for me to look back and see what I had achieved.
Did I manage to write and publish six books in six months? No, I did not. I wrote five, but I cannot say that I am disappointed anyway. Here is why:
My first book Butterfly Islands is as of today downloaded 16.201 from Amazon, IBooks, B&N, and Kobo. Furthermore, it became featured on Wattpad with more than 40.000 chapters read so far. If you had thrown these figures at me six months ago I would have told you that you were nuts. Not in my wildest dream had I dared to hope for so much success. Just knowing that thousands of people from all over the world have read my first book makes me proud of what I have achieved. However, there is more…
Butterfly Islands have 44 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. On Goodreads the rating is 4.68. On Wattpad it has been received with even more praise. Hundreds of people have commented on the story, telling me that they liked it a lot and eagerly waited for the following books in the series. I could not be happier about the result of my first attempt at writing a novel. I wrote it, people read it, and readers like it.
However, the title of the project was six books in six months, and since I came up one book short, I have ‘only’ published three more novels with number five in the series currently with my editor. One thing is to give books away for free, it is an entirely different game to make people buy the books. To achieve that, I guess the readers must like what they initially read, meaning that they must have liked Butterfly Islands, to buy Maelstrom, Wailers, and ascension part 1.
Butterfly Islands became free on Amazon 65 days ago. During that time it has been downloaded on average 234 times a day. Maelstrom became available on Amazon the same day and has sold 274 copies, averaging 4.2 a day. Wailers has been available for only 54 day with a total sales count of 155 books averaging 3 sales per day. Ascension part 1 has only been available for 25 days, but still 70 copies have been sold averaging 2.8 copies a day. In total I have sold 499 books so far, which in my humble opinion is damn good, considering that I have been writing books, not promoting them for the past six months. I will say that my lovely wife has helped me a lot with the promotional side of publishing the books, and I am looking forward to see how far we can take it in the future. 500 books is only the beginning. Furthermore, I do not expect people to download one of my books and read it right away, so I hope for more downloads and sales in the future.
On a personal note. Writing five books in six months have been excruciatingly hard. I have punched out 400.000 words… Read it again… 400.000 words!!! It is more than five times the length of the first Harry Potter book (77.500 words). I am not writing short stories or novellas here. These are proper novels, and I have spent a lot of time in my basement, creating them. But it has been worth it. I have absolutely loved to immerse myself in my own pirate world and go on adventures with the Twenty-One Butterflies. I hope that you have too.
So, what does the future hold? Well, first of all I will publish the fifth book in the series and the write the sixth. I will need to earn some real money soon so number 6 might take a little longer than one month for me to write. After that, I will continue to write books until I sell enough of them to be able to dedicate myself full time to being an author. My 10 sold books a day does not cut it. I need to bring that number to about 50, but I will get there at one point. Next project up will be a science fiction trilogy. I already have the stories planned out. I just need to say properly goodbye to Buckeye, Dawn, Wall Brown, LeFevre, Peacock, Dusky-Wing and all the other characters that I have come to know and love for the past six months. Thanks you all. It has been a hell of a ride.