Since June, I've tracked my sales figures, writing them down every night before I go to bed--usually around 11:30. I have one of those big desk calendars that I write the numbers reached for the day, number sold, and a running total. (As of last night, 21,275 for the Montana Sky Series, and 230 for the Gods' Dream series.) I'm sure this could be done on a spread sheet, but computer challenged me doesn't know how to do this.
The September slump is interesting (and disappointing as well) because I just had my very best sales numbers a few weeks ago. Wild Montana Sky broke 200 sales in one day on August 27th. Starry Montana Sky broke 100 sales in one day on August 28. Up until Tuesday, Sept 6th, Starry's sales had been consistently above 60 a day, with occasional dips into the upper 50's, and often into the 70's and 80s. Reaching the 90s was always a red letter day. Sales for Wild Montana Sky were from the 140s and above, usually in the 150, 160 average.
I know many self-published readers would LOVE to have my sales numbers, slump or not, and I'm VERY grateful to have them. This slump blog is NOT a complaint. Rather, the slump has made me stop taking something for granted--that my numbers would continue to rise. It's not that that won't happen, but I need to know slumps will occur.
From the very beginning, realizing how much money I could make from self-publishing, I've tried to have a mindset that wouldn't depend on the income. I have cut back on my psychotherapy practice, but not because I've dropped clients. Like book sales, I've long known that the number of clients I saw weekly would also rise and fall. I've been at a low for several months, and instead of worrying like in the past, I've been SO grateful that I now have more free time. (I'd say more time to write, but that doesn't seem to be happening like it should.) Perhaps because while my private practice has waned, my corporate crisis counseling has been up, and that takes a lot of my energy that I then need to recover.
The goals I have in mind for the book money have to do with paying off debt, adding to savings, adding to my IRA, and increasing my charitable contributions. Therefore, if the book money goes away, I'm not left hanging on a limb, but have added to my financial security while I had a chance.
During this slump, I'm remaining optimistic and focusing on gratitude. I have SO much to feel thankful for, primarily for each reader who buys my book. When I feel disappointed about a low sales day, I stop and switch my thinking, often saying a prayer of gratitude for my readers and for everyone who has helped me on my journey, including each person reading this blog. I'm SO very, very thankful!