I’m using the three-day weekend to submit my taxes. I expect to get a return and will need it to buy Ellie Rose a laptop before she heads off to college. I think back in the day, parents used to buy their kids a car for graduating high school. Now we buy them a three thousand dollar MacBook Pro. I really hope I get a nice return this year.
I find joy in doing my taxes when I sum up all my book royalties from Amazon.com. I’ve made royalties almost every month of the year. The coolest part is seeing book sales from other countries. Mostly the UK, but also Germany, Australia, Japan, China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, and 26.77 rupees from India. That’s 39¢ I wouldn’t have if I weren’t an international author.
Other writers might find this interesting. I published a second book in 2019, but almost all my sales were from my first book. I suspect this is because I handed out a hundred copies of my book at a tech conference in Austin and those techies followed up by purchasing my first book. That’s exactly what they tell you will happen, and it did. This is why you will make more money the more books you publish; readers who like your latest book will buy from your entire collection. There’s a multiplier effect.
Knowing that, I really should work towards completing my third novel. I’m twenty-five thousand words into it, but paused it to rewrite a second edition of my first book instead. I believe I had multiple reasons for changing directions. One was that, with the surge in sales of the first book, I wanted it to be better. I didn’t have a copy editor for it, not that there were many typos, but I’m a better writer now and wanted to make some improvements.
The major edit, the reason I believe the rewrite qualifies as a second edition, is I changed it from present tense to past tense. Most novels are written in past tense. Present tense is rare enough that it can be a bit jarring sometimes to read it. The book I’m currently reading, The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, is in present tense. She does an okay job of it but it’s been my experience that past tense allows for more latitude in sentence structure. It’s easier to write past tense.
That exercise took me a couple of months. I spent the previous two weekends publishing it on Amazon. I find formatting text and designing a book cover extremely tedious and I don’t enjoy it, but I’m too cheap to outsource it. There are always problems. It took me a week to fix my cover and another to get the formatting to show paragraph indents correctly on the InsideLook feature.
It’s good to go now though, so go out and download a copy. As part of this second edition, the hardcover is no longer available. Amazon might try to sell you one anyway. They like to play this trick where they say it’s out-of-stock. Trust me, it’s out-of-print. If you already own a first edition hardcover, consider it a collector’s item.