I honestly don’t even know how to start this post, so, I guess let’s jump right in.
I walked into 2022 with the… wildest introduction any person could have. Because, in the days leading up to the start of the new year, I had pretty good sales, making about six dollars a day, and I was more than pleased with that. I had outperformed my goal for my first book, I had a solid number of readers, and I had a plan for the new year… and then, a few days before the start of the new year, my book absolutely blew up. I was making my goal for the entirety of my book in a single day. And it kept going. And from there…
I blew up again. And again. And again. At random, tiktok would blow up my books.
And then, we got orders to move overseas, and that threw another wrench in the plans. And from there…
I can’t even tell you what in all happened. A lot of 2022 was a blur. I got my medication changed. I got my youngest into school. I made more money than I ever did working full time. I tossed goals out the window. I changed publishing plans…
I don’ t know what anyone would expect from this Author Stats post, looking at all of 2022, but, I figured it should be assembled.
So, here we go. 2022 Authoring Year in Review.
IN THIS POST:
Year in Review
What I would have done differently
Goals for 2023
Number One Lesson
YEAR IN REVIEW
- January – Audiobook Work Began (One Night in Garoureve)
- February – Author Patreon Began
- February – Release Needed in Garoureve (Book 2)
- April – Release One Night in Garoureve Audiobook
- April – Release Trapped in Garoureve (Book 3)
- May – Freebie Weekend – One Night in Garoureve
- May – Sticker Shop Opened
- July – Freebie Weekend – Needed in Garoureve
- September – Release Owen (Bear Book 1)
- October – Closed Author Patreon
- November – Release Return to Garoureve (Book 4)
- 171 – Start of 2022
- 293 – February 2022 (Release of Book 2)
- 517 – April 2022 (Release of Book 3)
- 748 – September 2022 (Release of Owen)
- 956 – November 2022 (Release of Book 4)
- 1066 – End of 2022
At the start of the year, I was trying to send out one newsletter a month. And then it became weekly. And then I didn’t send any. That was all a disaster. It’s hard, because you have to work with email algorithms, and you want to stay fresh in people’s minds, but you also don’t want to send blank and empty newsletters. It’s also really hard when you have a schedule to keep – for example, every other week, but then you have something happening on an off week.
And then, there’s also the drive to even send one. But, I digress.
My newsletter obviously blew up. I gained a lot of new people. I would say the best way of growth, obviously, is by having the link in my books. But also… bonus content. You see people say it, and you groan, but it’s the truth. Over 500 people have downloaded the bonus epilogue for my first book. That’s… a lot. And they can only access it via my newsletter.
So, let’s just rip the band-aid off.
Holy shit, I made a lot of money.
More than I ever imagined. More than I ever dreamed.
I honestly don’t even know what to say further than that. Like…
There were highs and lows. You can see when I was moving. You can see the growth with new releases. It’s obvious when a tiktok popped off.
This is WILD.
And… I don’t know what else to say.
These are my basic expenses for the year. I probably spent more money on art than I should have, but I did it for me because I wanted it, and I don’t regret that. I also wish that I had done better about looking at things I could do that would bring money in. That’s a big regret of mine and a goal for 2023, so I’ll be discussing that below. But all in all…
I spent less money than I earned, and that’s what’s important.
I also saved a lot for taxes, which, I’m still waiting on the final number, but I don’t regret at all saving 30% of my income for taxes. I have been holding off on this post because I wanted to give y’all tax details as well, but, that will apparently have to wait for another post.
All in all, I think I did okay.
Now, I want to make something abundantly clear before y’all begin reading this section. I 100% know the ways that I screwed up in 2022 and what I would have done differently if I could have, but the simple fact is, I way just trying to keep my head above water. I did what I could do, and I made decisions based on what I knew at the time, and I have zero regrets. I have ZERO regrets about how I survived moving around the world and publishing and doing what I could. So please don’t think I regret anything. I don’t. I survived. I’m still going.
That stated, here’s what I would have done differently if I could.
- Maintain sending at least twice a month. There’s always friends and giveaways and things going on. The recipes that I’m now doing. There are options for having newsletter content, and I just didn’t put in the effort that I should have.
- Bonus Content. I wish I had done more. It brings in so many people to the newsletter, over and over again. This will be a goal for 2023, to finish up all of the promised bonus content, and get it out there.
- Stop rushing. I’ve already screwed this up with Vampire in the Bookstore, but I seem to have this mentality that, once the book is done, I just need to rush and publish it. I regret this. Yes, okay, it’s better to do your best marketing AFTER RELEASE, but…
- Send more ARCs. I didn’t do this with Vampire. I regret this.
- Allow myself to relax after releases. Instead, I just jump into the next project. Bad.
- Stop Getting Behind. Readers want audiobooks, and sure, they do cost a lot of money, but, with things like Royalty Sharing, it’s still possible. It will be my goal, once I catch up on what I’m behind on, to release the Audiobook within 90 days of release of the Ebook
Spending in General:
- Don’t be afraid to spend money… on things that will bring in money. Spend the money on things that will bring in money. SPEND THE MONEY ON THINGS THAT WILL BRING IN MONEY. I mean… art for patreon. Audiobooks. Stickers. Spend money on things that will bring in money. But also…
- Save More. Save up for the just in case. Save up for the taxes. Save up so you can carry yourself if need be.
- ISBNs. Buy them. Do them.
GOALS FOR 2023
Newsletter: Maintain a 50% open rate while also reaching 2k. I would rather have a solid open rate than more subscribers.
Bonus Content: Catch up on all of the bonus content I owe and get them out there.
Shop: Have clothing / accessories / stickers available for readers to purchase via drop shipping.
Audiobooks: Have all books available via Audiobooks.
Patreon: Have a reader patreon. With art. And bonus content. Like… outtakes. Probably.
Breathe: Stop rushing things. Finish them as I finish them. Release them when I’m ready.
NUMBER ONE LESSON OF 2022:
Set a goal for yourself for releasing things… but keep it manageable, and be mentally aware that changing it is not a bad thing. You can really maintain this by telling readers a season/quarter instead of an exact date, and with Amazon, you can set the release date a year in advance, and change it when you are ready for release. You have to be kind to yourself. If you burn yourself out, you can’t keep going. Set a goal, make it manageable, and be flexible with it.
2022 was a wild ride I never expected and somehow survived. 2023 is already shaping up to be even more insane, between the release of my latest novella, tiktok possibly being banned, working with a new PA, and my shop getting lots of excitement as I approach opening it. I don’t know what else this year has in store for me, but I’m going to keep tackling each day one at a time, crossing off things on the to-do list, and letting each thing happen at it’s own pace.
It’s the best I can do. It’s all I can do. And… we’ll see what happens from there.
- Continuing Success after your first burst…
- Planning / Plotting a Series…
- 2023 Quarter 1 Stats
- 2022 Taxes Post
- Updated Spreadsheets List (including a release day checklist)
I love you all. Good luck and happy writing.