Friday, February 10, 2012

Today's Nonsensical Ramblings From The Mind Of ML Stewart

Global warming? My arse!
Europe's cold enough to kill a herd of wooly mammoths wearing spacesuits and Australia's summer is wet, flooded and not exactly summer at all.

As of three o'clock, Sydney Opera House Time, my readership is sitting at 57,415 people. Since nothing really happened until September, 2011. That averages about 11,500 readers per month.

The figure is actually higher than this, but I won't know my Apple sales until the end of March. 49,000 readers are via Amazon, the other 8,000+ are buying through Smashwords distribution channels.

January has seen the best Amazon sales to date, with over 7,000 sales (and giveaways, of course.) The final cheque, when the bloody pigeon actually delivers it, via Africa, will be around ₤1,400 or $2,800 US.

Now, as I stalk certain forums in the middle of the night, I notice a lot of new authors asking, can you actually make a living from self-publishing? Well, if I were to buy a tin shack in the mudslide regions of the Philippines and grow my own potato (singular) using local dog poo as a fertilizer (and dessert), then the answer would obviously be yes.

However, if you are a parent of twenty-nine children, with a former National Express coach as your runaround, a serious cocaine habit, and an addiction to caviar and truffle smoothies, then basically, the answer is ... bouncing around somewhere in a large tunnel beneath the Swiss - French border, inside the Large Hadron Collider.

Now, if I was back home in Spain I could certainly live well from my book royalties. I have no mortgage, I steal my electricity from a blind neighbour's supply, and I send the local orphans out to shoplift my weekly supplies. Life is good. But here in Australia, well, that's a different story altogether. The orphans have organised themselves into drug cartels and don't show the slightest interest in hardcore grocery theft anymore. Electricity is so expensive that all the neighbours have been cut off and rely solely on one form of activity for heating, fighting off the bailiffs. I kid you not. Since the day I moved in, I was convinced my closest neighbour was morbidly obese. I would only ever see him on a Sunday, looking like a walking Space Hopper. It turns out that's the day he does his laundry, apparently, he wears every item of clothing he owns and waddles up to the closest car wash. He uses the basic wash cycle (no wax, polish or wheel buffing) and gets his laundry done for $2. Sadly, he lost an eye last week. And the manager is still refusing him a refund.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Can you actually make a living from self-publishing? I think, if you have the imagination, the commitment, and a blind neighbour, then yes, you can.
I have just spent a week re-editing my first book, The Sunday Club and, my God, there were some howlers in there. But the story's a cracker, so I still managed a 4 and 5-star review. When I first self-published, last July / August, I didn't have a clue about grammar, sentence structure, formatting or semi colons. But I have learnt the hard way. I've studied long and hard, re-edited all the books, and now I'm making a couple of quid out of them. If I went back to Spain now, I could easily live off the earnings. Albeit a little less extravagantly than I normally do, but it could be done (If I recruited new orphans for the wine and cigarette runs, that is.) But I won't, and do you know why? Commitment, that's why. Pure and simple, unadulterated commitment to being in Australia to attend the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

With regards to the latest book, The United Kingdom of Islam, there is a small discussion going on over in the Mobilereads forum as to whether a non-Muslim author should be allowed to write about Sharia law. I write about serial killers, but at the last count my personal death toll was zero. UKI's lead character is a girl, but the last time I checked ... You get where I'm coming from, I'm sure.

Anyway, I have to go. FBK3 won't finish itself.

Best regards,

Maybe I should have let these guys write the book. (Daily Mail online - today)

Muslim fanatics who called for execution of gays and wanted to set up a 'medieval state' under Sharia law in Derby are jailed for up to two years

Twitter: @AuthorMLStewart

No comments: