In Which Royalty Statements Have Landed

So, we got the January-June 2017 royalty statements yesterday.

Royalty statements always make for fascinating study — for values of “fascinating” that will make the eyes of any non-writer quickly glaze over.

The take-away from this batch of statements is that Dragon in Exile (June 2015) really did sell  (relatively) poorly.  No clue why, of course — bad title, unconvincing art, civil war, poor reviews, people were off dragons that year. . .could be anything.  For comparison, Alliance of Equals (July 2016) — the numbers for which we see for the first time in this batch of statements — sold more copies in its initial period than DiE has sold in its entire life.  Hmm.

We also see that DiE sold a total of 447 eArcs, while Alliance sold 1,678.  I do wonder if there’s a correlation between eArcs sold and first period sales, and how you’d go about measuring that. . .

The other really fascinating thing we learn from these royalty statements is that we’re selling the heck out of ebooks.  I think I first noticed in Mouse and Dragon’s initial period that the ebook sales had pushed it over the top — from break-even to royalty-earning — and that pattern seems to be holding for all subsequent titles.

For Sharon Lee titles — Carousel Tides, Carousel Sun, Carousel Seas — the pattern holds, but at a much more modest growth rate than the Liaden books.  Tides and Sun have earned out; Seas still owes the house money, though I expect it will earn out in another year or two.

So, anyway — now you know what I spent a chunk of my day on yesterday.

This morning, we took Steve to the dental surgeon for the last bit of that business.  We now move back to the reconstructive folks and hopefully this whole adventure will be behind him-and-us this year!  Maybe even before WorldCon.

Wow, wouldn’t that be something?

After the dentist, we stopped at the Barnes and Noble, since we were in Augusta, anyway, and signed stock, including eight! copies of Neogenesis, and after that?

We went for a ride — just a short ride, down to Lewiston and back up through Farmington.  Which reminds me that I have to look up where Wales, Maine, happens to lie.

This afternoon, I have a nap penciled in, then it’s back to Fifth of Five, until — Saturday, actually.  Some series of errors has conspired for an appointment-free day tomorrow.  Which is good, because next week is solid appointments.

And that?  Is all I’ve got.

Well, no.  I also have a picture of Belle, resting with her buddy, the rag tiger.

12 thoughts on “In Which Royalty Statements Have Landed”

  1. according to Google Earth, Wales Maine is out in the boondocks northeast of Lewiston. Google Earth, when one searches for Wales Maine, drops its red pointer out in the middle of some farmer’s fields with no civilization visible nearby. Along rte 9 and old rte 126, there are some small signs of civilization, including a trailer park and a high school. wandering north along either of those roads you’ll pass an occasional house/whatever, coming eventually to Avenue Rd. If you turn left there, follow that to Centre Rd, turn left again and go a while you’ll pass, on your left, the Wales town Office, not far from the shores of Sabattus Pond. To someone who lives near the big city to the south, it all looks amazingly rural! 🙂

  2. Oh, I see! We’ve been in Wales on other rides — Frost’s Furniture isn’t something I’m likely to forget (nor Frost’s Garage, which is Hampden; Frost gets around). I think today is the first time I’d seen Wales on a road sign, with pointer and mileage to. Population 1,616 — about twice as many people as my town.

  3. I am interested in your comment on the relative popularity of Dragon in Exile and Alliance of Equals; my personal preference is Dragon in Exile (which I am at this very moment in the process of re-reading).

    Keep warm with the cats, and the tiger if it is share-able.

  4. It’s important to remember that sales is what happens before people read a book, and that royalty statements are about money earned from sales.

    So, what the royalty statements show, from their limited point of reference, is that, for some reason, people did not buy the unread book Dragon in Exile, while they did purchase the unread book Alliance of Equals.

    Just a factoid without a cause. The best we can hope at this point is that those people who didn’t buy DiE when it first came out, will realize their error as they read further into the Five Book Dash, and pick it up on the rebound.

  5. I did not start reading your books until they were published in e-books because I already had too many books. The advent of e-books coincided with the onset of cataracts. E-books let me change the font size and I did not need to buy any more book cases. Therefore you books were purchased. I enjoyed both of these and all of those that preceded them. My eyes have been fixed and that only added to the pleasure.

  6. I’m glad your eyes are fixed.

    Our books have been published electronically — i.e. as ebooks — since…1999? 2000? Our first electronic publisher was Embiid Publishing.

  7. Just to toss a little more confusion into the mixing bowl, DiE happens on a planet while AoE in space (& planets), AoE has a “Cast of Characters” & DiE does not, likely irrelevant differences. I liked the h-e-double-toothpicks out of both stories & hard to believe there’d be such a difference in sales volume.

    As for eyes & paper vs. electrons, I hear ya! Tho in my case, my vocation demanded tons of reading to keep current in computer technology & reading for pleasure didn’t happen. After retirement I was happy to find the Liaden Universe published in electrons. Only problem is, while waiting for the next “issue”, trying to find other authors I enjoy.

    Be careful whilst out & about in the snow. After living a long time thriving in snow country, here in the sunny warm southwest it’s a serious OMG after 3 flakes hit the roads – total blacktop chaos!

    Best wishes…

  8. I will sheepishly confess that I have fallen into the pattern of buying Liaden Universe ™ books first as eARCs and later as mass market paperbacks. And, since I have the eARCs, I don’t always buy the physical book until after it has been out a while. Which is why I didn’t even realize that _Alliance of Equals_ was available in MMPB yet. (Order has now been placed.)

    Of course, that doesn’t explain the eARC popularity difference. Maybe traders and trading aren’t quite as universally appealing as mayhem, or something.

  9. I don’t know if your sales numbers show numbers of those who bought the entire month’s worth of e-books. It could be that folks paid a little more for the entire month (versus buying the 1 e book).

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