So a lot of you are wondering about Ian’s book…
It is still coming. I’ve been working on it in the background, but my focus has been on my self-published books and I’ll tell you why.
(Brace yourselves, I’m about to put on my business hat. This will be a long post.)
The HORNET series is with a publisher. I make only 35% of cover price on ebooks. My publisher set the price of the ebooks at $3.99. 35% of $3.99 is a little less than $1.40 per book. Which would be fine if the series sold well, but…
(And that breaks my heart, but it’s the reality of the situation.)
To comfortably pay my bills, I need to make (give or take) $3000 a month. To make that, I have to sell over 2100 books a month, but each new release in the HORNET series has sold worse than the last. Honor Avenged has only sold 3,936 ebooks and 61 paperbacks total since its release in 2020. It’s made me $5,348.59.
Would you pour your heart and soul into your job if you knew you’d only make $5,000 over two years?
Because HORNET *is* my heart and soul and I can’t do it half-assed. It’s a more than full time job when I write one of these books. It takes over my life for 3 to 6 months.
But I also can’t survive on my royalties from this series alone. With all the recent craziness in my life, I’m not in a stable enough financial position to not worry about how much money a book will make me.
So, this year, I made the business decision to focus on self-publishing, where I make a lot more money. For comparison: Northern Escape released a full year after Honor Avenged. To date, it alone has made over $20K. Northern Deception made more in its first 3 months and Northern Salvation made more in one month than Honor Avenged made in two years.
Bottom line: HORNET doesn’t make money. And what little it does make, I don’t see for a long time. After a book releases with my publisher, there’s a 5-6 month delay before I see any payment coming in from it. This is my only job, guys. I currently have no other means of income. I can’t wait 5-6 months to pay my rent and now I also have a car payment again. (Adulting. Ugh!)
I know it sucks when your favorite author doesn’t release the book you’ve been waiting for. I’m a reader, too. I get it. But as an author, sometimes I have to make decisions based on the numbers and not on what my readers want next. I’m sorry. I wish it wasn’t that way. I wish I had the financial freedom to write without worrying about how much money a book will make me.
So, yes, Ian’s book is coming. I’ve been working on it in bits and pieces and I still love the HORNET world, the characters, the story. But I have no idea when it will release because even after I turn the book in to my publisher, they could hang on to it for a year or more before they decide to publish it. (It’s happened before!) Once they have it, it’s out of my control.
But, unfortunately, I can’t even give it to them until I’m in a better place to take that financial hit. I hope you understand.