Blog Break Experiment

IMG_4474

The blog break yielded unexpected results. I read more novels. I focused more on my outline of Six Train’s sequel (it’s 60 pages and a scene by scene outline).  I worked on two workshops for January. So yay to productivity gains!

But I felt a bit out of sorts after the first week. I think the holidays threw my schedule into enough chaos. I missed blogging. I missed  hearing from you and reading about what you were up to. I felt like something was off. So I’m glad to be back in the blogosphere again!

December sales were rather sluggish which caused me to have several fits of anxiety. I’ve realized I can only promote so much and hope it generates sales.

And if sales continue to be slow, well I just have to take frugal to a new, exciting level. I’m scaling back on conferences and traveling for promotional events. I’m only doing free things for entertainment. And I’m going to lose weight to fit into my old clothes.

Six Train is my only source of income right now. I have broken even on the book creation costs. But I’m still pretty far away from breaking even on all the promo costs of last year. This is to be expected with a new business venture. I’m trying to take a long term view on the promo stuff as building my readership.

It’s just scary when you’re watching your savings dwindle and you don’t know when or if that investment will pay off.

I got a blucky sinus infection over the holidays that left me in bed for a few days. I celebrated New Years watching The Vampire Diaries with Emerson and rereading Six Train so I could make sure the sequel’s outline doesn’t have continuity issues. Weirdly, this was exactly what I wanted to do so I enjoyed my quiet New Years.

Hope yours was exactly what you wanted it to be too. 🙂

Poor Grandma H broke her collarbone when a deer decided to take on the car she was riding in over the holidays. Grandma H is stuck home healing for 8 weeks and miserable about missing her outings to the mall and the casino.

Lastly, a big thank you to my biggest commenters in 2013: Carrie Rubin, jmmcdowell, EllaDee, Pete Denton, and Cat Forsley!

This entry was posted in Personal, Promotion, Self-publishing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Blog Break Experiment

  1. Happy New Year, Kourtney! I’m glad you enjoyed your time off and had some productivity gains as well. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. It will be tough for her to be stuck at home, she sounds very active. Wishing her a speedy recovery. Is that your house? Nice decorations!

    • Happy New Year! Thanks Jill. She hates being home. We’re so glad she didn’t need surgery. LOL. Nope. There is this neighborhood in Wolcott (Frisbie Circle) that always decorates–the house is on that street.:)

  2. davidprosser says:

    Glad you’re back and over the sinus infection Kourtney. I hope 2014 is filled with Love and Laughter for you with a surge in sales figures.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. I am pleased you are recovering from the bout of sinus infection, So many nasty little bugs have been doing the rounds this Christmas time, and one decided to latch onto me too.. 🙂
    I am pleased you got to do all the things you needed to do Kourtney and wish you a very Happy New Year in which even more will be achieved..
    Blessings Sue xox

    • Thanks Sue. 🙂 It’s unfortunate. At the time you want to see people, they are most likely to spread icky germs. Hope you are feeling better! Happy New Year to you too! Hope this is a wonderful year for you too.

      Hugs,
      Kourtney

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Grandma H’s injury. Hope she heals okay. The collarbone is pretty forgiving.

    Glad you got through your goals during your break but too bad about the sinus infection. 🙁

    Happy to be one of your top commenters. Yay! And thanks for the mention. 🙂

    • Thanks Carrie. She’s pretty miserable to be stuck in. Yeah, I think it was all the roaring fires around the holidays. I’m allergic to smoke. 🙁 I really appreciate your constant support! Had to give you a shout out for it. 🙂

  5. We need to Skype sometime and talk about all the things you do/did to prepare for writing a book. I would like to pick your head. Just beginning to end. Just tell me when.

    • Happy to chat with you about it, but it’s really important to find your own path. What works for me may frustrate the heck out of you. There is no right or wrong way to write a book. And it changes from book to book too. 🙂

  6. Pete Denton says:

    Happy New Year!

    Hope the sinus thing’s cleared up and Grandma H also has a speedy recovery.

    Thanks for the mention, glad to be a regular visitor and contributor. You’re a source of inspiration for me in my journey.

    Do you feel better for the break? Enough to have a few regular breaks during the year?

    • Happy New Year! 🙂 It did. Though it seems to be moving into my throat and chest. Grr. I was better for 3 days then the sore throat came on. Grandma H is hoping for 8 weeks. She’s 80ish so bones knit slower. 🙁

      Thank you for all the support! You do the same thing for me. 🙂

      I think a week off here and there is good. And if I take a vacation, I may take that off. But 2 weeks felt too long for me. I think it gave me some perspective on social media and sales and I realized I don’t have to be everywhere all the time. In fact, that’s bad for my writing and my writing is more important to my readers than my being on social media. 🙂

  7. Mae Clair says:

    Happy New Year, Kourtney! You were missed 🙂 Glad to hear you are on the upswing from the sinus infection but sorry to hear about Grandma H. It sounds like a frightening experience with the deer and car!

    Sending you wishes for much success in 2014!

  8. Ugh. I HATE sinus infections (I’m prone to them). Glad you’re back. You were missed.

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    So happy to hear about the progress on the sequel’s outline, but so sorry to hear about Grandma H’s injury and your illness. I hope the road to recovery is deer-free and smoke-free for both of you.

    You’ve been missed, but we know how important it is to balance the marketing/social media requirements with the writing of the next works. I hope 2014 will see the Six Train gaining speed and more good news for you.

    Thanks for the shout out! It’ll be reciprocated in kind in tomorrow’s post. 🙂

    • I’ve never outlined like this before, but since I have no idea when my schedule will require switching off to Reckonings, I figure best to build solid groundwork that’s easy to return to if interrupted. 😉 Sinus infections are bad, but at least I can bounce back. Grandma H has weeks of healing to go. From your keyboard to the universe’s ear.

      Thank you! I’m wondering if the sales drop off relates to a lack of events. December was the first month I had no events planned. Hope it was an outlier and January gets things going again.

      Thank you for all your support and for stopping by so often to buoy my spirits. 🙂

  10. Sheila says:

    Sorry to hear about Grandma H! I hope she’ll be able to get back to carousing soon. I love blogging breaks just for the chance to slow down a bit and focus. I’m glad to hear you were able to do that too. Looking forward to that sequel! 🙂

    • Thanks. She’s pretty bruised up. The break was really cool in that I got to read so many books in a month and to realize that I don’t have to be everywhere and do everything. Aw thank you! It’s really crazy to be playing around in this storyworld again. I so missed these characters.

  11. Happy New Year from another blog returner. It was good to have a break on this side of the world too.

    I hope the infection is better and Grandpa’s shoulder heals well. They can be troublesome in older age.

    • Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed your time away. 🙂 It’s better. Seems to have aggravated my throat–typical route of the sinus problem. Yes, she is pretty fragile. Hoping it heals well and she is back to her old self again. 🙂

  12. 4amWriter says:

    Happy new year, Kourtney. I took a small blogging break, too. It was a last-minute decision when I read a post from a pro-blogger that it isn’t worth trying to generate views over the holidays. People just aren’t focused on blogging around Christmas and New Year’s, and that we should spend our time writing a stack of posts for January/February instead. That made sense to me, and I loved being let off the hook!

    Hope you’re feeling better and get well wishes to Grandma H, too. 🙂

    • I think that’s another reason to take a break. The holidays are such a lull. LOL. Great use of time writing blogs to post later. 🙂
      I’m doing better. A bit of a sore throat but my brain works. Sinus infections take me mentally down with their ferocious headaches.
      I will tell her. 🙂 Thanks!

  13. Mayumi-H says:

    So sorry you were ill over the holidays, Kourtney. But, it sounds like you made the best of it, trouper you are. 🙂

    I’m a bit glad many of my favorite bloggers decided to take a break during the winter holidays, as that’s what I wanted to do, too. It is good to be back and reading and hearing from everyone I’ve missed, though, you’re right about that.

    Looking forward to great things in 2014!

    • How were your holidays Mayumi? LOL. I am such a baby when I’m sick. I take to my bed for 2-3 days and barely emerge from my room.

      Me too. If I’m going to take a break, I don’t want to be missing out on my favorite bloggers. Definitely happy to be back hanging with blog buds again.

      Hope 2014 is a spectacular year for you! 🙂

      • Mayumi-H says:

        Unfortunately, I have to be the mom in our house when someone gets sick, even if I’m sick, too. So, I envy you being able to hibernate a bit. 🙂

        Luckily, I got to stay in most of the break and just be with my family (under blankets!) and write. It was a restful time, but I’m looking forward to getting back into my regular routine, too. 🙂

        • Oh that’s hard. I hope it’s rare that you’re sick at the same time. I am a big ole baby. 🙂

          I hear you. Family and hunkering down is best in the cold. I liked seeing all I could do when I wasn’t actively promoting. But it’s gotta be a balance of writing, promoting, and reading. 🙂 I really did miss the blogging. It’s too ingrained in me. I felt guilty skipping.

  14. Lori D says:

    Welcome back, Kourtney. Sheesh, I have a hard time keeping the continuity of my one novel from front to back, let alone with a sequel. Hmm, did I say this guy had green eyes or blue? Heh.

    How sad for Grandma H. May she have a speedy recovery.

    • Yeah, I like to read and write series. I’m painfully learning Scrivener and hoping it can help with the continuity stuff. Yeah where was that gravestone again. 🙂

      It’s a holiday bummer for Grandma H. Now she has a cold. We pray it doesn’t turn into pneumonia.

  15. Happy New Year, Kourtney. I, too, have been off the blogging train since before the Holidays and am easing my way back in reading my favorite blogs…although I did peek at a few posts that landed in my inbox during the break. Hard to stay away for too long from my favorite blogs. For what it’s worth, I think you’ve done a marvelous job with promoting Six Train. I know this doesn’t put money in your dwindling bank account, but based on the other self-pub authors whom I follow, you’ve done better than most. I once read an article that said it takes an average of 3 novels for an author to hit her stride. If you can hang on that long (without getting a day job), I think you’ll be one of the success stories.

    • Hi Gwen! It’s weird to be away that long. 🙂 Thanks. I really appreciate that. I’ve read and heard something similar. that it takes at least 3-5 books to make a decent income. I’ve seen sales spike certain months and then plunge in others months. December was an unexpected slam. I did more online ads and free book giveaways. They did not translate into sales like my in person events do. Lesson learned. Back to events in January. The weird thing about indie is that it pays to have several books written and ready to go so you can publish close together. Traditional warns never to write the sequel until the first book is published. Hard at work on Six Train’s sequel now.

  16. Happy new year Kourtney and glad your new year was what you wanted it to be, but best wishes to Grandma H!

  17. rondita says:

    I’m sure your investments will pay off!!! Good luck with your business 🙂 And greetings from Finland!

  18. EllaDee says:

    Thank you for the kind words… I’ve been off on a blog break too, and also had mixed feelings… I like keeping up with what’s happening and was most annoyed when all I could manage was browsing via my phone from time to time. Then back in the real world it was too real, too busy. I had over 200 blog post email notifications, and sadly I’ve had to cull a lot of them… I’m just not going to have time to enjoy them anytime soon.
    You had a wonderful 2013, and deserved every bit of it – it was hard and well earned. You’ve been an inspiration & joy to so many of us.
    Onward and upwards for 2014.

    • EllaDee, blog breaks are a mixed bag of bones. It’s nice to reconnect with the world around us, but those notifications. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to not keep up and just go forward from whenever you return to the blogosphere. 🙂 Aw thank you. 2013 was a very exciting year. It’s crazy to think what a difference one year made in my career. I do my best to share the ups and the downs so that everyone has a good picture of what my journey is like.

      Hugs,
      Kourtney

  19. Hi, Kourtney. Just bought The SIx Train to Wisconsin and shared on Twitter & FB. Kudos on the great revews! Thanks for following my blog. It’s great to be connected. Have an amazing weekend, Bette

    • Hi Bette! Thanks for stopping by. So glad we met via Chris’ blog! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Thanks–I’m lucky that readers have been responding so well to the novel. I’m going to pop over and pick up one of your books too. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!
      Kourtney

Any thoughts or reactions or favorite foods you want to share?