Thursday, April 02, 2009

eNovel Store: First Month Report and Lesson

It's been about a month since I opened my eNovel store. After a snappy first two weeks, activity slowed to zero, and I thought nobody would ever buy another novel of mine, let alone put me over the tipping point where the novels would take off like Harry Potter.

I learned that worrying over day-to-day or week-to-week sales is a futile wasted of time. After one dry week, sales picked up again. If they stay at this level, I'll earn a small but welcome addition for my charities each year.

Will I be satisfied? I don't know, but at least I won't worry day-to-day. I've learned my lesson.

It's a worthwhile lesson for consultants in all phases of their business. By its nature, independent consulting is a highly variable business. As I wrote in The Secrets of Consulting, there are, theoretically, three states a consultant's business can be in: A: too much business; B: not enough business; and C:just the right amount of business. But no individual is ever in state C.

So stop worrying and do something about it. Me, I'm asking everyone I know to take a look at my book store.


Unknown said...

"What, me worry?" That is the motto of Alfred E. Newman of MAD Magazine.

I agree, don't worry about day-to-day sales. I have yet to sell a single copy of anything on (look under Dwayne Phillips for a couple of 99-cent short stories).

There, I am taking your advice and telling everyone I know about them. If feel better already.


janm said...

The link to the your store is wrong! It should be:

(If you used the wrong link elsewhere, that could explain slow sales ...)

Gerald M. Weinberg said...

Thanks, janm.

It was a matter of the link being case sensitive. I believe it's fixed now. Lousy testing on my part--and I paid for the lesson.

Jobs in Ireland said...

Enjoyed youe book - Psychology of Computer Programming.

I will have a look at the eBooks, sounds like a good idea.

Brian said...

The danger of being too busy is that of overwork, because you're afraid to turn down business, worried about the next dry spell. This can lead to poor quality work, even costly mistakes.

OTOH, I once read something by a freelance writer to the effect that turning down business when you're busy creates the image of being in demand, and therefore "better".

The danger of being confident during a dry spell "something will turn up, it always does" is that of eating too deeply into your reserve funds. In my youth, I once showed up at Manpower with 30¢ in my pocket, just enough for a cheese sandwich at lunchtime. Way too far into the reserve.

The danger of having just enough work is that you start to look and feel like a wage slave, not an independent consultant or author.