Tag Archives: shattered earth

Sales for the year so far

Now that it’s June, here are my sales numbers for the year so far, from regular sales to when one of my novels was in KDP Select to free giveaways. These are all from mostly just promoting online on Twitter, Facebook, and a bunch of message boards. The novels are listed in order of publication, from 2008 to 2012.

Amazon US Kindle
Out of Time – 34
Don’t Mess With Earth – 13
The Usurper  – (regular sales) – 67
KDP Select numbers for The Usurper – 329
Shattered Earth (which I unpublished on Amazon) – 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 3
Dust Storm – 4
New Frontier – 50
Times of Trouble – 89
Times of Trial – 9

Amazon UK Kindle
Out of Time - 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 8
KDP Select for The Usurper – 176
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 0
Times of Trouble – 4
Times of Trial – 1

Amazon Germany
Out of Time – 1
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 4
New Frontier – 1

Amazon France
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Italy
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Spain
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 6

Barnes & Noble Nook, which is partially through PubIt, B&N’s publishing platform and through Smashwords
Out of Time – 17
Don’t Mess With Earth – 17
The Usurper – 15
Shattered Earth – 19
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 109
Times of Trial – 7

Apple iTunes
Out of Time – 29
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth -25
Voyager & The Aliens – 4
New Frontier – 3
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Kobo
Out of Time – 10
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper (Kobo has yet to list it)
Shattered Earth - 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 0
New Frontier – 0
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Sony Reader
Out of Time – 1
Everything else – 0

Smashwords paid/giveaways
Out of Time – 1/39
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1/26
The Usurper – 0/9
Shattered Earth – 0/37
Voyager & The Aliens -0/14
Dust Storm (I unpublished it because I couldn’t get the formatting right) – 2/12
New Frontier – 5/41
Times of Trouble – 0/87
Times of Trial – 0/1

Createspace Paperbacks, all of which were sales from mostly Amazon
Out of Time – 2
The Usurper – 7
Shattered Earth – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 30
Times of Trial – 0

Total between January & end of May: 1423

Overall total since 2008: 26381

I’m posting this because some writers get discouraged, but you just have to keep at it. While I don’t have the money or much in the way of resources to push my novels to greater visibility, I think I’m doing pretty well. I took The Usurper out of KDP Select because my sales were actually worse overall, and I had a grand total of 3 borrows, so I didn’t think that program was worth it. Stay tuned for the sequel to New Frontier, plus a short story anthology based on minor characters in the two End Times novels, and a novel about Michael Evans, the man-behind-the-scenes in both End Times novels.

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Sales for 2011

Now that I’m pretty sure I have all the sales numbers in for all platforms, I’d like to share how many novels I sold or had downloaded last year as an independent author, to give encouragement to those that aren’t sure they can do it. I’ve been doing this for about 4 years, 1 1/2 of which I’ve actually put any effort at trying to promote my novels, since I’ve written three in that time span. Last year, I sold or had D/L’s of 24,151, in 2010 – 520, 2009 – 68, and in 2008 – 37.  Here are the numbers for 2011 for each book and where, from first book or short story published in order to latest:

Amazon (which combines US & UK sales, link to US though)
Out of Time – 2238 (free and paid)
Don’t Mess With Earth – 692
The Usurper - 13,310 (free and paid) (currently free to borrow in Lending Library)
Shattered Earth – 6637 (free and paid)
Voyager & The Aliens – 9
Dust Storm – 0
New Frontier (published December 20, 2011) – 4

Apple
Out of Time – 77
Don’t Mess With Earth – 10
The Usurper – 3
Shattered Earth – 55
Voyager & The Aliens – 2

Barnes & Noble
Out of Time – 51
Don’t Mess With Earth – 175
The Usurper – 180 (currently exclusive to amazon ’til March 7)
Shattered Earth – 81
Voyager & The Aliens -
Dust Storm -
New Frontier – 1

Createspace paperback (which were sold on Amazon or other bookstore sites)
Out of Time – 9
The Usurper – 48
Shattered Earth – 21
New Frontier -

iUniverse (original publisher of Out of Time paperback)
Out of Time – 5

Kobo
Out of Time – 30
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper – 4
Shattered Earth – 7
Voyager & The Aliens
New Frontier

Smashwords (free and paid)
Out of Time – 25
Don’t Mess With Earth – 27
The Usurper – 176
Shattered Earth – 239
Voyager & The Aliens – 151
Dust Storm – 2
New Frontier – 1

Sony
Out of Time – 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth – 16
Voyager & The Aliens – 18

Virtualbookworm.com (original publisher of Don’t Mess With Earth paperback)
Don’t Mess With Earth – 7

So, with a lot of hard work and determination, this is what I sold. I know, not the #’s of some of the bigger names in indie publishing, but I feel like I’m accomplishing something.

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My sales for year so far

When I started self-publishing in 2008, I didn’t really have any kind of goals on how big of a number I wanted to reach. When I hit 100 sold by the end of 2009 without any promoting except for Facebook, I thought that was cool. When I managed to get a little over 500 sold last year, I thought that was awesome. Well, as of September 2011, I have now reached 2000 sold for the year so far, and I’m only 200 away from reaching 3000 sales.  Earlier in the year, around March, for some inexplicable reason to me, my sales took off on both Amazon and B&N at 400 combined a month mostly for one title, but, just as inexplicably, two months later, I went back to selling maybe 30 a month. I can’t explain that, but, boy, do I wish I knew how I manage to attract that many readers.  Well, anyway, here’s the totals as of right now, from 2008 until now, on each platform for each book. My paperback sales are listed under the publisher I used. Links to each novel are located at each novel’s page at the top of this blog or at http://cliffball.webs.com.

Amazon Kindle, combo of US & UK
Out of Time – 317
Don’t Mess With Earth – 703
The Usurper – 294
Shattered Earth – 260
Voyager and the Aliens short story – 1 (uploaded this week)

Barnes & Noble Nook
Out of Time – 53
Don’t Mess With Earth – 163
The Usurper – 49
Shattered Earth – 33

Kobo
Out of Time – 32
Don’t Mess With Earth – 5
The Usurper – 3
Shattered Earth – 5

Apple
Out of Time – 53
Don’t Mess With Earth – 19
The Usurper – 2
Shattered Earth – 62

Sony Reader
Out of Time – 4
Don’t Mess With Earth – 3
The Usurper – 0
Shattered Earth – 2

Smashwords
Out of Time – 32
Don’t Mess With Earth – 97
The Usurper – 160
Shattered Earth – 173
Voyager and the Aliens – 98

iUniverse, the original publisher of Out of Time
Out of Time paperback or e-book – 55

Virtualbookworm.com, publisher of Don’t Mess With Earth
Don’t Mess With Earth paperback – 62

Createspace
Out of Time – 7
The Usurper – 24
Shattered Earth – 20

and when I used Lulu.com for a couple of months:
Out of Time – 3
The Usurper – 1

To re-cap the grand totals:
Out of Time: 551
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1056
The Usurper – 532
Shattered Earth – 558
Voyager and the Aliens – 99

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More reader reviews

Two new reviews for The Usurper, one from Goodreads and the other on B&N:

From Goodreads, from Heather, who won a copy of the paperback:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/126805727

This is the first Cliff Ball book I’ve read…and I’d have to say that if he writes another political thriller … I’m in! “The Usurper” is a fast-paced fictional story that has non-fictional elements in it of events that really happened. Cliff makes you think ‘could this really happen?’ He makes it all seem possible…which is a scary thought! This book had lots of twists and turns that kept the reader on the edge of her seat throughout the book. I gave this book to my dad to read since he likes the same kind of books that I do. I’m sure he’ll have a good review as well. Thank you Cliff for writing this book!

On B&N, from a reader named Linda:
http://my.barnesandnoble.com/communityportal/Review.aspx?page=Review&reviewid=1575412

I agree with the other reviewer’s statement that it is Clancy like. The characters don’t have as much depth as Clancy’s, but Clancy has developed his over many books. This book was very similar to current events, with a frightening back story created. This back story was, unfortunately, plausible – at least in the goal if not the execution. It builds off of the fears of the cold war and moves into the role and power of government in our lives, as well as the battle of capitalism vs. socialism. This was filled with lots of symbolism and relations to actual current events. In summary, a very good read and I look forward to reading more by this author.

Plus, a review for Shattered Earth from a reader on Goodreads who won a copy of the paperback:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/149311972

Just finished this book. It was not at all what I thought it would be. The story line was was so imaginatively written, very interesting. I haven’t read a sci-fi, fantasy book written in such a way to be so interesting. I really liked it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it is obvious that a lot of thought went into the writing of this book. The story line and the history aspect of the story kept me involved in the story from the beginning and had some really fun and interesting twists. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more from Mr. Ball.

 

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#SampleSunday-Shattered Earth excerpt

For Sample Sunday, this is an excerpt from Shattered Earth, one of my science fiction novels. Once you read the excerpt, buy links are at the end, or click on the picture to take you to Smashwords for all e-book formats.

Chapter Five

Around this period, two very rich Terran adventurers had decided to hitch a ride to Mars, after bribing a starship captain. The two wanted to see what it was like on Earth, after hearing news reports about how utterly barbaric and primitive the planet was. They were visiting Britannia just as the Roman legions were recalled to defend the city of Rome. After seeing what was going on with the local Brit tribes, the two decided that it might be fun to organize them, so that the tribes could defend themselves against the Vikings, Normans, and others who had conducted raids on the island. The two named their kingdom Camelot, led by the Terran whose name was Arthur, and his cohort, who was named Merlin. Merlin was considered an eccentric inventor; other Terrans thought he was more than a little insane, while the primitive humans around him thought that Merlin was a great and mighty powerful magician. After all, he looked the part. Merlin had long, straight hair, a long white beard, and wore very colorful robes. Arthur was tall, lean, but muscular, dark hair, and looked like a mighty warrior might look.

Merlin cooked up a scheme to get these primitive humans to accept Arthur as their leader, so he told Arthur of an idea he had, “I have a brainstorm, Arthur; tell me if you like it. These Brits have a legend about a sword in a stone and if a man of great virtue pulls it out of the stone, he will become the undisputed leader of the people. I propose to use our advanced technology to convince these people to believe you’re destined to be the king. What do you think?”

“Sounds like a good plan, Merlin. How do you plan on making it work?”

“I think I’ll build a sword with computer components that will recognize only your handprint. I will then stick the sword in what will appear to be a stone, except this stone will keep the sword in place with an elaborate computer aided locking system. Once you take hold of the sword, the system will recognize your handprint, then it will unlock, and the sword will be yours. You’ll have the masses begging you to be the leader,”

“Sounds like a very good idea, Merlin. Nothing like a little technology turned into sorcery to make one a good leader. Get to work.” ordered Arthur, who was looking forward to this new scheme of Merlin’s.

A few weeks later, Merlin, with the help of an experimental Terran transportation device, suddenly, and without any warning at all, appeared in the town square with the sword in his hand, and a very convincing looking stone placed next to him. He called for the townsfolk to gather, and then, he said, “Good citizens of Camelot. I have created a test for those who wish to lead us. This sword, I will put in the stone, and it can only be pulled out by a virtuous, and good man,”

Merlin then slid the shiny, intimidating looking, sword into the stone, “The challenge has been laid, all men throughout Camelot are welcome to try to pull out the sword, which I have named Excalibur.” with that, Merlin vanished into thin air the same way he had appeared.

Merlin and Arthur watched for little over a month, as man after man attempted to pull Excalibur from the stone. Everyone had a different way of trying to pull the sword out of the stone, which served only to amuse the two Terrans, and tick off the human men who tried to pull out Excalibur. As Merlin expected, not a single man could pull the sword from the stone, so Merlin again reappeared in a flash of light, and said, “Is there no one here who is virtuous enough to take the sword? Who among you is left that is willing to try?”

Having not convinced the people up to this point that he would make a good leader, Arthur boldly, and with tremendous confidence, walked into the town square to pull the sword from the stone. Everyone was whispering, and a few were taking bets seeing if Arthur could pull Excalibur from the stone. Arthur confidently walked up to the stone, put his hands on the swords’ hilt, which activated the computer lock system, and he slowly pulled Excalibur from the stone. The people were shocked at first, but, then began cheering. Arthur wielded Excalibur for a few minutes, going through swinging, hacking, and thrusting motions with the sword, and then motioned for the townsfolk to calm down. Then he spoke, “People of Camelot. I have pulled Excalibur from the stone, so I am now your leader. What say you?”

The people chanted, “Arthur” and “Long live the King.” Arthur was now the undisputed leader of Camelot. Merlin spoke again, “A king needs knights that he can lead into glorious battle against the forces of evil. Who here among you is willing to be a Knight of the Round Table?”

Arthur had not heard this scheme from Merlin, but thought this Knights of the Round Table thing might be a really good idea. According to Merlin, the knights in good standing would gather around a round table, so that there would be no man who thought they were better than the others. Many men came forward to join the ranks of the knights, more than Merlin had expected. So Merlin did something unusual in the eyes of these humans in this time period, he interviewed each applicant, and tested their sword fighting skills. After doing the interviews, Merlin also worked on Excalibur to make it appear more magical to these primitive humans, and when he was done, he showed Arthur the sword, “I did some more work to Excalibur. Press the green button on the hilt, and see what happens,”

Arthur took hold of the sword, and pressed the small green button on the hilt. The sword lit up in an almost blinding, white glow, so Arthur asked, “What is this, some sort of glow saber kind of thing?”

“I would have to say yes, and no, Arthur. It’s supposed to strike fear in the hearts and minds of your enemies. I’ll later add a sound effect to increase the fierceness of the sword. Anyway, I thought it was a cool idea.”

“You do realize you ripped-off a wretchedly bad movie idea from a hundred years ago, don’t you? Next thing you’ll tell me, you’re some sort of ascended being with powers you’re not supposed to use. Come back to reality, Merlin, this is not science fiction.”

“Oh, I know that, but the townsfolk already think I have great powers, so acting like I have telekinesis, or the ability to appear, and disappear at will, isn’t going to do any harm. They won’t know about that movie, who is ever going to see it on Earth? I know what I’m doing, believe it or not. The next thing on your agenda though, is to meet your Knights of the Round Table.”

Arthur was introduced to his new knights the next day; his impression of them was that they all seemed like good, honorable men, and fierce warriors. Merlin was right about the more powerful looking Excalibur scaring enemies. In battle, some retreated rather than fight Arthur. The knights, and Arthur, fought Vikings and Danes; Arthur himself killed a lot of the invaders, increasing his legendary status among Saxons living near, and in Camelot. Merlin set up great adventures for the knights and Arthur to go on, giving the knights legendary status for themselves too. Sir Lancelot was considered the best of the Knights of the Round Table, and he always had the ear of Arthur whenever he had some pithy thought about another great adventure they should all go on, or how Camelot should be run.

Several years later, some strangers appeared in Camelot, who turned out to be a Terran military contingent. They were looking for Arthur and Merlin; when they were found in the castle, the Terran commander said, “Arthur and Merlin, you are hereby arrested for crimes against humanity. You are herby ordered to come back with us to Terra, to explain what you have done. Now, come with us.”

“Crimes against humanity? Seriously? What crimes have we done, exactly?” asked Merlin.

“Take a look around you. Setting up your own little kingdom, and using technology in battles against the Vikings, which we heard about because the rumors made it to Rome, which, naturally, ended up being heard by a scientist there. He contacted the Mars Outpost, and that’s why we’re here, because Terra’s government is not pleased. Now, come with us.”

“Wait! Can I address my subjects, and the Knights of the Round Table, one last time?” asked Arthur.

The commander sighed, and said, “Very well.”

Arthur called together Camelot, and everyone gathered together, to listen to what Arthur had to say, “People of Camelot, and Knights of the Round Table, hear me this day. These men are from my home country, and they are seeking the Holy Grail. They wish for me to go on a long journey with them to search for it, which will take many, many years. So, for my last official duty as king, I place Sir Lancelot as the new king of Camelot; follow him as you have followed me. Fare thee well Camelot, I wish all of you good and long lives.”

Arthur and Merlin left Camelot with the Terrans. They boarded a shuttle that was hidden a few miles away, which took them to a ship in orbit, and the ship headed for Terra. Once on Terra, the two men were brought before the Oversight for Earth Committee, who seemed like a bunch of stuffy old fools to Arthur and Merlin. The chairman of the committee, Senator Tyranous, began to talk the second both men sat down, “Arthur Pendragon, and Merlin Ambrosius, you have both been called here to explain yourselves, and why you decided to interfere in human affairs. Now, what say you?”

Merlin and Arthur looked at each other, Merlin shrugged his shoulders in a nonchalant kind of way, so Arthur said, “We didn’t see any harm in doing what we did. We didn’t give them any of our technology, and they’re still just as primitive as before we arrived.”

“While you may not think you did harm, you gave some ideas to some of those Brits, what were they called? The Knights of the Round Table? Those Knights could get it into their heads that they could invade Europe, on some misplaced idea of a grand adventure, and then plunge the whole continent into another series of wars. Also, we’ve had to go in, and clean up the technology you left when you were arrested. Do you realize that because of your so-called adventure, we’ve had problems with others who want to do the same thing?”

“Well, that really isn’t our problem, Senator.” Merlin sarcastically said.

“Oh, you don’t think so, huh? It has been decided, until further notice, that only our official representatives will be on Earth. All tourism to Earth is now hereby forbidden for the foreseeable future. Merlin Ambrosius, and Arthur Pendragon, you two are now hereby subject to house arrest. This means that you’ll never be able to leave Terra, and you will be watched for the rest of your natural lives, no matter how long that takes. This Committee will now recess for twenty minutes.”

Both men were escorted to their individual homes, injected in their arms with a tracking chip so that they would be tracked anywhere on the planet, and told that if they ever leave Terra, the punishment would be severe, especially if they tried to return to Earth.

e-book only
Amazon US
Amazon UK
(and all the Amazon sites. ASIN B006M2U308)
B&N Nook
Nook UK
Smashwords
Apple 
Sony
Kobo
WH Smith
Angus & Robertson
Ebook Mall
Book World

Diesel
Baker & Taylor Blio
Best Indie Bookstore
Google Play

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My interview on Two Ends of the Pen

Here is the interview Deb Martin of Two Ends of the Pen did with me:

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.
My very first novel that I actually finished writing was the novella Out of Time, a time travel adventure story. I wrote it off and on for about 10 years, started from a couple pages long to where it’s at now, about 30k words.

Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon? No. Back in the late 90’s when I was seriously thinking about publishing any of my writing, I decided I’d rather publish my own stuff. I looked into vanity press, but, that was way too expensive at the time, and I didn’t know enough about self-publishing like I do now with Createspace. In 2008, when I had money, I published Out of Time first through iUniverse with the basic package they had. I uploaded it to Kindle myself, mostly just to see what would happen, since at the time, I thought e-books might be a fad. Little did I know!

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
I prefer having control over my destiny, as it were. I figured self-publishing was faster, and preferable to receiving rejection letters six months later, with the generic reasons why they wouldn’t publish. I just happen to like doing everything myself, at least I can see tangible results.

Will you try to garner a traditional publishing contract for any future books? Probably not. Besides, I think traditional media is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Did you design your cover art? If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information?

My first two novels I published through iUniverse and Virtualbookworm, so I used what they gave me. Once I went to Createspace, I created my own covers. I did have help from another author who tweaked them for me though.

How did you feel when you got your first sale? Are you pleased with sales so far?
My very first sale was from a short story I wrote in high school back in the early 90’s that won in a contest that I wrote through Creative Writing class. I was thrilled with that, until my mom decided to use the money to create a frame for the check stub, and a little blurb about it that she mentioned to our newspaper. Anyway, in the here and now, I’m pleased with my sales so far, they could be more, but I just have to keep working at being seen.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I’m on places like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Goodreads, Shelfari, Linkedin, I have a blog and a website, forums such as Kindleboards, Nookboards, Mobilereads, eBookgab, and trying to promote on the Amazon message boards.
Author website: http://cliffball.webs.com
Author blog: http://cliffballauthor.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cliff_ball
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cliff.ball.author

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale? Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Sony, Createspace, Diesel eBooks, Kobo, Borders for my e-books.

What’s next for you?

I’m actually trying to bring up my GPA by getting a 2nd BA so I can get an MA in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas, at least that’s the plan. I’m also trying to write an alternate history novel where the US establishes a moon base in 1979 when a different President is elected in 1976, and then he has the US set a goal of a Mars Base by 1989. The Russians see this, so they decide to create an interstellar starship so they can one-up the Americans. All sorts of real life events get in the way, like the Revolution in Iran, but that gets squashed by US Special Forces rescuing the hostages. The President in 1981 gets assassinated by those who take revenge for the failed Revolution. Al Qaeda comes along later, and blows up a cargo ship to the moon, tries to blow up the sealed habitat on Mars, and then blows up the space station in Earth orbit in the 2000’s, and so the US President orders Osama bin Laden to be taken out, and that’s the last of Al Qaeda. Eventually, US and Russia join forces to explore the galaxy, where they find the long lost Russian interstellar starship.

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December sales numbers

I did this last month, so I figured I would do it again this month for December. This is for Smashwords itself, Nook, Kindle, and a couple of paperbacks. This is all without much in the way of paying for ads, or being on blog tours, just mostly from word of mouth across Facebook, Amazon, the Kindleboards, Nookboards, Mobilereads, and probably all the mentions I overdid with Twitter, and the occasional sponsorship such as Frugal eReader or Two Ends of the Pen, or interview on some blogs. I did pay for the Kindle Nation Daily sponsorship, and even though it was just yesterday, I did sell 50 on Kindle in that one day.

Sales for December:
2 paperbacks for The Usurper and Out of Time

Barnes and Noble’s Nook
The Usurper: 11
Out of Time – 15
Shattered Earth 7

Kindle US

Out of Time – 24
Shattered Earth – 12
The Usurper – 22

Kindle UK
Out of Time – 9
Shattered Earth – 2
The Usurper – 1

Smashwords
The Usurper – 6
Out of Time – 2
Shattered Earth – 1

This equals 112 sold. That’s almost double from November, and I’m trying to make it my goal to double my sales every month, or at least try to equal them. My total sales from 2008 to present currently sits at 25, 475. I’m hoping to break the 1000 sales mark by March.

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