Thursday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 16 of this Writing in Public challenge.
Day 16 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.
The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.
Out of bed early and to a meeting at 2 p.m. Then back to WMG at 4 p.m., then out to the WMG store, then to banks, then back to the WMG offices.
I stayed there until 7:30 and worked on various stuff, including the cover for last night’s story below. Then home for dinner, news, dishes. Actually managed a little nap ahead of the news.
Then up into this office by 9:30 p.m. and worked for a time cleaning up stuff, then went to take an hour nap in my reading chair. Then off to watch some television.
By the time it was all said and done, it was 1:30 a.m. before I got in here and then I spent an hour working on various workshop stuff.
So at 2:30 a.m. (sort of annoyed at myself that I had spent so much time on other stuff), I moved to my writing computer. I crammed to half-titles together that now make no difference other than they got me writing.
And I started writing a Poker Boy story. And about one hour later I had 1,200 words and had changed the title to “Gods Have History: A Poker Boy Story.”
And I knew I was writing the story I had been putting off for a few years. Not sure why I figured now was the time. And I sure didn’t have a story. More of a revelation. But I always knew about this part of Poker Boy, just never had gotten to it.
So I took a small break, back at it by 3:30 a.m. I managed another 1,00o words, took a break at 4:20 a.m., then fired off the last 1,400 words by 5:15 a.m.
3,600 total words.
Update on yesterday’s story: Kris read yesterday’s story and liked it and called it creepy. Thanks, Kris!
TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Return on Investment
Return on Investment (ROI) is not a way 99.9% of all writers look at their fiction.
However, any business person in the real world with a piece of property looks at ROI. Or most business people who have all sorts of investments look at ROI as the main measuring stick to making or not making an investment.
You ever wonder why you don’t save much these days? Because the interest rates of most savings accounts or CDs are laughable. And if the account has any fees, the bank is making money by using your money.
Interest rate on a savings account is a basic ROI.
Copyright is what we all produce when we create a story or novel or other piece of work committed to a form.
Copyright is a form of property.
It is why when someone gives an agent 15% of their property for the life of their property for a few hours work, I equate it with giving the gardener 15% of your home ownership because the gardener mowed your lawn a few times.
So yesterday, I did the math on a possible income over a ten year period from each of these stories I am writing. I did not include a lot of income streams such as audio and bundles and so on. Kept it to the basics that I know I will use these stories for.
The math, conservative sales, worked out that each story I write over the next ten years will earn safely $418.00. Or about 14 cents a word for a 3,000 word story.
And, of course, after ten years the story will keep earning and that word rate will continue upward year after year.
So as a couple people who know business asked, what is my ROI on each story?
To figure ROI, I need to figure the cost of my investment.
First off, I tend to like to think of my time as worth about $50.00 per hour.
So to figure my costs, I need to figure that it will take me about 4 hours (rounded up) to write a 3,000 words story. So that’s $200 in costs.
It will take me about one hour total to put each of these stories up as stand-alone and also get them into collections and Smith’s Monthly and do the covers. So that’s another $50.00.
I assume $20 for art and $20 for copyediting. Add $10 more for extra expenses and that comes to another $50.00.
So $300 costs per story.
That is my base cost. My investment.
I hope to make at least 10% return on investment on that per year. (In business, a 10% annual return is often fantastic. Major traditional publishers hope to work on a 4% return and are happy when they hit that.)
So to make a 10% return on my $300 investment, I would need to make $30 per year from that short story. (See last night on the income streams.)
Now, as I did last night, over ten years each story in this challenge will make around $418.00 total. That’s the way writers like to look at things.
But looking at it from a property/business standpoint, my ROI on that short story is higher than 10% by a ways. I will make on average $41.80 per year.
That is pretty close to a 14% ROI per year. Wow, just wow.
And again, not counting any sales channels but the standard ones I have set up and detailed last night.
So from this month of story challenges, if I get 30 stories done, I will make going into the future about $1,250 per year. In ten years, from this month’s work I will have made about $12,500.00. (Assuming, of course, that over those ten years I keep these stories in some form of active status every few years.)
Ask yourself… how much investment money would you have to put in a ten year CD at todays rates to make $12,500.00????
And the money from the short stories will just continue on into the future after the ten years.
Even if the sales of these slow down after a time, they can slow a pretty good ways and still keep me making 10% return on investment on my time and expenses this month to write these stories.
Just a sort of basic way to understand the value of long-term thinking and steady sales.
And why doing a challenge like this has value in this new world of publishing.
Plus, it’s great fun.
STORIES FROM JULY
(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 16
— Daily Fiction: 3,600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 54,500 words
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,700 words
— Blog Posts: 1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,500 words
— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 302 e-mails. Approx. 11,700 words
— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 17 Covers
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