Previously, In The Author’s Life

10 Mar

All right, so here’s the story so far. To cut a potentially lengthy introduction short, last month I decided to focus almost solely on e-publishing. Basically no overheads, immediate connection to readers, no need to worry about hells-damned widows and orphans; what’s not to like? Let’s start the story from February 20th. What happened on February 20th?

Some wonderful magical person decided that one of my books was good enough to buy.

I don’t know who they are, but I love them. I love them forever. And it gets better, the next day? Someone else bought one of my books. The following day? TWO SALES. This was a miracle. This was amazing. But wait, it gets even better! Because the next day not only did I sell two more first-in-series, but some unsung wonder of a person decided that they liked the first Miya Black book enough to buy the sequel.

This, I think you may agree, was the single greatest thing to happen in the history of the universe. I was literally dancing. My STO (Singing-To-Oneself, a general measurement of happiness) ratio was soaring. By the end of February I had sold a grand total of thirteen books, including two copies of Miya Black II.

Then came March.

When the soothsayer told Julius Caesar to ‘Beware the Ides of March’ he might very well have been talking about my book sales, although ‘Beware the Kalends of March’ would be more appropriate, given that it was March 1st rather than March 15th that marked the end of my glorious streak.

March 2nd: Nothing. March 3rd: Nothing. March 4th? Nope, nothing. March 5th? Surely someone must–but no, nothing. Goodness gracious me, March 6th, you’re not going to tell me there are STILL no sales? Oh tish pish posh. March 7th, come on now, really, you must–

Well actually I did get two sales on March 7th, but only because I posted about my ‘Clover Island Publishing’s March Profits Go To Support Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Efforts’ on Facebook’s Kindle fan page thing in a fit of desperate … desperation. Pity sales, I call them.

March 8th to the present? I’m embarassed to say, but I’ve had five sales in those three days. Wait, though, that isn’t the embarassing part. Two were to my father, who bought himself a Kindle after seeing how amazingly fantastic mine was. Three were to myself. Why? Well they’re only 99 cents each, it wasn’t exactly breaking the bank to buy my own books–plus I wanted to try out the new ‘rate this book’ feature. (What rating did I give them? Five stars, of course, they were all great.)

So it’s March 10th and I haven’t had any sales I would consider to be ‘true’ for the whole month. And I have no idea why. If anything I’ve been trying to do MORE promotion this month. Where did those sales come from? Where did they go? Mysteries never to be solved. Questions never to be answered.

But oh well. I’m just starting out, right? Let’s put those early sales down to ‘fluke’ and move on. I’m halfway through writing a splendidly exciting new novel, The Undying Apathy Of Imogen Shroud, and I’m sharing progress updates on its Facebook page every day. I have a few ads on Project Wonderful–just cheap ones at the moment after a big push earlier in the month. I have a basic advertising campaign worked out for when Imogen Shroud is available to buy (probably late April, at the rate I’m going now), and I feel quite strongly that this novel in particular will have a wider general appeal than my other books, mostly because it has zombies in it. Everyone. Loves. Zombies.

As for my other books, Miya Black III is waiting for a final proof-and-make-good before being sent on its merry way to the wonderful land of publication. Charlotte Powers : Power Play is three-quarters outlined; so far it’s about twenty times more awesome than the first one. What I’ve already written of Resonance Book Two : Against Darker Days I love so much that I’m almost afraid to write more–almost. The first Miya Black spin-off book, The Legend of Jean Scarlet: Swansong is in a decent state of outline and ready to be worked on further, and Miya Black IV is written and ready for proofing-and-editing–and is, perhaps, the single best book I’ve ever written. It was after I’d finished the first draft of that book that I started seriously thinking about publishing, before that I was just writing for myself. In a way, everything I’m doing is for that book, so I can release it to the world with the hope that people will love it.

Writing is not and (I hope) never will be a problem for me. I think this, more than anything else, is what keeps me going through this whole self-promotion razzamatazz. I love to write, and I love what I’ve written. I could never say something like ‘selling two books today made it all worthwhile’ because that would be a lie, it was already worthwhile, it always was worthwhile. Writing is ridiculously fun and rewarding and just basically the best solitary activity in the world. I will keep writing even if no one ever buys my books, because … because I couldn’t NOT write.

I may have had a point, half a thousand words ago, but I’ve since lost it. Let’s just make one up then, shall we? Basically, I love writing. I want other people to love my writing, too. And I have resolved to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Next: Why I Have Faith That I Will Succeed.

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Of Writing


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