Writing is a slow, sedentary process that has more in common with watching grass grow, or paint dry. There might be a lot going on in my head, but the physical act stays the same and sometimes it can feel like Groundhog Day. The publishing process has similar traits. While people buy my books on an increasingly regular basis, sales from one hour to the next are rarely different, and the acquiring of new fans takes time.
So I can say with complete and unabashed honesty, that I’ve hardly known what to think this week.
Now, going back to a few months ago, I targeted purchasing an ad on Bookbub for the first book in my Alexandrian Saga – Fires of Alexandria. Bookbub is a service that emails book deals to a massive opt-in customer list. In other words, these are book people who’ve signed up to find out about deals on books. It’s not spam by any definition. And it’s a great way to get the word out on your book.
But getting an ad on Bookbub is not easy. They get thousands of requests from authors and publishers on a daily basis and they sort through those to pick the best ones. It was my considerable delight that they accepted my book, after the third try, for a deal on November 20th.
Keep in mind that success is not guaranteed. They give you a range of past sales, but each book is different and you never know what readers might pick. A lot of it depends on the cover, and the blurb, and an overall feel the book gives. And lately, Bookbub sales have been going down (judging by the average sales listed for each category on their website), so I was approaching the day with modest expectations. Hitting the previous average would have been enough for me, and I was expecting something more in line with the recent average they listed.
My sales experience has been anything but average.
Rather than bore you with sales details, I’ll just show you where I ended up on the various Amazon lists (saying nothing of the breakaway sales on Barnes and Noble):
I might have hit some other lists, but these were the ones I found (or were sent to me by friends and family – thanks Anthea!) The #43 overall on Amazon really blows my mind. I think it got even lower than that, but I didn’t get a screenshot. Add to that, I hit #16 on B&N and I’m still in the top 100 today.
Whew. It still blows my mind to see my name along side Stephen King and George RR Martin to name a few.
But more importantly, readers have my books in their hands and judging by the sales of book two and three of the Saga, they’re enjoying the tale.
And adding to the crazy week, I was interviewed on Conversations LIVE!, the audiobook for Heirs of Alexandria went live, and about a half-dozen other little things were going on that on a regular week might have been a bigger deal.
So if you see me in the next few days, forgive me if I stare bewildered into empty space, I’m still trying to process this whole week.
And thanks again for the advice Anthea! And thank you Rachel for the wonderful cover, I think it and the rest of the series have turned out pretty well. And thank you kind readers for purchasing Fires, or any of my books. It really means a lot to me!