Monday, April 29, 2013

Define success

I was asked the other day if I thought I was a successful author. Instead of a simple yes or no answer, I found myself rather perplexed by the question. If by definition a successful author supports themselves wholly by their craft, then the answer is no. If by definition a successful author is one who has legions of fans and gets world-wide recognition, then the answer is no. If by definition a successful author is one who enjoys the writing process, the editing process, and the birth of a complete book… then the answer is yes.

I define the measure of an author’s success by how happy they are while writing their books. I write books. I sell books. People tell me they like my books. Though I have not received tremendous sales they have been steady these last two years and with the virtual bookshelf in existence forever, who knows how far I could go?

Success is defined and measured differently by different people. Just a few short years ago (since 2007 when Kindle first came out) a struggling writer’s success was measured in just two ways; traditionally published or not. Self-publishing and indie publishing were sure signs of failure, even though the author never even had his work tested in the mainstream readership.

I had a powerful, NY agent who loved my books but after four years of trying and wooing the big houses he still couldn’t sell a single one. Does that make me a failure? Since that time, I’ve sold thousands of ebooks through Kindle, Nook, and Kobo and gotten some really great reviews. Does that make me a success?

One’s own perception of success and failure are deeply personal issues and different for all of us. Though I haven’t achieved rock star/writer fame (yet), the mere fact that my stuff is out there and gets read is enough for me to label my twenty-plus writing career a success. Though I may never achieve the heights of Stephen King or Clive Cussler, with the advent of digital publishing at least I (we all) have a fair stake in the publishing game.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Okay results

Well, the bookgorilla promotion for SILENT INVASION didn’t go as well as it had for DROP OUT, but I still got down to the 5,000 rank on Amazon. I’ve come to believe that the majority of book buyers who purchase a book because of an ad on a website are older readers compared to the middle-grade/YA readers. I’ve always done fairly well on promotions for my thrillers, but my other genres seem to mostly sell by word-of-word.

What that means, is my younger audience is texting, tweeting, and Facebooking about my books, rather than being exposed by surfing reader’s sites. I think younger readers know what they like to read and tend to stick within those genres, while older readers are more likely to be intrigued by an interesting plot or synopsis. If you are planning to pay for a sponsorship for a younger audience make certain you concentrate on sites devoted especially to them.

I think my mistake with this promotion for SILENT INVASION is that my main audience is finishing up the school year right now and aren’t as interested in reading for pleasure at the moment with final papers and tests due. I won’t do another middle-grade/YA sponsorship until mid-summer, when kids are looking to pass the time.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another one

I'm getting ready for another Bookgorilla promotion that starts tomorrow for SILENT INVASION. The last promotion for DROP OUT yielded impressive results and sales. I'm also thinking of hiring a book blurb specialist to rewrite my intro's, but I'll post more on that later.

I've sent DROP OUT to BookBub, hoping they will accept the promotion. They are very selective, but almost all accepted books go on to sell in the hundreds if not thousands when featured. I'm also hoping for two more Amazon reviews of DROP OUT so I can qualify for ereader news promotions. You need ten reviews to qualify, DROP OUT currently has eight.

So, if you own the book and like it, please write a review. Thanks all.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To not write

I’m back from vacation and for the first time that I can remember I got absolutely no writing done. I always vacation in the Florida Keys and I always spend many hours sitting by the water creating, but this time I didn’t. Why?

I used to be obsessed with hitting the big-time with my books. I dreamed that I’d be that one percent of one percent of writers who actually earn a living from their craft. I spent years sitting inside writing when the weather was beautiful outside. I’ve sacrificed and sacrificed to achieve my dream… but at what cost?

Now that I am older and far wiser than my younger days, I’m beginning to believe that enjoying our limited time on this celestial realm may be more important that the sacrifice needed to achieve fame. I explore this concept deeply in my best-selling book DROP OUT, but hadn’t applied my own ideals to my real life until this vacation. Did I feel guilty not writing? Yes, but that guilt was assuaged by the happiness I felt walking along the beach among dunes and palm trees. Happiness that no amount of money can buy.

Of course, now that I’m back the writing will commence at a feverish pace. I’m hoping to finish my dystopian novel before the long lazy days of summer tempt and drag me away from my craft. I’d also like to report my results with BookGorilla. The promotion did make a profit and did give me good exposure, however, I heard they recently raised the price and may not be as selective with the titles as before. I have another promotion with them for SILENT INVASION on April 22. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m also experimenting with the sales power of Twitter and signed up for a promotion from They Tweet DROP OUT’s blurb three times a day on their account. They have over 170,000 followers. After two weeks, I’ve seen no real results from this promotion as sales of DROP OUT remained steady until the BookGorilla promotion gave sales a boost and got the book down into the 4,000 range on Amazon’s best seller list. It has since returned to @ the 150,000 range even though the Twitter promotion is still running. I’ll post my final analysis of these promotions soon.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

20 books an hour!

Great promotion is from Kindle Nation Daily. Selling 20 books an hour right now. Hope it keeps up.

Book Gorilla is working

Right now my novel DROP OUT is being sponsored on, a subscription only newsletter newly developed by Kindle Nation Daily specifically designed for readers looking for quality books… and it is working. The book is selling!