Sunday, May 1, 2011

What Happened in April

It was certainly a burst of activity.  Not being a numbers person, I pretty much ignore them whenever possible so I went into digital publishing with the goal of reaching an audience not with expectations of how many of anything I would sell.  I suppose I reached an audience in April but to be very honest, we have no idea how many people actually read any of these books.

There are only 3 confirmed readings of Not Low Maintenance.  Why did people buy it?  Is it on their To Be Read shelf?   What prompted them to buy it?  Not because of the vast number of happy readers.  There were only 2 reviews up until 2 days ago.  The true fact is that when a book gets on a list, people see it and buy it.  It climbs higher on the list and more people see it and buy it.

This doesn't explain Fling which has been doing very nicely in the past 2 weeks and is not on a list.  I must attribute that to people reading Sweeps and seeing Fling promo'ed at the end of that.  I think both Sweeps and Fling are mentioned at the end of NLM.  People must be reading to the end of these books in order to find Fling.  They must be reading NLM and like it/me enough to seek out what else I've done.  I guess we have to assume--I haven't given this any thought until this morning--the books are being read.  Just not reviewed or liked.

Okay.  That's good to know.  Thank you everyone for being so supportive of my efforts and I hope you try the Bad Apple series even if it says it's YA.  That's a whole other thing that's really off-genre.  It's not not not a romance but it is is is a love story.  No sex, however.  Don't be mislead and wind up being disappointed!

So you want the numbers.  6603 copies total sold for the month.  It's a stunning amount.  In March, which I didn't actually look at until just now, the total was about 1400.  This month Sweeps sold more than that--1440.
NLM came in at 4379.  All that's just dandy.

Here's the real issue tho.  The only game in town was traditional publishing.  If you didn't play by their narrow standards you weren't allowed in.  They were/still are pretty arrogant about it.  I was invited to the party and then I was disinvited.  Things changed, life moved on.  I wasn't "with it".

Noel Coward so marvelously said "Those who try so hard to be with it, soon find they're without it."

Now there is literally a world opening up of people who might not be so "with it" according to the standards of 27 year old editors in NYC.  I am grateful to be alive at this transitional moment in publishing when the tyranny stops.

So what's next?  I've never worked harder in my life.  This morning I build the cover for Bad Apple 3-Rise.  I keep editing that book.  It's close but I'm not sure when I'll be ready to let it go.  Then I return to what I'll call NLM2, the story of Viva's sister, Bel.  I bought 2 cute tea towels and sent for Helen DuJardin's new book on food photography From Pixel To Plate.  Yes, I was a photography major in the day but I'm sure she knows more about food photography than I do.  I'll begin the test shots for the cover of NLM2 soon.  That will take me into the summer.  I don't write as fast as I used to.  I used to be sloppy.  I used to throw anything down on the page and be happy with it.  And I was apparently pretty good at that because it was all published.  It wasn't until I started thinking about what I was doing, what I was trying to say, that traditional publishing had no use for me!  ;-)  I worry that we're all writing too fast now because digital is so exciting and so fast and the rewards can be so immediate.  I don't know if readers notice but I do.

So wherever you are on this journey, I hope May is a great month for you, for all of us.  I will say again, for me as much as for you--do your best work.  People will respond to that sincerity.

Helen DuJardin

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yours is an amazing, inspirational journey, Barb. Thanks for sharing your experience with such honesty and thought.