Monday, September 9, 2013

Slowly but surely

It's kind of an unwritten rule for myself not to really talk about book sales. I don't see much need for it and I never want to be seen as complaining (read: whining) which is mostly what it would sound like. Besides, readers shouldn't care about how the sausage is made. My job is to write an entertaining story and try to make it available. I already hate groveling for shares/reviews/posts/ tweets/tags and all that other crap that comes with being a one person PR army.

But I will say this about one of my books, The Devil Doesn't Want Me, only because I'm coming up on the one year anniversary of the release next month – I'm still incredibly proud of that book, and readers and reviewers have been very kind to it. It's really the only of my books that I still check sales numbers for, although my only way to do so is through the inexact science of the Amazon rankings.

But darned if that little book doesn't have legs. Slow legs, but if I have learned anything from reading to my daughters every night for the past six years, it's that slow and steady wins the race. I'm perfectly fine to have a turtle over a hare. It comes in drips and drabs, and the numbers aren't anything to get a publisher excited, though sales wasn't a reason given for why they didn't want to publish the sequel I wrote. But it's enough for me to remain encouraged. Mostly because it means someone else is talking about the book. I don't do much promo for it any more. I don't want to beat a dead horse a year later. But somehow a few people keep finding it every few days or weeks. Someone's talking, or someone is reading one of my other books and seeking it out. In other words, the system is working.

If you've ever mentioned the book to anyone, thank you. If you've read something else of mine and went to find The Devil Doesn't Want Me, I hope you enjoyed it.

I have a whole bookshelf behind me right now filled with books I bought on word of mouth and by loving one book from an author and snapping up the rest. Sharing a book you loved really is the best marketing a book can have. It's what drives the indie booksellers to put a book in a customer's hand, it's what makes me believe any tip I get from the people who have never steered me wrong. 

So slow and steady, I hope it keeps up. I've always said I was in this for the long haul. If I was easily frustrated I'd have given up a long time ago. But small things keep a writer going and make me feel less like I'm working in a windowless room all the time. It doesn't take much. I'm easy to please. This turtle is keeping an eye on the finish line.


Dana King said...

I bought my copy of THE DEVIL DOESN'T WANT ME on Kindle, which will also help your long-tail sales, since it's always around. As you know, I loved it, and will get reviews posted to Amazon and Goodreads right after Bouchercon, when i can catch my breath a little.

David Cranmer said...

Being a long distance runner is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

will you put out a print edition in the near future? I'm old fashioned and enjoy books more this way
Thank you,

Eric Beetner said...

I wish, thekenn@comcast, but the business model for Dutton/guilt Edged is an ebook only publisher. Of course the one caveat being that if it sold like hotcakes, they'd do a print version. So, lets get on that, people!