I could not be more pleased with the way things are going.
As I mentioned in my last update, Amazon-only unit sales doubled in June from my previous monthly average (143 books in June, compared with 50-80 books per month over the previous several months).
Well, in July, sales doubled again. On Amazon alone, people bought 344 total copies of my books. This has been by far my best month ever and I’m starting to feel like I’m really getting somewhere. Yes, this is still small potatoes, but I’m ecstatic about it. All my hard work over the past three years is amounting to something.
The boost in sales is largely due to two of the three books I released in June and July, which are both selling several copies per day without any promotion or a permafree lead-in (they’re both first books in their respective series). Those two titles account for probably around 300 of my 344 sales. So let me take this opportunity to thank, profusely, everyone who’s seen a cover image, read a blurb, snapped open the Look Inside, and decided to keep going on one of my new books this month. You are all my favorite.
My one regret, as I often tell my wife these days, is that I didn’t start off writing in a more mainstream genre. I was so concerned with being ‘different’ and ‘unique’ and ‘special’ when I started writing that I thought I could write anything, even if it was weird, and people would love it.
The #1 Rule About Books is this: people like books which are similar to other books they like.
To appeal to a reader in that respect, your book needs to fit into a specific market. It’s okay to do something different and try out new things, but you have to choose a genre and make it look like you’re right up there with the top titles of that genre.
So if I had to start over again, that’s what I’d do – write the stuff that fits first, until I’m making enough that I can write the weird artsy-fartsy stuff which may not fit but is exactly what I want to be doing.
That said, you can write mainstream fiction without selling out your inner artist. In fact, bollocks to anyone who says you’re selling out by writing books people read and enjoy instead of your divinely-inspired gobbledy-gook. Heck, write both. Your gobbledy-gook may define the future mainstream. We can’t all kill our Ned Starks at the end of Book One (spoiler alert) and turn it into a best-seller, but people will certainly continue trying until the end of time – and some will succeed. Keep trying, and don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work three times, or five, or ten, or twenty, before it does.