The One Month Published Author Introspective

Today officially marks one month since my books appeared for purchase in the Amazon store (just under for some of the other, slower vendors). One month! That’s both exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking, because it seems like I haven’t made nearly enough progress on my next project in that time, but I digress.

Given that I often hear about the thirty-day cliff (the point after release at which sales tend to drop precipitously for indie authors), I wanted to record both for myself and for other indie authors my journey in my first month of sales and then compare at the three month mark to see how things are going (which should line up almost perfectly with the release of book two in my Daggers & Steele series, Cold Hard Steele). I wanted to do a little bit of a pro and con style analysis, but that terminology doesn’t totally fit with the information I wanted to present.

So, without further ado, here are the indie publishing experiences that have excited me during my first month as a published author (pros) and those experiences that have been disappointing (cons).

Disappointment: The Launch

While my books went live on the various vendors anywhere from Thursday, Oct. 16th to Sunday Oct. 19th, I waited until Monday Oct. 20th to announce my books to the world on social media. Given the number of people who’d been supporting me on my journey, I’d expected to make a big splash and rocket up the new release charts, at least for a day. So imagine my dismay when I sold a grand total of three books on Oct. 20. Yeah… That wasn’t a fun day. However…

Excitement: Consistent Sales

My (somewhat) surprise hit, Red Hot Steele.
My (somewhat) surprise hit, Red Hot Steele.

One of the reasons I was upset was because I’d envisioned I’d sell some books to friends and family and then maybe some sales would trickle in here and there in perpetuity. I didn’t expect to see steady sales on my first two books, by me, a total unknown commodity. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened. I’ve sold at least one copy of Red Hot Steele on Amazon Kindle every single day since release (which doesn’t account for paperbacks or other sales channels). So that’s nice. But even nicer has been…

Excitement: Growing Sales

Red Hot Steele has been picking up steam and doing better over time. In my first week, even with my launch and me promoting my books to everyone I know, I sold an average of 3.3 books per day on Kindle. In the past week, I’ve averaged 6.1 sales per day. That’s pretty dang cool. As much as I hoped my books would gain momentum over time, I didn’t expect it to start happening so soon, and I didn’t think it would happen until I had more novels for sale (at least 5 or so). I also didn’t expect…

Excitement: International Sales

I’ve sold books internationally, in the UK, Canada, and Europe. Not a ton, mind you, but some. And I know for a fact that all of those (with one possible exception), came from people I’ve never met and who had previously never heard of me. Of course, almost all the sales have been for Red Hot Steele, which leads me to…

Excitement/Disappointment: One-sided Sales

While Red Hot Steele has done great, The Genesis Allegory has languished. I’m not sure if I should be excited or disappointed by that, actually. On one side, it’s always disappointing to see that a book has only sold a few copies, but on the other side, it’s more or less what I expected. The Genesis Allegory doesn’t have the same mass market appeal that Red Hot Steele does. And the exciting thing, I guess, is that I really thought Red Hot Steele would appeal to a wide audience, and now that I see it’s selling well, it gives me confidence that I do have realistic expectations about my own work (ie. I’m not delusional about the quality of my own writing). This has been confirmed to me by…

Excitement: Positive Reviews

I’ve yet to receive a negative review for either book, but the response to Red Hot Steele in particular has been great. Nothing but five star reviews online and everyone who’s talked to me in person has told me they loved it. But…

Disappointment: Limited Reviews

All the reviews I’ve gotten online so far have been from people I know, despite my appeals in my book end matter for reviews. I’d hoped for some random ones by now. I also had hoped for more friends and family to leave me kind reviews after appealing to them on Facebook, etc., but I’m still holding out hope that many haven’t read the books yet and not that they’re too lazy to write me a few sentences. And finally, one last random point…

Excitement: Amazon Lists

Maybe one of the best reasons Red Hot Steele has done so well is that it’s managed to place on two key Amazon lists, Mystery>Supernatural>Witches & Wizards and Mystery>Supernatural>Psychics, for almost the entire time it’s been out. It hasn’t cracked the top twenty (to my knowledge), but it’s gotten oh so close a couple times (it’s #22 on the Witches & Wizards list as I speak). Seeing my novel up there, rubbing shoulders with some of the other heavy hitters in the field is uber, DOOPER exciting.

Why, yes, that is my book, Red Hot Steele, right next to Janet Evanovich’s Wicked Appetite.

So, I guess that’s about it. I don’t know if that’s helpful to anyone else or not, or if it really just turned into a long-winded pat on the back for myself, but I think it’ll be a helpful reminder to myself that success is possible. Maybe it’ll be a reminder for all of you aspiring authors out there, as well, and an impetus for you to keep writing.

One thought on “The One Month Published Author Introspective”

  1. This is super helpful, to me, since I’m planning to launch a 6 book series. I’m eager to know what the experience of other recent debut indie authors has been, so I can adjust my expectations accordingly. I know I can’t expect the amazing sales you got within 2 months after launch, but it helps to know that your other book didn’t do as well, which indicates the keywords and categories as a deciding factor.

    And it also helps to know that you didn’t get many reviews; I keep hearing that reviews are vital to grow a career, and it’s one of those big worries in the back of my mind. I’ll be asking my beta readers, friends, and family to leave reviews, but as in your case, I don’t know how many will follow through.

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