Tag Archives: Red Hot Steele

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.

Ok, so here’s the deal…

Your friend/family member/acquaintance/random dude you sort of remember Alex (that’s me by the way) is releasing his first two novels, Red Hot Steele and The Genesis Allegory, this Monday, Oct. 20. You know, those books that he’s seemingly been talking about forever, even though it’s really only been a few months and your memory’s clearly not as great as it used to be?

Right, those. With the release date almost here, you’re probably wondering—which one should I buy?

(Presumably you’re wondering this because buying two ebooks, each priced at a whopping $4.99, is just wayyyy too rich for your blood. Don’t worry. I get it. You live in a box under an overpass. Times are tight.)

Well, the obvious thing to do would be to read the blurbs for the books (visible when you go to purchase them) and figure out which one sounds more up your alley, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? So let me break it down.

Read Red Hot Steele, part one in my undoubtedly-soon-to-be mega bestselling Daggers & Steele franchise.

Oh… you didn’t expect that kind of blatant honesty? Well, strap in folks, because you’re in for some more.

See, here’s the thing. The Genesis Allegory is a good book. An entertaining book. A what-if book centered on an idea. A book with a gripping plot and a strong element of mystery and intrigue. But it’s also my first book—a book I’ve been working on for almost two years as I’ve learned the craft and smoothed out the roughness at my edges. And more importantly, it’s an epic fantasy book.

Maybe you love epic fantasy, and if so, I hope you’ll enjoy The Genesis Allegory. But it’s not going to appeal to everyone. If you don’t read lengthy science-fiction or fantasy novels, the pacing might not appeal to you. And there’s also the subject matter of the novel, which, as you might’ve guessed, deals with religious allegory.

Now, this is not a pro-religion or anti-religion book in any way. It’s just a made up fantasy novel that happens to have an important element of religious intrigue. Let me say that again—this is a fantasy novel that features a religion similar to (but not exactly the same as) Judeo-Christian ones here in the real world. That alone is going to throw some people for a loop. So even though I feel it’s a powerful story, I know it’s not for everyone.

On the other hand you have Red Hot Steele, my third-world urban fantasy-mystery hybrid. Hold on a moment while I locate my caps-lock key. Oh, dang, it’s broken. Oh well. Just know I’m screaming these next two sentences at you:

Red Hot Steele is awesome! You will love it!

Look, I know you’re not supposed to blatantly shill for your own work, but I’m honestly and truly geeked about this book. I had an absolute blast writing it. I laughed out loud often while typing away at my keyboard. And I think anyone, fantasy reader or not, can enjoy it.

It’s fast paced. It’s funny. It’s got action and witty dialogue and snappy one-liners. It’s got a splash of grittiness and another of sex appeal. It’s got characters you can fall in love with—assuming you like irreverent jerks with a heart of gold.

If that’s not enough of an endorsement for you, here’s a second reason to read Red Hot Steele:

This is me.

This is the kind of book I love to read, the kind I was born to write, and luckily for me, it only took me a little over a year to realize that.

In the future, expect to see more of Daggers & Steele. In fact, book two, Cold Hard Steele, should be out early next year. But also expect to see more books in the same vein as Red Hot Steele. Books with smart, funny, charismatic protagonists. Books full of mystery and adventure and humor. Books that don’t take themselves too seriously, leave you with a smile on your face, and hopefully, make you immediately want to reach for the next one.

Bottom line: I want you to read Red Hot Steele because I’m super, duper, ooper proud of it, and it’s indicative of what you’ll see from me in the future. And I think you’ll really like it.

Thanks for your support.

New Covers and Site Redesign

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll undoubtedly already have seen the new covers for my two upcoming novels, Red Hot Steele and The Genesis Allegory. If not, here they are in all their luscious glory.

You’ll also notice there’s been some changes to the website. It’s now a real author website with a blog attached, as opposed to vice versa.

Both books should be available soon, and, of course, I’ll post about it when they are.

Red Hot Steele - Ebook

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