The Life of an Unknown Writer

My first royalty statement, at the end of April, got me all excited. The most recent one, for May, has brought me back down to earth with a bump.

Two copies of STC sold in May. That’s it. Just two. And I know exactly who bought them, as well. I am feeling rather discouraged. I have been working hard on the promotion – nabbing guest blog spots where I can, having online interviews, sending copies out for review. The reviews so far have been good. Everyone loves the cover.

Yet the e-book has now been out for nearly two months, and I have yet to attract any ‘proper’ punters. All 26 copies sold have gone to people who know me.

The facts seem to be that e-books do not sell as well as paper books, and the only genre that seems to sell well as an e-book is erotica. The e-book revolution that is being predicted may well be coming, but it’s not here yet.

The other fact of the matter is I’ve been a published novelist for less than two months. This has served to remind me that I am still on the bottom rung of that very tall ladder, with a very long way to go before anyone knows or cares about what I write. I heard Anne Perry speak at the St Hilda’s Conference a couple of years ago, and she said it took her twenty years to become an “overnight sensation”. That’s quite a discouraging thought – it means I’ll be 60 before anyone’s heard of me – but I do now understand what she means. Much time and effort has to go into building up one’s name as a writer before any effect is seen.

So I guess I have to keep at the task of getting my name out there. In the meantime, any suggestions on what I might do to boost my notoriety are welcome. Only don’t tell me I should be writing erotica. That’s not going to happen – I have trouble with regular sex scenes, let alone the kind that are required to classify as erotica.

However, there is a (brief) sex scene in chapter one of SUFFER THE CHILDREN. Maybe I should include that in my sales pitch. “Buy this book. Sex and violence galore, right from the first chapter.” Not a lie, really. An exaggeration, perhaps, but not a lie…

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2 comments so far

  1. lachatnoir on

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bushel my Lovely. Think back a few years and how you really wanted a publishing deal. Now you have one and that is marvellous. So draw on that positivity.

  2. ralfast on

    Not very encouraging for someone who is thinking of going the e-book route (my first book is great, but a bit short at 50K). But then again, you got a book out there, and that means you’re published now!


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