There are many challenges to being a writer, many of which I never expected, and many of which were far greater than I ever imagined. For over 20 years, I’ve dreamt of ‘making it’ as a writer.
The one challenge I did not quite anticipate in my steady work towards that dream: just getting the word out. Getting my name out there, getting the name of my book out there, getting people to want to read it. I always thought just getting published would be the hardest part.
It’s been seven months since The Sword of Dragons was released, and it was one of the most exciting times of my life! Sure I didn’t go the traditional route of ‘landing’ an agent and getting a publishing house to pick it up. Self publication made sense at the time, and I do not regret that decision at all.
To an extent, it has been a success! I have not heard one single negative review so far, and it is more than just family and close friends that have read it. Random people at work that I’ve convinced to buy it, patrons in the coffee shops I frequent (not to mention the baristas themselves), pretty much anyone and everyone who would listen and was willing.
While that had only translated to just over 50 sales, all feedback, including reviews on Amazon (and one review on Barnes and Noble) were all stellar!
But…50. 50 sales in 7 months. And half of those sales were in the first two months. It was disheartening. I knew that the novel I had written was good, perhaps even great if the reviews are any indication! It was the first novel I had ever written that I believed in.
So the question became: how do I get more people to give it a chance? How do I get the word out? How do I convince someone who has never heard my name before that this book is worth reading?
Then a friend gave me the answer to that question: with my exclusivity to Kindle, I could use the Kindle Unlimited program to put The Sword of Dragons on sale for free! And so this past Friday, I did just that. I didn’t expect much, maybe a dozen or two ‘sales’ at most…
I was so very wrong. I watched incredulously as over 200 were sold in the first day, and 200 more the next day!!! My jaw quite literally dropped open. Could this be true?
Of course, there is a part of me that wonders: how many of those are from people who simply watch for any and all free books, and buy them up in an instant regardless, and they go into a ‘never going to read’ folder?
In the end, 694 people bought The Sword of Dragons for free. And what if…? What if even just a fraction of those folks read it? And what if those folks love it, and tell everyone they know about it?
It’s conceivable it could go the other way: those who read it could hate it, and they don’t spread the word, and no one else ever buys The Sword of Dragons again.
However, at least there is a chance now. Instead of 54, now over 750 people have a copy. Maybe, just maybe, this is where it begins. Maybe this is the boost I needed to start launching my writing career.
I hope so. No matter what, I’m not giving up on writing, or on the Sword of Dragons series. I will publish all six novels, regardless of their success.
But what if dreams can come true?
I know they can.
Thanks for reading :)