Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Er ... I've been away.

I haven't posted anything for more than three months and it's time I updated on what's been going on.  If you've read me previously you may remember how disillusioned I was about the whole business of trying to write.  I haven't done anything writing wise for a while because I got thoroughly down about it all.

But hey ... I've got my enthusiasm back with a vengeance and it's all because of the upsurge in digital self publishing.  Ebooks, to be precise.  Firstly, at the start of the year I put a novel and five short stories onto a free to download site called obooko, just for fun really, and sat back to see what would happen.

To my amazement, people started downloading the stories, and in three months there were 250 downloads!  I know that's not setting the world on fire, but after all these years to have 250 people read something of mine ... well, I tell you!

I looked forward to receiving some comments and even star rating votes to get an idea of what people thought about my stuff, but sadly, no one commented, and only two people voted, one 5 star and one 3 star - not much response from 250 downloads.  I took this to be a bad sign but when I queried obooko about it they said that was the average as most readers never bothered to comment or vote at all.  They also said that some writers had been on there for a long time without receiving a single vote so really I should cheer up.

So I did.

At the urging of my best friend, (who I'm lucky enough to be married to), the next step was to post them onto one of the numerous paid sites and see what would happen there.  The first thing was to take the same six stories and re-format them for Smashwords, (which is no easy feat!), and they've been on there for a few weeks now - all priced at $0.99, which seems at first glance to be too cheap, but is in line with all the advice of the very successful indie producers.  They are about to distribute them through five other sites but already there's been some response to them on their own retail division.  More than 100 page views and over 30 free samples downloaded.  Sadly, no sales, which again I'm taking to be a bad sign.  I think patience has got to be the order of the day here though, and I'm determined to stay in it for the long haul and keep adding more stories.

One distributor they haven't yet been able to reach agreement with is Amazon Kindle so I spent last Sunday afternoon adding them on there as well.  It's a much more confusing site than Smashwords, and I can't at the moment see how to raise my head above the waves, but - Lo and Behold - today I sold my first one!  I never thought I'd be so thrilled about someone spending 70p or so on a story of mine.

So now it's head down, write, write, write, post, post, post, and just see how far I can go with it.

I'm a solitary sort of person, no facebook, no twitter, no big circle of friends to encourage me, so how I'm going to get on with promoting my stories remains to be seen.  I'm feeling like a very small fish, in a very large tributary, of the really huge Amazon, but I'm going to try.

See?  I told you I'd got my enthusiasm back. 

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