Had a little bit of a surprise this morning when I woke up, and this one was not gastrologically induced which is fantastic. Instead it had to do with my sales on Amazon for my novel JIMMY. It seems it had a bit of a run last night, one that I had considered a possibility when going to bed but hadn't banked on. See, ever since I did that free promo earlier this week and gave away over 20,000 copies of the novel, I have noticed sales were starting to increase. Not a lot, but enough for me to feel a tingle of excitement. Yesterday that tingle grew as I watched more and more people buy or borrow the book, and then, this morning, I woke up to discover JIMMY was ranked number 84 on the US paid horror list and number 60 on the UK paid thriller list. That's huge, at least to me. Never before have I made it onto the US top 100 lists for any category with any of my novels. UK lists, yes (number 2 bestseller for a while in horror and thrillers), but it didn't last because in those days everyone who did a free promo run would get a huge boost in sales due to the way the algorithms were laid out (in theory), so books were coming and going from that list everyday. Now, those algorithms have changed. Free promos don't work the way they used too, that is, unless you have a huge download rate, which I did. 20,000 copies. That's a lot of exposure, and exposure, my friends, is the name of the game. It's what everyone seeks. People need to see the work before they are going to buy it and getting ebooks out in front of those potential customers is growing harder and harder. It isn't impossible, however, as my book and others have clearly shown. Now let's just see if it has lasting power. I think it does, but I've learned the hard way not to count on anything until it has already come to pass.
The greatest example of this lesson came in the summer of 2010 when I thought JIMMY was going to be a title with Dorchester Publishing. For two months I worked on the desired rewrites for the editor on staff there, one who loved the book. Once finished I sent it back to him and waited, and waited, and waited. Turns out the company was crumbling, as everyone now knows, and soon the editor that loved my book was let go. Seeing this and knowing it was not a good sign I pulled the novel and decided to find a new publishing house, my thinking being that it would be accepted right away given that another publisher had really liked it and wanted it. Wrong. None of those publishers thought there was a market for such a book. Bills mounting and savings shrinking I eventually uploaded it to Amazon myself, my cover being bought with money I made working one month as an extra for a TV show. Best move I ever made, yet one that has proved to have many lessons to be learned as well.