Friday, July 20, 2012

Going Indie - Day 2: Every Moment of Every Day

Get a Copy of My Little Pet Dragon!
Last night I was on an Internet show called The Author's Corner, hosted by Elaine Raco Chase via Triangle Variety Media. I'm a terrible public speaker, so I was very nervous about doing it. Thankfully, I didn't have to do too much speaking since the host was enamored with my free children's book My Little Pet Dragon. Throughout the night she kept coming back to it, gushing over the adorable artwork, and urging her readers to pick up a copy. It was great publicity, and I was able to reach a whole new audience because of it.

At one point she asked, “How often and when do you write?”

“Every moment of every day,” I replied.

Sure it sounds corny, but it’s the truth. I’m a writer; this is the job. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing, and there’s no employer that I have to report to. Success is up to me. If I’m unproductive, I see it in my bank account. There’s no one else to blame but me.

When I heard one of the other authors talk about the 100+ rejection letters that she had to absorb before finding a publisher that was willing to take a chance on her, I just shook my head. Take your future into your own hands! You don’t need those parasites!

Those thoughts swirled around my head while I fired up the computer this morning. I wasn't sure what to expect from the radio promotion, but certainly it would lead to more downloads, right? But how many? Would it be just a little blip on the radar? The hot topic of the evening that was no sooner forgotten the moment when weary hands and feeble brains struggled to make pot of coffee the following morning?

Isn’t that always the eternal question?

Upon checking my rankings, I realized that I had fallen three spots, from #43 to #47. "Oh well," I thought. "At least I'm still in the Top 50."

I promptly immersed myself into my book on Pugs, and worked on that for the next few hours. When I had to do some additional online research, I checked my rankings again, and nearly fell out of my chair. I was at #26 overall!

Unbelievable! How did I jump 20 spots so quickly? Early morning rankings always have to be taken with a grain of salt, as I’m often reminded. Volume is low, so even though you might jump several spots, you might not be selling all that many copies. Currently I'm #31 overall, so I’ve been able to retain my ranking for the most part. The real eye-opener will be tomorrow morning when many of the big players exit the stage. If I can get a Top 20 ranking, I'd be thrilled.

In terms of volume, I've given away nearly 11,000 copies thus far. I'm averaging about 4,000 per day---respectable, but not big numbers--, and expect to finish at around 20,000 total downloads. This isn't even half of what I did last January, but that was a very special time indeed. The truth is you can’t expect the same phenomenal success on every promotional run. People’s tastes change. Many already have your book from the first promotion. There are always new titles to compete with, and a million other distractions that keep readers away from Amazon. Be thankful for the interest that you are able to generate.

As for my Pugs book, I managed to finish it just before taking my son to Chuck E. Cheese this afternoon. Today is his sixth birthday, and he was absolutely thrilled that he could peel his workaholic father away from the keyboard long enough to play a few games and have a bite of his favorite food in the world: pizza.

Adorable Dogs: Pugs should be available on Amazon sometime tomorrow morning. Since it won't be an Amazon exclusive, it will be coming to Barnes & Noble and Smashwords shortly.

All in all, that makes 53 published works thus far. My goal is to have over 100 going into the Christmas holidays. Next up is another dog book that I promised my friend Lucinda. The book is about Labradors, and takes place in an animal shelter. Lucinda actually suggested the storyline, so I'll incorporate as many of her ideas as I can while injecting my patented zany humor.

After the dog books, I’ll be working on novelizations of My Little Pet Dragon and My Crazy Pet Frog. Afterwards, the associated sequels. And after that? A billion other ideas that I probably don't have time for.

Being a writer is the best job in the world.

It's worth fighting for. Every moment of every day.

Scott Gordon
Children's Book Author

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