ONE THOUSAND BOOKS!
It’s been a pretty good month for Jackson Speed and his editor (me).
Last month I published the third book in the Jackson Speed series and (for the first time) I spent some time creating a spread sheet with all of my Amazon.com sales (to include paperbacks and Kindle downloads, paid and free).
As May came to a close and June started, I realized that I was just eight books away from hitting my first big milestone. I had already distributed 992 books (that’s a combination of all four of my books) through Amazon.
I posted it on Facebook and a few of my friends were kind enough to drop $3 (or in a couple of cases, $12 plus shipping) to push me over the edge.
I’ve now distributed 1,000 books through Amazon.
I know what you’re thinking: “Wow! A thousand books! This dude must be a millionaire!”
That’s what I was thinking, too!
But I’ve run the math with a calculator (twice) and I’m not a millionaire. If 1000 book sales were going to make me a millionaire, I’d have to be selling my books for $1000 a piece.
Besides, most of those 1000 books that I’ve distributed through Amazon were on free Kindle days where people were able to download the book for free. So I haven’t sold 1000 books through Amazon, but I’ve distributed 1000 books through Amazon.
Anyway … it’s a milestone all the same.
The hope is that the people who download the book for free will enjoy it and maybe come back for more. The truth is, most of the people who download the book for free haven’t read it and never will. When people see free books that interest them, they’ll frequently download the book but never come back to it (I’ve done it myself).
However … I have heard from a handful of readers who did download a book for free and enjoyed it, and that’s the neatest thing to me – being able to connect with people who like my books and are literally all over the world.
At some point, I gave up on marketing my books. I decided the more important thing for me was to write more. Book marketing becomes a full time job if you let it, and I have a full time job. I had to either market my one book or write more books. So I decided to write.
The extent of my marketing scheme now is that I post on Facebook sometimes, tweet links to my blog or books on Twitter once in a while, and I update my blog periodically.
The fact that I’ve had 1000 people get copies of my books with little marketing from me is a true blessing.
I’m still writing and still not marketing (though at some point I do plan to really start pushing the marketing), so 2000 books through Amazon may still be a year or two away. But that’s okay. I’m loving writing, I’m enjoying connecting with readers, and I’m having a great time making spread sheets that show that in one month there were 46 people who downloaded El Teneria for free and in the following two months 14 people bought Blood Tubs, the sequel to El Teneria.
Anyway … if you can count yourself among the 1,000 people who have gotten my book through Amazon, I honestly, truly, sincerely am grateful to you.
And if you’re one of the people who has sent me an email or a message on Facebook or a comment through my blog or if you’ve come to a book signing or posted a reader review on Amazon or in any way expressed to me that you enjoyed my book – again, thank you so much. I don’t have the words to tell you how much it means to me.
When you write and publish books, you take a huge part of yourself and put it on display for other people to see. When you read a book, you get a glimpse into the mind of the author – his thoughts and imagination are on display.
It’s a terrifying and embarrassing thing to expose yourself like that.
But … if you’re among those 1000, I appreciate what you’ve done to help make it a little less terrifying and embarrassing. I guess the real joy isn’t whether or not I’m making millions of dollars with my writing (although I am considering pricing Jackson Speed at the High Tide at $1000 when it comes out), but the real joy is having people respond favorably to the things I’ve written. Thank you so much for making these last couple of years writing about Jackson Speed a real joy!
* I should note that I’ve sold or given away many, many paperbacks, too (I don’t have good numbers on that, but somewhere approaching or maybe just over 200). So if you’re a Jackson Speed fan but you’ve never bought a novel through Amazon, I’m also grateful to you!