No, it’s not my 50th birthday, although that comes in a few weeks. After a good run of sales in April, I’ve had to wait over a week, but yesterday some lucky reader got their hands on Monkey Arkwright, and as a side-effect, I made my 50th sale.
Whilst it feels like a milestone to celebrate, it’s worth noting that my book has been on sale for over five months, and I’d originally set myself the grand target of two hundred sales in the first year. It’s fair to say that internally, I’m rapidly recalibrating my expectations like a back-pedalling politician. However, a few days ago, I did read some pithy comment that most indie authors don’t even sell fifty books. With that last sale in the bag, I do at least feel that I’ve passed some wooden spoon marker.
In terms of my review targets, that’s shaping up very nicely. This weekend, I got my tenth review on Amazon UK; add this to my six US reviews and one from Canada, and I have a grand total of seventeen reviews. This is only three short of my target for the year.
However, as far as being reviewed by a blog or professional review site, this hasn’t happened yet. I have had my book accepted by two sites, but so far, it’s languishing in their dungeons with hundreds of other unwanted books.
Finally, for this news update, I had a nice e-mail from a lady who’d bought Monkey Arkwright. It’s nice to receive feedback, especially when it’s positive, and she was even kind enough to say that she’ll be buying the next book, so that’s one sale on the board. I just need to decide whether to set the release price at £99 or £101. No, seriously, I’m thrilled that there are people out there reading my book. The one minor criticism that I received in the e-mail was that there were too many adjectives in my opening chapter. You know what? She’s absolutely right. I’ve said before that I’m proud of the first chapter; how Monkey and Lorna meeting feels natural, and how it sets up the rest of the book beautifully. But I did crank up the flowery descriptions in those opening paragraphs, and a more direct style is one of my main objectives with Book #2. Not that I won’t slip in the odd bit of purple prose here and there, of course, but it’s all about balance.