So Redemption has been up on Amazon for a couple of days now. I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with how it’s gone so far. It’s been hovering right around the 20th position in the Kindle Gay Romance category (getting as high as #18!) and sales have been steady.
Everyone who’d told me the Amazon reports function would be addicting weren’t just whistling Dixie. Is there an author alive who, when they first wake up in the morning, doesn’t check to see if they sold any copies over night? Is there are, they’re made of stronger stuff than me.
This is a funny book. As those close to me know, it’s been in development quite literally for years (and yet I just saw a typo in the manuscript this evening…seriously?!). A lot of people have read it. Many of them have been kind enough to write to me to say they liked it.
When I’d decided to sell the book on Amazon, I contacted some of those people and asked if they would be willing to say what they’d said to me privately on Amazon. Many of them said yes. I thought, ‘This is awesome! I’m one of the lucky ones who begins their career with an existing pool of readers.’
What I didn’t realize was that having people who are enthusiastic about your work comment all within a few days of each other–particularly when you’re a new author–is suspect.
I was on Good Reads tonight, basically setting up my author page, when I saw there was a discussion going on between someone reading Redemption and someone who’d seen my reviews on Amazon and thought it was all sockpuppetry. I kind of insinuated myself into the conversation and corrected that assumption (which felt weird, like I was elbowing my way between two people at a party). Folks have been really kind since I posted (including the person who is reading the book–she gave me a very nice pat on the back). But it makes me realize some of the pitfalls inherent in the way indie writers market themselves.
Because you do it all yourself, you’re at risk, most especially if you put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people being honest about what they think of you. If they love you–awesome. If they don’t like you, your work, or your methods (because really, that was the issue in this case), look out. You know the old adage–people who eavesdrop never hear well of themselves. This is a variation: don’t go looking for people who might be talking about you, unless you’re prepared to hear what they have to say.
Time to grow a thicker skin.