It has been one month since the release of Chet: Strength Beyond Our Own, and I wanted to take just a moment to thank everyone who has purchased a copy. You the readers are the final decision makers on whether or not a book is successful. All the lipstick in world won’t change the fundamental characteristics of a pig, and the largest promotion will do little more than pile on the lipstick if a book fails to deliver for the fans.
As an independent author/publisher, I don’t have the resources to do a big marketing push when I release a book. I depend on you, the readers who enjoy what I write, to spread the word to others who may enjoy the stories I tell. That’s why it has been so gratifying to see the nice little bump in sales this past month. It has been especially interesting to note that the sales are not all for the second book in the series. In fact, taken for the month, Chet: Whispers From the Past has sold almost as many eBook copies as Chet: Strength Beyond Our Own.
I’m speculating a bit, but it appears to me the visibility spike from the release of the second book in the series has put the book in front of new potential readers and they have decided to start at the beginning. Thanks to each of you for the increased visibility and for going on and purchasing the second book. As long as you and your friends continue to read and enjoy the stories I write, I’ll keep striving to deliver content that lives up to the trust you’ve given me.
That brings me back to the pig and the lipstick. In spite of it’s crazy length, some of the early buyers have read the nearly 600 pages and are starting to provide feedback. Comments like “Curses, you kept me up late again!” and “I liked it even better than the first book.” give me hope that we won’t need any lipstick for this latest addition to the Chet series.
Thank you again for supporting my writing with your purchase and for telling your friends that Chet is worth checking out. You’re the greatest fans and friends in the world.
As difficult as it can be to write, I’m finding it can also be addictive. With a fundamentally addictive personality, I guess I’m already used to getting consumed in whatever I’m involved in. That confession out of the way, the challenge for me is how to feed the need while staying true to myself and my fans.
I’m faced with trying to find an all too elusive point of balance within a continuously changing set of world values. On one hand it’s important to write what people want to read. On the other hand I feel an obligation to make sure what I write is actually worth reading.
It’s clear my stories have to be engaging and enjoyable or no one will want to read them, thus contributing to the decline in avid readers. (Not a particularly good thing for authors or for the world in general.) At the same time, I have a responsibility to society at large, and my posterity in particular, to try to make the world a better place than it was before I came along.
In seeking this elusive sweet spot, I find myself moving rather far afield from my comfortable zone of personal experience. (My whole life I’ve been told to write what I know. Contrary to what my children think, even at my age there’s a limit to what I know and have personally experienced.) My current project (working title Conspiring Men 1) is delving into areas where I have no experience beyond observing others and what I can learn through research. As a consequence, yesterday I did several hours of research in order to write a handful of paragraphs that will take the reader only a minute or two to read.
Conspiring Men is a major departure from what I have been creating in the Chet universe. It’s more gritty, exploring behavior and motivation from both sides of the moral and ethical fence. I’m striving to keep the story and delivery clean enough for young readers while taking a serious look at life that will benefit readers of my own advanced maturity. It’s the most ambitious project I’ve ever undertaken and I’m excited to see if I can pull together the story I’ve envisioned.
I started out discussing addiction so I probably ought to close out my thought before my rambling becomes completely obnoxious. Even as I’m realizing that writing can be addictive, there’s this little voice in the back of my mind that keeps whispering a warning about my real addiction. Try as I might I just can’t seem to get past my need for a daily fix of reading. Maybe that’s the real reason the research is consuming way more hours than the writing.
Until next time, wish me luck, and if you’re the praying kind I hope you’ll send up a few extra prayers for me.