I've been watching my sales for the past few days and can now report that I've sold 100,000 since the start of April.
As you'd imagine, I'm rather pleased about this :)
This is all thanks to Love... From Both Sides taking off in a big way and hitting the Kindle Top 10. It lifted all my other books in the rankings - and I've had four of them at one time or another in the top 100 over the past few weeks.
I've also sold a few thousand at Amazon
- which is great, considering the sense of humour in my books is resolutely
Also, Love... From Both Sides has been floating around the top 20 over at the Apple iTunes store for the past couple of months as well, peaking at number 7 thus far. I have no idea how many sales this represents as I publish there via the Smashwords platform, which can only provide sales figures every six weeks or so from Apple.
All in all then, things ain't going too bad for what my fiancee refers to as 'Spalding's Empire'. She does this with a sardonic roll of the eyes and a chuckle ...which is only right and proper.
If you asked me how I've accomplished this, I'd look at you with a perplexed expression on my face and go 'er...' a lot. Then, when I'd finally marshalled my brain into some sort of coherent response I would respond thus ways:
I've always tried to write the funniest books I can. That's been my number one goal - to make you lot laugh until snot comes out of your nose.
I had no idea whether doing this would be popular (after all, being covered in snot and laughing your head off on the 7.15 to
isn't the best look in the world), but I sallied forth regardless, because
writing funny stuff is what I love to do.
Happily (so far) the snotty lunatic on the train look is obviously 'in' for 2012 - as the 100,000 sales on Kindle would seem to indicate.
Other than that, I try to make my books look as professional as possible - with spanky, colourful covers and a decent blurb. I also price them where I think they'll sell while still earning me a decent royalty for my efforts.
The rest has been down to the great Kindle reading public.
I can swing from the rafters shouting about how great my books are until I'm blue in the arse - and it won't have anywhere near the beneficial effect to my sales ranking that a lot of decent reader reviews has.
The publishing industry is going through a lot of changes right now (not interesting changes, mind you. Unless you're a part of the industry all the legal shenanigans and shifts in business practice are duller than a Bank Holiday weekend in Cleethorpes) and the biggest practical upshot of those changes is that YOU - the person who actually buys the books - are being given more power over what sells and what doesn't. Your reviews and word-of-mouth count more now than they ever have.
Please be nice with all that new found power though... if you're not careful you can find yourself on the slippery slope into super villainy, and that won't do anyone any good. Think of the cleaning bills if nothing else.
I have no idea how long my current levels of success will last, but I'm hoping to keep drawing in new fans with the books I have out - and I'll be writing more in the near future to keep those who already like my work happy.
This year I want to get another couple of books out at least - one of which is a rom-com based on my time in the police as a special constable. I also intend to get a third Love... book written to complete the trilogy (already have the idea for it) and then The Cornerstone part 2 beckons. I've been neglecting poor old Max Bloom for Laura and Jamie recently, and if I don't get on with the book soon he'll get stroppy and won't speak to me anymore.
Whatever happens - if I continue with this level of success or not - I can safely say I know who to thank for it.
It's not Amazon (although without their KDP program my books would never have seen the light of day) it's not any of the publishers or agents out there, and it sure as hell isn't my secondary school English teacher Mr Kendall (who once gave me a D for a horror story I wrote when I was thirteen, the utter bastard*).
It's all of you lot... the audience, the punters.
...or as Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton once put it: 'the great unwashed'**.
Without you all downloading my books, reading them, enjoying them, and telling other people about them I'd be precisely nowhere***.
So thanks very much from the bottom of my heart.
Here's to the next 100,000 (if I'm very, very lucky and eat all my greens).
*Though he did also let me off detention for wearing trainers once, so we'll call it a tie.
** Yes of course I looked this up on Google. I am, after all, very definitely one of 'the great unwashed' myself.
*** Or the A16 just outside Cleethorpes, as the locals know it.