11. the numbers so farPosted: July 30, 2017
This is a brief and very transparent history of my writing career as of June 2017. It includes a detailed breakdown of some stats that many authors keep hidden.
I wrote my first novel when I was fifteen years old. It was written in roughly the same form as all of my novels – in the first person, and built around a philosophical issue. It was also terrible. Luckily, I loved writing it, and so from that point on, I wrote roughly one novel per year. They’ve each fit roughly the same formula: about 250 pages with a short, sharp writing style that ranges from abstract to gritty, typically in present tense. My novels are “contemporary fiction” and focus on existential and metaphysical issues explored through human drama. Some include elements of mystery or suspense, and some don’t. With each new book, I put in a lot of effort to make sure it’s better than the last. My passion isn’t to pump out diaries – I do this because I want to create great novels. When I was nineteen, an independent press in the UK called Flame Books (now defunct) published a novel of mine called Jimwamba.
I continued writing, but was dissatisfied with the small press experience. So for a period of years, I chased after mainstream publishing deals with a variety of agents, and came very close to achieving that goal after [sic] won WeBook’s Page2Fame contest. The deal was with one of the giants, but ultimately fell apart.
I was burned out on the whole experience. But in the ten years since I started writing, digital publishing became a thing. At the same time, I secured a pretty solid career in the legal field, and didn’t hate it. As a result, I decided to chase readers instead of revenue. I combined a large presence on social writing platforms along with various Amazon giveaway events of my purchase-only novels. This was my strategy up until around 2016, and these are the hard numbers resulting from that:
- A combined total of around 215,000 reads (not just downloads) of the four novels I made available.
- Around 9,100 followers across three different sources (Wattpad, Facebook, and my mailing list).
- 361 positive reviews on Amazon, and 954 on Goodreads.
- 31,200 votes on Wattpad.
But now I’d like to write full time, and that’s going to involve charging people money. So, my last few novels can only be purchased, and that’ll be the trend going forward (with a few exceptions). Not that I haven’t sold some books in my life, but nothing to replace my day job.
The new game goes like this: I pay Facebook advertising fees to give you a free book. Why? Because after you read it, you’ll want to buy the others. Also, you’ll wind up on my mailing list. I send out a few emails a month with bonus content, special deals, personal messages, musings on literature, my short stories, or whatever else I think you might like. Sound interesting? You can take part by clicking this link.