Thursday, April 11, 2013

Collection Update & Sharing

So, a pretty unique thing happened to me yesterday. I wrote a short essay that appeared on John Scalzi's blog, for a regular column he provides called "The Big Idea". You can check it out here, if you like, as it does give quite a bit of context for the new collection. I was a bit nervous about it, but the handful of folks that commented said nice things and (as usual) the cover received a lot of praise.

I also wanted to push for help for David Farland's son Ben yesterday, which I did. And if you missed it, go forth to this website and help out. David is a fine writer, and when the community pitches in to help each other, it's a pretty damn fine thing.

But then, I sort of fell into the trap of watching the Amazon numbers for THE END OF ALL SEASONS. With the Kindle version being only $2.99, I figured the "Scalzi effect" (something I'll no doubt be blogging about in the future, would garner some sales. I also did a couple of Facebook posts, and saw the momentum thing really take off a bit. I almost never look at the sales numbers for my books, because so few of them are in my name. By the time one comes out, I've long since moved on to whatever it is I'm writing at the time. It was sort of fascinating, I admit, and I think a couple of people may even have bought the trade paperback version.

As of writing this, THE END OF ALL SEASONS is in the top 25k of all paid books in the Kindle store, but even more cool (at least to me) are these numbers:

#14 in Kindle Science Fiction Anthologies
#22 in Kindle Fantasy Anthologies
#53 in Books/Fantasy Anthologies

As the evening progressed, I updated Facebook a couple of times, and asked people to share the link and help the momentum. A good number of people "liked" the link, but only a few shared. Just in case folks don't know, the reason for "sharing" the link instead of just liking it is the differential in our respective friends lists. You know people I don't, so if you share a link and say something about it, your friends are more likely to see it (understanding, of course, that Facebook has made it impossible now for everyone to see everything). If you just "like" a link, you and I see it, but your friends do not.

Many of us share friends, of course. The spec fic community isn't so massive that there's not a lot of crossover. But still, I wonder... I have over 1000 friends on Facebook. If even half of them shared one of those Kindle links for my collection, what would happen? Well, it's fun to imagine, but I do want to suggest that supporting authors (yes, others, but me, too) is important and one of the ways you can do that is to share posted links about books as well as liking them, and to buy a copy for yourself if you can. Also, don't forget to leave a review on Amazon and other online websites, if you do get a copy. All of that builds momentum and sales, which ultimately means your favorite writers get to write even more.

Next up for me, I will be blogging on the Western State Colorado University MFA blog on the subjects of outlining and writing backwards. I'm well overdue for an appearance there as Michaela Roessner has been doing all the heavy lifting. I'll also be putting in an appearance on Mary Robinette Kowal's blog soon, for the regular feature she runs called "My Favorite Bit." And then back to here, where maybe I'll get around to blogging about something other than the collection... no promises, but I'll see what I can come up with.


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