The old man and the girl is a Christian drama. It is the first Christian and/or drama, book that I have written. Because it was my first venture into this genre’ I found it rather difficult to write. My books before this have been science fiction, fantasy, and horror. After the first draft was finished I went through the book multiple times in an effort to make it my best work ever. Unlike my prior books I knew that I would be encountering more readers in person. Since this was a Christian novel I expected that a great many of my sales would be at churches.
I bought several dozen books at discount and began to sell them directly. I started slow. I am mostly introverted and was somewhat afraid of what kind of feedback I might get. Not that I was afraid of harsh remarks. I felt that most, if not all, of the buyers would be gentle with their criticisms. It was some of the more tepid words which I feared, such as: “I thought it was good,” or “great effort” or “I enjoyed it.” This tells me that my book is average, or just okay. That’s not what I want to hear.
The first four books I sold were to people in my Sunday school class. Then began the long wait for them to read the book hoping that I wouldn’t be disappointed with their evaluation. It was only a couple days later at a Wal-Mart store when I ran into one of the ladies from church who had bought one of my books. She immediately told me that she liked my book. Then, she emphasized her words by saying she really liked it. This made my day.
It was during the next week that I sold a couple more books and got more good praise. One of the books went to my Pastor’s wife. The praise stroked my ego, but I still had a lot of books left.
It was a week later when the Pastor’s wife told me how much she loved the book. This really made me feel good. But it was not to be the greatest news that day. Near the beginning of the service the Pastor unexpectedly announced to everyone that I had written this book. It was a total surprise to me. Like I had said earlier I am more of an introvert. I had not gone around the church announcing that I had a Christian book to sell.
After the service I was besieged by people asking for a copy. I had books I kept in my car. It was raining at the time, so I was having to run to my car to get copies. It was a very awkward situation. I sold all of them but two copies and I’m sure I missed several people because of the rain and my absence to go and get my books.
Meanwhile, my sister, who lives in Alabama ordered 10 copies from Amazon which she sold to friends.
I realize that soon I will run out of customers at my church. It is not a mega church. I’m hoping, however, that other doors will open for me to sell to other churches or Christian organizations.
My biggest weakness is my ebook sales. I’ve had a few sales, but they were days apart. My ranking on Amazon has gone up and down. I am simply no good at promoting my book online. And, unfortunately, the books I buy at discount on CreateSpace doesn’t count toward my ranking on Amazon.
I believe that this Goodreads promotion will help a lot. It is not necessarily how many people enter the contest or how many people mark my book to read. First, the chance that someone who enters this contest and doesn’t win will then turn around and buy my book is very slim. Second, most if not all the people who mark my book to read will never get to it. It’s hard to find anyone with less than fifty books on their shelf. Most have over a thousand. Some in the tens of thousands.
So, how is this book promotion going to help? One word – reviews. I have seven copies to give away. In hindsight I think I should have gone with ten or more. I wish I could give away more than fifty. If the responses I’ve gotten so far isn’t an anomaly than most of the reviews I get should be favorable. If that rings true, then it will help to bolster my weak promotional skill.
I have several projects I’m working on but can’t say when any of them will be finished. I’ve been slack for the last couple of years when my wife developed cancer and then passed away last year.
When I write a blog, I try to keep it relevant. Often it will be about writing and books. I also review books that I read.