Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Vis-a-vis the shot in the arm that Ereader News Today provided yesterday (carrying into today), I find it peculiar that selling sixty-odd books in 24 hours is enough to catapult a title into the top five of a given category. Obviously, it doesn’t mean much in the great scheme of things, mainly because I’m the only one watching. Oh, I imagine there are two or three others out there who might do a search of Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > Literary Humor, whose eyes will skate across my cover image and vaguely wonder about the book. Then they’ll move on to the Janet Evanovitch novel they’re really looking for.
So what do these rankings do for a self-publisher? Do they attract anyone’s attention? Do people buy things in a top 100 list, but No. 101 is SOL? What if they don’t select the right category and wind up missing your title altogether?
Because the problem for indie authors is that nobody is aware that they exist. Believe me, it is incredibly hard to get someone to buy a book. That includes people who do know you and ought to feel obligated to buy it (I’m talking close to home, not blogosphere). So to hope that a complete stranger will drift through page after page of book covers and pull the trigger on yours — even if you have a lot of great reviews — seems awfully optimistic.
The way I’m viewing all this lately is that I’m building a house. (Which I hope to do literally in the next couple of years…) Yesterday Road and Our Children Are Not Our Children are the site grading and foundation. These things take time, and you can’t do the framing before you have a solid, level pad to build on. It’s a little messy, not very glamorous. Necessary, though.
With any luck, a day like yesterday will get a few more people in the book-reading cosmos to talk about Yesterday Road with people they know, to mention it on their Facebook pages (thanks, Tracy!) and Twitter feeds, to give it as a gift, to write a review, to remember it when they do a list of books they liked in 2014. All sorts of possibilities. But meanwhile, I have to keep working on that foundation and forget about those rankings.
They’re just the pretty pictures on the walls.