Rampant by Numbers


96 ebooks sold so far.  I’m really pleased.  I don’t want to keep harping on about the traditional publishing model (here he goes again) but the contrast is startling.  When you are locked in to that system, it’s a long haul to reach readers, with various stages to be negotiated – find an agent, who then tries to find an editor/marketer/intern/cleaner at a publishing house who likes your work, then they need to find others within that publishing house who like your work, and so on.  It’s a marathon wearing a heavy backpack in icy rain over a barbed-wire assault course, which most likely ends with a poke in the eye with a shitty stick.   But now it’s just me and the reader.  96 readers.  Although, it was actually 99 because…

3 ebooks were returned by outraged punters!  Almost a 3% return rate.  I expected it, because let’s face it, the subject matter is not everybody’s cup of tea.  Maybe I should make an addendum to the Amazon product description… WARNING!  THIS BOOK CONTAINS SCENES OF A SEXUALLY EXPLICIT NATURE AND HAS QUITE A LOT OF SWEARY BITS.  OH, AND THE CHARACTER ENSEMBLE IS PRETTY MUCH DRUNK FOR THE WHOLE NOVEL.  AND THERE’S A BIT WITH A STAPLER WHERE… etc.

13 reviews on Amazon.  I’ve really enjoyed this aspect.  As far as I can tell the 13 reviewers are people I know, so they are a little biased, but at the same time there is a refreshing honesty in there.  I’m glad that one thing keeps on popping up – pace.  When I edited the novel down to its fighting weight I lost a lot of stuff I loved, but I could feel the story moving into warp-speed.  One thing people seem to agree on – they keep turning the pages.  I had an amusing face-to-face review in a similar vein when I bumped into an old friend in a cafe in Luxembourg.  “You’re a bit sordid!  But I can’t stop reading it.”  Booooom!  High fives followed by victory hip-hop dance.

67 hours.  I work on average 55 hours per week in my day job, and also spend around 12 hours per week on my MBA (more hours recently, including a 4-day residential school).  It’s a killer.  This is my first blog in three weeks, which is not great for my epublishing project, but I often find myself unable to sit down in front of a laptop when I’ve already spent 14 hours with one, and would rather spend those precious free moments with my wonderful wife, or hooked up to my latest high octane TV boxset (Dublin gangster epic LOVE/HATE, since you ask).

Big fat zero.  The number of hours I’ve spent writing fiction in 2014.  This hurts, because writing has been part of who I am for the last 20 years, but I knew that by signing up to the MBA I would need to sacrifice my writing.  However, it’s also a much needed opportunity to recharge my creative batteries, and ideas for the next novel are already distilling in the shadowy corners of my mind (subject of a future blog).

2.29 sales per day on average.  This projects to 834 sales in 1 year, below my target of 1,000.  The MBA student in me is muttering darkly… something needs to be done…

1,427 pounds sterling.  This is what remains of the war chest I gave myself at the beginning of the project (based on the 2,070 GBP I’ve made in my twenty years of writing fiction).  I lack time but I have money.  I’m already planning to apply to BookBub, but does anyone else have any ideas on how I could invest my fund to drive up sales of Amsterdam Rampant?  All ideas welcome!



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