Zero Books Sold, But 2010 Was Still Good

I was chatting with my friend Susan Bischoff and she was telling me about the year in review post she was working on.  I’d seen a few of these on other blogs so I asked her if this was the thing to do.  It was and since I want the same success as her I knew I had to do one too.

Easier said than done because in my mind nothing interesting enough to read about happened last year.  Like the title says I had no book sale greatness to talk about, but then I realized something better happened than sales.  At least for 2010.  2011 year in review is going to be ALL about book sale greatness.

To get the full picture of why 2010 was so good I have to take you back to the end of 2009, specifically November.  I had an idea in my head that had to come out and through my limited knowledge, the only way to do it fast was NaNoWriMo.  I took the challenge and wrote my 50k.  Yay me.

Fast forward to July/August 2010.  Whoosh!

I’ve still got this draft with minimal edits on it.  I’ve still got it in my head that I’m going to get cracking on this editing, find an agent and land a publishing deal.  But I’d heard of self-publishing and beyond that had no other useful knowledge on the subject.

Google to the rescue!

I type in “indie publisher” and a few clicks later I’m at the blog of Zoe Winters, which I later found out was inevitable because she’s in every corner of the internet.  Check it out if you want, but I’m serious.  Every.  Corner.

So post after post I’m learning about ebook potential and my options as a self-publisher.  I’m starting to get a good feeling and not too long after that, I found myself in the middle of a blog carnival or synchroblog.  I hopped around reading about why all these authors went indie, which totally proves there’s a higher power because this was the exact thing I wanted to know.  From then on I knew what I wanted to do.

Since then I’ve been reading a lot on the subject, talking to authors (some of which are now my friends) started blogging, but most rewarding of all is there’s interest in my debut.  Why?  I have nothing to support how good of a FICTION writer I am.  Yes, I have opinions on writing and I like to tweet goofy things on my mind, but does any of that say fiction writer?  Not to me.  The only reason for anyone to be interested in my book, sight unseen, is they like me.  It’s not a radical thought that someone would like me.  I think I’m a swell guy, but to personally like me enough to want to read my work is pretty amazing to me.

Eventually I know not everyone reading my work will be doing it because of some personal connection.  They might only know my name and what my bio says and there’s nothing wrong with that.  What’s happening now is a necessary first step to getting me there and so far it’s been a wonderful ride.

Thanks to everyone for making 2010 as good as it was.  You all continue to inspire, encourage and learn me stuff.

7 comments on “Zero Books Sold, But 2010 Was Still Good

  1. Andrew, it was Zoe who inspired me several years ago, before any of this indie stuff was big. She just found out that I “used to write” and she pushed me to start doing it again. I’ll always be eternally grateful to her for that.

    I want to read your work when it comes out partly because you’re a swell guy (any friend of Susan’s is a friend of mine, lol) and also because I would love to see a guy’s take on the kind of book you’re writing. I’m very intrigued. I’ll be one of the first in line to buy it! :0)

    • @Lauralynn- We need to get Andrew and his wife to come down and visit and we can get Kait to drive up and have another mini conference/mini Fandrewcon.

      @Andrew- I think you’ve been a fabulous example of someone who gains popularity by making it his mission to just be a great guy and edify others. (I KNOW you’ve helped me accomplish what I have this year.) When you release, I think you’re probably going to have more loyal support than any new indie I’ve met, and I hope it pays off for you bigtime. You deserve it.
      (Now stop teasing us and go get that damn book ready! bwhahaha!)

      And thanks for adding awesome to my 2010.

      • Ooh, Susan, I would love to meet Andrew. I love meeting authors, especially the ones who have been so nice. It’s a shame so many of them live so far away. I wish someone had the time to schedule a big event, maybe a weekend or something, for indie authors to attend. Maybe some kind of retreat or something, but not a real expensive one. Oh, well, it’s just a dream. :0)

  2. @Lauralynn Thanks. I hope I can live up to your expectations. What I’m working on is part one of a series where you’ll get to see my character become the hero he doesn’t know he is.

    @Susan I’m totally in the “This book is my baby, I hope people like it.” phase. You’ll probably have to be extra doomy with the pink hammer.

    ” . . . more loyal support than any new indie . . .” Wow. That would blow my mind.

    @both of you It’d be great to meet all of you. It’ll happen. Susan, get Kait planning the first indie retreat as Lauralynn suggested. She’s the only one organized enough to have a chance at getting it together.

  3. You are a swell guy, Andrew. And I think you’ll hit the street running when your book is out because you’ve been laying such good groundwork already.

    NaNoWriMo of 2009 was the start of my indie journey, too. That’s when I wrote the first draft of “Ravenmarked.” I wrote over 100,000 words that month. Then I realized I had two books, at least, so I split it up. Then I realized that book one was “Ravenmarked,” but it needed major work. Most of 2010 was the “major work” part. I only decided to do the indie thing in September or so. I started mulling it over last summer, learned a little about it at the Willamette Writers Conference here in Portland in August, then took the plunge in the fall. “Silver Thaw” started as a short story that I wanted to sell to a magazine or something. Then I decided to expand it into a novella to use as a test project. So far, so good…. 🙂

    Oh, and can I get in on that indie retreat? 😉

    Here’s to 2011, year of the indie author! 🙂


    • Thanks Amy. It feels good to hear everyone tell me I’m building a solid platform when all it felt like to me was being friendly. I mean, I have been trying to network and build connections, but I guess when I hear it the way you describe it sounds like I had some grand plan. Nope, just me being me.

      100k words. No wonder you blog everyday. That’s impressive.

      Awesome that Silver Thaw is doing so well!

      • I’m kind of a word vomiter.

        Silver Thaw is doing well in reviews, but sales need to catch up… But it’s been less than a month. Did I mention patience is not my strong suit? 😉

        Keep being you…. Truly, I think authenticity sells more than anything else.

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