The highs and lows of being a writer

The Blackstar Gambit

Col Sec Series: Book 7

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May 16th was a day to remember, for me anyway. That was the day my first book was published through Imzadi Publishing. Strictly speaking, The Blackstar Gambit was not my first book published as it’s book seven in the Col Sec series but it was the first traditionally published book as I published the previous six through Amazon’s Kindle platform and their paperback resource, Createspace.

On the run up to the big day I hosted a book release event on Facebook where guest authors were allocated hourly time slots over the nine hours to promote their own works and also help me celebrate the release of my book. It was great fun and as the event was held three days after the release, the grand prize in the competition run by the organiser, Karina Kantas, was a signed copy of my book.

I was a bit worried, nervous, apprehensive and a few other emotions about the release, had we priced it too high, was it too low, had we done enough marketing, was there anything else we could do and of course the big one, would it sell? All these questions were running around my head in the days running up to the release and then in the few days after too.

Four days in and no sign on Amazon that the book had sold at least one copy. You can imagine how low I felt. I kept telling myself it had only been four days and it was too early to tell yet. I knew though that if we didn’t grab readers immediately then the impetus we had gained in the days running up to the release would be lost and we would lose any interest from any potential readers. At least that’s what I thought.

Five days in and we hit the rankings. All previous fears were forgotten as I read the numbers again and again just to make sure I hadn’t imagined it. We were above half a million in the overall best sellers list, well above. That doesn’t sound too good you might say, but to me, just to figure on the list is an achievement and to hit above half a million when there are over seven million books on the list is pretty good for an average guy who taught himself the art of writing. I don’t know how these figures work exactly but I do know that to even get on the list you have to sell at least one book, no sales equates to no ranking so it stands to reason that the book was selling. Actual numbers will come later off the publisher no doubt but for now I was over the moon.

Six days in and the rankings started to slip toward that awful one million mark and reality started to take hold once more. Nothing brings home the harsh reality that writing is not an easy game more than watching your sales ranking number get larger daily.

Time for a rethink and to come back fighting even harder. To get sales I have to prove to the readers out there that my book is worth them handing over their hard earned cash. I know it’s worth it, I’ve spent countless hours immersed in it so I know the truth. Imzadi had enough faith in the book not only to publish this one but to want the first book in the series too and I’m hopeful that the entire series will see publication through them too.

I’ve said before on numerous occasions that writing is not a sprint but a marathon and I’m just getting my second wind.

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About jandomagala

Having worked in the ceramic printing industry since leaving school in the early 70's I've had a passion for the written word. I started writing in the 80's and since discovering the self publishing world have finally seen the first part of my ambition come to fruition, my name in print. Now with the help of wordpress and other promotion tools I hope to see the second part of my ambition come true, to earn a living from writing.
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