It's always a surprise to get up in the morning and see a big change in the sales reports. After putting Among Women on sale this week, I expected a little bump in sales, but a big bump was just a dream. Good thing I like to dream -- a lot -- although it would be better if I had read Joe Konrath's blog before I put the book on sale because I could have included a short synopsis and a bibliography as part of the author bio in the ebook version. I have rectified that oversight and the new version should be up and running today or tomorrow, depending on how quickly Amazon does their part. I heard it helps with sales.
The hardest part of writing isn't the writing, yet that is sometimes difficult because I procrastinate at times, it's waiting. Waiting for people I know who've mentioned they bought the book. I'd have been better off not knowing they had it and were planning to read it, or were actually reading it, because then I wouldn't wonder how long it takes to read a 250-page book and when I can expect to hear (or read) their review. It's better knowing that hundreds of people are buying the book and just aren't reviewing them. I don't have their phone numbers and don't know how to get to their houses so I can pin them down and ask what they thought. Better to live in ignorance and hope they're not like me and seldom write Amazon, B&N, or whatever bookstore they frequent reviews.
I did get a big surprise a few weeks ago with a totally unsolicited review from someone I've never met who read Among Women and really loved it. They said so. In print. Well, virtual print. Online. At Amazon. And gave it five stars. It was like a late birthday present or early Christmas gift. I enjoyed reading such good things and blushed a little at the kudos. I blush easily when someone compliments me, even if it's a compliment on my book.
But then there are friends and relatives who tell me they're reading my book and haven't said anything good, bad or indifferent about what they thought. I vacillate between wanting to ask and demanding to know what they thought. I'd send Guido and Vito out to have a conversation with them, but want to have someone who will send me a birthday card and remember me at holidays, so I don't. Instead, I suffer in silence -- well, silence in the sense that they don't know I'm fussing about it here in the silence of my room. If they don't know I'm fussing, am I fussing? Okay, so it's not as good as, if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear about it, does it make a sound? Or what is the sound of one hand clapping? Depends what the one hand is clapping against. A meaty thigh works really well and so does a hard surface like a desk or someone's attitude.
I'm not a patient person when it comes to wanting answers. I am patient otherwise since I haven't cornered anyone and demanded answers. I would love to ask, but don't want to damage the person or scare them into not buying my next book, the one I'm currently finishing up as soon as I finish this post.
Life would be so much easier if I could find a way to get people to add clickable links to the opinion center of their brain, preferably when they have gotten up on the right side of the bed and aren't having a rousing fight with their spouse, lover, mother, father, children, boss, or whoever is on their hit list this week. But then we'd be in a world where people were more like machines and less like softly fleshed readers who might be cajoled or interested in putting an author out of their misery with enough time and attention, before going off to read the next book, to type a hasty "good job" in response.
Well, as long as the readers keep buying and reading, it will have to be enough.
That is all. Disperse.