First Year, Seventh Book
Well, it's almost over–my first year as a published author. During that year I wrote and published six books and wrote a seventh, now undergoing final reads and edits. Here is what has happened to me this first year out.
I have sold 30,000 books and given away 170,000 books. That's right, I discovered Bookbub about halfway into my first year and made submissions. Of my book, The Defendants. It was offered for free and it had right at 50,000 downloads in two days. Three more freebie Bookbubs followed. All told, 170,000 books downloaded. Results: 30,000 sales, probably directly attributable to the giveaways.
At least I think. To be very honest, I don't know how it happened. Here's some history.
I have been writing for publication since 1967 when I wrote my first novel. I published in 2014. That's quite a dry spell, you might say. Some might be inclined to quit. But after serial rejections in the hundreds, I kept writing. Because writing is like my therapy. It's the one place where I can be my best self. My books say who I am. My collection of short stories say who I am. They tell anyone who wishes to know, how I think, how I speak, how my mind works–all of that. But most important, my books tell stories. That's right. I see myself wholly as an entertainer. If this writing of mine is art then I missed that part of the definition when I took humanities in college. We were taught that art is found mostly in France, Italy, and Greece, and we were taught that art might very well take up years of lying on your back and painting ceilings. Doesn't even come close to my experience with my seven books.
See, I first published in 2014 when I was 72 years old. That's right. During that same year I had cataract surgery on both eyes and had back surgery (spinal ablation) when the osteoarthritis got so bad I couldn't stand upright without spasms. So I did the next best thing: I sat. I retired from my law practice and I sat. I got bored, so I bought a Macbook. The heavens parted: I love that computer. So one night I wrote my first sentence of my first novel. And then my life came gushing out in these 500,000 words. More and more, as if it was feeding on itself, the stories refused to stop coming out.
So, I did what a blind invalid should do: I wrote them down. And put them on Amazon. And people bought them.
Today I sell around 150 books a day. That's after one year. Now I can see again 20/20, and I can stand up again. But I'm still sitting with the little laptop propped on my lap in my dilapidated chair that my wife explains is the root cause of both back and vision problems. Somehow…they're connected, the health problems and the chair, as only a spouse can make those connections for you. Anyway, that's a whole other book, one I doubt I'll write.
My main character is a young lawyer named Thaddeus Murfee. Much of what happens to him actually happened to me while I was practicing law. Equally true, much of what happens to him did not happen to me, thank heavens. Thaddeus has several more careers coming at him down the road. Stay tuned.
Year two looks like it will be lively.