Writer’s diary: 16.05.2014
The tag line for my wordpress site has always been ‘on trying to make it as an author of note.’ I have often wondered what the hell I meant by that, and how I would know if it ever happened. I sometimes wish I had chosen something more clearly definable, more transparently achievable.
I’ve had two things happen since last week’s blog-post that make me feel I might be a bit closer to whatever it is I’m after that I don’t understand and wouldn’t know if I fell over it.
1) Amazon chart positions: Last Saturday books two, three and four in the R&M Files were all in the Amazon top 20 for the paid chart British Detectives. It was only for about half a day but it was special enough for me to give myself the afternoon off and buy the family an ice-cream at the park. (It wasn’t my fault that they weren’t there and I had to eat three.) Little successes must be celebrated, I think, as much as the big successes.
No one outside of Amazon knows how chart rankings are calculated (I wonder if Amazon do) but I’m pretty sure that while one could get one book in the top 20 of a chart by some random algorithm there is a bit more than luck and randomness involved to get three books in it. People must be downloading them and they wouldn’t be downloading them if they weren’t enjoying the series after and including book one which is my free try-before-you-by initiative. (For the record it should be noted that the British Detective category is an Amazon category and not one of those obscure ones I made up in order to get Amazon to list me in it so that I could manipulate chart positions and look like a best seller. See below.)
(As I was writing this post on Monday morning Dirty Business made it to #1 spot in Amazon.co.uk Best Seller list: Kindle Store > Books > Crime, Thriller & Mystery > Suspense > Political (see above) and Loose Ends was there in silver medal position. By Monday evening they’d swapped places (see below). OK, so that’s a bit of a remote category but it’s a chart with a top 100 and you have to pay for them. So I think I can rightly refer to myself as a double best seller. (Three more ice-creams later.)
[Acer’s rubbish is he? Grrrrr…..]
Before we all get carried away with my roaring success and start ordering Rolex watches let’s give that some perspective. Up until lunch time 12.05.2014 the books had had the following numbers of downloads on Amazon.co.uk. Dirty Business: 68 sales and 3 borrows. Loose Ends: 58 sales and 3 borrows.(That’s twelve days remember. Best seller in name only, I’d say.)
2) Recognition: I now have an entry on the Fantastic Fiction database, which I consider to be the fiction reference equivalent of ‘Who’s Who’. I did not pay for it. I did not write begging for it. It just happened and I couldn’t have been made happier if all my books were in the Amazon top 10 Kindle books best sellers list.
I have used Fantastic Fiction as a reference point for years as a reader. When I started my self-publishing journey I dreamed about getting on it. And now I am. I have no idea how one gets on there and I don’t care. I’m just thrilled to be there. But I do wish I’d used a better profile picture for all my social media outlets. Me in a bow tie just looks so… For anyone who ever wonders, it’s from my last wedding. (When I say last I mean the one before the next.) To be honest I think I look more like one of the waiters than a groom.
This week it really feels like I have edged towards becoming an author of note as opposed to an author of ‘rubbish’. (Is he still banging on about that? Get over it, will you?) There, I said it so my daughter doesn’t have to.
Oliver will you just get on with Acer number three, love the blogs but I need to read this book x
Almost finished first draft of Acer#3. Then, of course, 6 months in the bottom drawer of my desk…read and repeat…just kidding. 🙂
Nice one and congrats on the FF nod. I guess my benchmark would always be when you’re earning enough to quit the day job, but that’s a bit crude I guess. The other ‘turning pro’ indicator could be of course when the proper contract arrives in the post, but the hell with them right? On the other hand, if people are reading and enjoying your work, maybe you could say you’ve ALREADY made it. PS had you noticed that on your Amazon author page there is a little orange ‘#1 best seller’ banner alongside Dirty Business?
Cheers, Tin. I know what you mean about quitting the day job, but when would enough be enough to do that? Nothing about SP is guaranteed as you know. Flavour of April might be old news n May and then…don’t even breathe the words…what about pressure and writer’s block. (Uncross fingers). Treat it as a hobby until Hollywood are interested in the trilogy as films.
That banner goes when you lose your status. I got pretty upset when I realised. 😦
Forget all that. I’ve now decided that you’ve ‘made it’ when you get an unmanageable number of imposters on social media, to the extent that Twitter have to give the real you a little blue tick!
Disappearing banner – annoying! Still there from my end though? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oliver-Tidy/e/B00AZIGMWW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1400268434&sr=1-1
After some (more) thought, I think it’s when you have your books in Waterstones. (And I mean they organised it not the author got some hard copies through Amazon and performed some inverted shoplifting. What would the word for that be?)
Congratulations Oliver on making it to the top of the charts
Ice cream is well deserved.
Thank you, Sarah. I shall have another one! 🙂