Voyage through the World of Modern Book Publishing.
by: Peter Wells
I write Blog called “Countingducks” on WordPress, which has attracted a decent number of followers and , as a result of this, I was approached by a small American publisher asking if I had either written or planned to write a book. I am an English writer, living on the outskirts of London so this approach alone demonstrated how much the world of publishing has changed.
Fuelled by the excitement generated by their interest, I wrote my first book in under three months and sent it off to be edited, processed and finally published. I can still remember the excitement today, and the pleasure of announcing its arrival to my Blog readers. A heartening amount of interest was expressed through comments and, geared up to maximise my exposure, if that is the right term, I also created a Facebook page specifically related to my writing progress.
Initially everything looked marvellous, and copies were sold in the first week, which was good if not remarkable. In the longer term, sales dies away somewhat and I found that positive comments about my writing or imagination on the Blog, did not translate into book sales. It seems to me now, as a Blogger of more than four years standing, that every second blogger is a writer looking to be discovered, or a potter, painter or business tycoon in the making, but the platform is quietly short of readers so that the praise you are offered normally comes from people who are too busy promoting their own work to read yours. I am as guilty of that as anybody else. Sales of my first book currently stand at under one hundred, which is well short of the viewing figures my Blog enjoys.
My Facebook page can attract over three hundred “Views” per post, but again, none of those visits translates into actual book purchases. Not withstanding all that, my patient publisher put out a second book which, to date, has sold something under twenty copies, which is a significantly smaller number than my first book. My conclusion is that many people buy your book because they know you, and they buy your first book because they know you and share some of your excitement. It is a purchase based on social or social media connection rather than anything related to literary merit.
In demonstration of this I can confirm that more people have purchased my book in the UK than they have in the United States, even though my publisher is located there. I continue to sell the odd copy, and gain the occasional comment talking up my ability with words but in the main I am undiscovered, and look likely to remain so.
Editors note: Don’t let Peter fool you! He is well into his third novel and working very hard to get name recognition in the ways and means acceptable in polite British society. As many of us have heard enough we really don’t need to be reminded; on average it takes three published titles to start to gain traction in the market. Peter is not giving up – and if you believe in your skill, neither should you.
Peter Wells, who has lived by the maxim, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same” has had a life, working in the corporate, financial and self-employed worlds, and in his spare time has enjoyed adventures on a number of continents and sailing over several seas. His writing is inspired by his working and traveling life, and the people he has met through them. He now lives just south of London and is the proud father of three daughters.
Peter’s blog: http://countingducks.wordpress.com/
And please, by all means check out his wonderful books!