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On Book Sales

I recently saw a blog post from an indie author that really got me thinking.
This particular author has recently released a book that has not been selling as well as the author thought it would. The blog post lamented the sales and included some vague comments that sounded a bit like they were meant to guilt readers into buying more copies.
Now, I think every author hopes to sell thousands upon thousands of copies. But I also think most of us understand that it’s not the most realistic dream. There are millions of books out there. It’s easy for any book to get lost in the shuffle, especially books that don’t have the advertising might of a publishing house behind them.
Still, things are tough all over, even for traditionally-published books. As William Hertling said in his book Indie and Small Press BookMarketing (which is an absolute wealth of information that I highlyrecommend to anyone thinking of indie publishing a book):
“The average indie-published book sells less than two hundred copies over its entire life, while traditionally published first novels sell, on average, seven hundred and fifty books.”
That’s why I could never dream of writing a blog to complain about my book sales. I know that the book market is immense—so immense that I am deeply grateful for each and every person who buys a copy.
Every single time I see that someone has bought a copy of Flicker,I get excited: Someone has chosen to pay money to read something that I wrote! Someone has looked at the cover, read the summery, possibly read the Kindle sample, and decided to spend a few hundred pages in my fantasy world with my imaginary friends. That’s amazing to me, the biggest honor I can think of. It’s been just over a year since Flicker was first published, but that feeling of elation never goes away.
While I will say that, statistically speaking, Flicker is selling much more than the average indie book, I will also say that it’s not selling enough copies for me to, say, quit my jobs and quit college and write full-time.
And that’s all right with me.
Really, it is. Because I am so deeply grateful for each and every copy I do sell, and for each and every rating and review on sites like Goodreads and Amazon, and every single “like” on my Facebook page, and every single mention of Flicker on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. I’m grateful that complete strangers are choosing to spend time with my words and tell other people about them.
So if you’ve bought a copy of Flicker, or reviewed it, or posted about it, or told a friend–
Thank you! I love each and every one of you!


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