I haven’t written much about, well, writing in awhile. I figure it’s time for an update, since many of you have been great supporters of my writing endeavors.
My children’s book, “Sophie, Pay Attention (Rhoda, You Too)!” has been out since September 29.
My memoir, I Love to Tell the Story: Growing Up Blessed and Baptist in Small Town Indiana, has been out since Dec. 3.
Through today, “Sophie” has sold 80 Kindle copies (that’s its only format). “Love to Tell” has sold 50 Kindle copies and 23 paper copies (the paper copies are through Amazon. My mom has also sold 15 on her own). So, that’s a total of 88 copies for “Love to Tell.”
Those figures are … hmmm. In a way, they’re good. But then, I’ll read an article about an author selling 100 copies of her books per day. Another author in a local writing group tells of her debut novel, which sold 20,000 copies in its first few months. Then, my numbers seem discouraging.
The numbers also reflect many hours of promotion on my part, by sending out free review copies, contacting various sites and individuals for reviews, blurbs in a few newspapers and magazines, putting fliers into every Christmas card, and even a speaking engagement. My advice to aspiring authors: don’t quit your day job.
It’s also interesting to me that “Sophie,” which I wrote in a few days, totally on a whim before attending a writing conference (since I’d read you shouldn’t attend a conference with just one thing to pitch), has sold as well as my “baby” (or better, if you consider Kindle only).
And really, that’s okay. Seeing that my “baby” is my own story, and considering that I’m the child who had her face in the plate at her own birthday parties since I so abhorred people looking at me, the idea of people reading my deepest thoughts is more than a little disturbing. I have copies for my own children (which was the goal all along), so if no one else ever reads it, I’m okay with that. Really. I think :).
And, “Sophie” has become a project dear to my heart. I taught Sunday school for ten years, until our church went the modern mega-church route of abandoning “traditional” Bible stories, and headed towards the model of “high energy, sticky, relevant” programming involving small groups. I long for the Sunday school depicted in “Sophie,” where a dynamic teacher shares actual Bible stories with kids who listen. It’s why “Sophie” centers on Rhoda, an obscure (by today’s standards) Bible character. I have almost finished a sequel to “Sophie,” and it’s about another bit-player in the Bible, Naaman. I love the idea of today’s kids learning about these fascinating Bible stories. Many of today’s kids graduate from a decade or more of Sunday school knowing little more theology than “God loves me, and I’m special.” I think that’s a tragedy. I’m happy to contribute to a solution, even if it’s in a small way.
Authors out there: any words of advice? Anything in this post prompt a response? I’d be happy to hear your words of wisdom!