Today is a big anniversary for me. One year ago today, my first book was published:
It was a Kindle book for children transitioning into reading chapter books. In the story, Sophie learns a lesson from Rhoda, a servant girl in the Bible. I got the idea to write the book when I was researching for a writing conference I attended in June 2011.
In November came “the big Kahuna”: my childhood memoir, the writing of which had propelled me back into much of the writing I’ve been doing the past few years. Completing it was a huge catharsis, and I was thrilled to have so many stories “down in print” for my kids.
At that point, I felt I was done. Well, ha ha! I soon caught the writing bug again, and last winter wrote a sequel to “Sophie” titled “A Dog Called Naaman.”
A Dog Called Naaman
Its premise is similar to “Sophie”: a modern day girl learns a lesson from a Bible character; this time, Naaman from the Old Testament. The book was finished in January, but waiting for decent weather for a cover photo shoot delayed publication until March.
Was I done? Friends, you know I was not. About this time, Mad King Ludwig began occupying my mind. I’d been introduced to him as a teen. He was one of those historical figures that is just so over-the-top that he seemed too good to be true. I’d read many books about him over the years, and been inspired to visit all 3 castles he built. But what was bothering me now was that there didn’t seem to be any books about him that would be suitable for kids — tweens and teens. Or, for that matter, for adults who wanted to learn about him but perhaps didn’t want to invest the time in reading a 300+ page tome including the details of the Franco Prussian War. So it was that “Not So Happily Ever After: The Tale of Ludwig II” came about. It was published in July 2012.
How have my books done? I suppose there’s good news and bad news there. According to this article, the average amount made by self-published authors last year was $10,000.
Gulp. By that benchmark, my books aren’t doing so well. On the other hand, the article then says that half of these authors earn less than $500. I did surpass that.
The article is interesting, and confirms something I suspected. The best-selling genre (outselling others by 170%) is romantic fiction. I think of a local woman who published a book a few years ago, and within a couple of months it had sold 20,000 copies. It was — you guessed it — romantic fiction. But, one must write what one enjoys, and I have no interest in telling a romantic tale.
I’d like to thank each and every person who bought one of my books. As close as I can figure, over this past year I sold 643 Kindle versions of the 4 books online, and 62 paper copies. It all began in September 2011, when “Sophie” sold a single copy.
As an author, it’s really wonderful to know that folks out there read and enjoy my books. Here’s to many more years of reading ahead!