May 26th, 2013

He-lo

Patience!

Besides talent, if indeed I possess such a thing, a writer needs to have an over abundance of patience.  Creating, publishing, and marketing a book does not happen overnight.  Writing the story can take years.  One might struggle for a long time, receive dozens or even hundreds of rejection notices before landing a publishing contract or deciding to go an alternative route.  Sales may be slow or non-existent once the book is available to the public.  As one progresses along the authorship trail, it seems that so many time delays or moments of inaction pop up and bar the road of progress.  A writer who is naturally patient, or one who can force himself to be so is definitely ahead of the game.

In truth, the slowness of the endeavor doesn't bother me all that much.  I suppose I've always been fairly patient, perhaps because I grew up in a time not given over to instant results.  When I was a child, I and my friends dreamed, never knowing if those dreams would come true, and we certainly did not expect them to be realized today or in the immediate future.  If we contacted someone about something, we allowed time for the message to get there, time for the recipient to deal with it, and time for a reply to be sent back to us.  We did not have the ability to send something electronically and expect an answer within moments.

As patient as I may be, there are a few things occurring within my writing and publishing world that tend to challenge that patience.  One is the slowness of sales reporting.  As most may know, I self-published through one of the larger self-publishing service companies.  I can go there and find a sales report, which I understand is generated via the distributors and wholesalers for copies sold via on-line stores and from the self-publishing service company's own "bookstore."  I understand that it takes a while for information to make it back to the company and for it to be posted to my account.  Last year, right after Beyond the Ocean's Edge:  A Stone Island Sea Story was published, reports were updated fairly rapidly for the first couple of months.  Now a year after the book's publication, the "sales report" remains the same.  Yet if I check elsewhere, specifically with one of the on-line stores, I find that the book has been selling at a fairly constant if not slow pace.  From everything I can see, I should now have enough sales that the royalties I'm due meet the minimum amount required for me to be paid.  Oh, I'm not talking about something that would completely revise my financial picture, simply enough to make it worthwhile for a check to be sent... enough perhaps for a six pack and a pizza, or something similar.

Currently the report is still reflecting information through the end of March, but I expect it will be updated any day to include April.  Hopefully once it does, the sales that I'm aware of from last fall and earlier this year will be included.

The other area where I find I need to remember that I'm a patient individual has to do with social media.  My Facebook page sat at five "likes" for several months, and while watching other pages, I'd notice the number of likes growing on a daily basis.  Honestly, it is frustrating, especially as I try to be active and post or update on a fairly consistent basis.  But then I realize that just because I have the page, it doesn't mean that everyone knows about it.  The secret, I suppose, is in letting folks know, not only about the book, but about all the ancillary places involved with the books as well as with me.  Over the past couple of weeks, the page has gained a few more likes, and there have been some interaction with others on the page as well.  I greatly appreciate such activities and hope it continues.  I also need to remember that it may take a while, in fact it may take quite a long time for others to realize the page is there.

Probably enough on that for today.  Over the weekend so far, I've managed to get the yard mowed, and this morning the lack of wind allowed me to get an application of "weed and feed" on the yard.  Over the past week I finished reading The Lost Fleet: Fearless by Jack Campbell.  It's science fiction, but with a lot of parallels to Naval Adventure and the Age of Sail.  I'm enjoying the series.  The book manager at our South Hill Hastings pointed the stories out to me when I first took my books in to put on consignment.  Friday I started Conquistador by R. M Stirling.  I bought it last summer and it's been laying around until now.  After only a single day's reading, I think it is a story I'm going to enjoy.  (I bought it because a local review mentioned the author in talking about my book.  I had never read anything by this author, so I thought I'd give it a try.)

For those in the US, enjoy Memorial Day and try to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.  I'd also like to pass along my best as the UK commemorates the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.  BTW, tons of posts about it on the Royal Navy's facebook page.  You can find it as a "like" via my page.
Dave