*I’m from England, I live in Australia, and my publisher is American. By default, I have sold books to an international market!
**For one moment of one day, the digital sales of my book got to Number 2 in a very specific category.
***Entirely fictional…I just wanted to use the ‘rule of three’ in the title. It looks better.
So, the reality then, because that’s what we’re left with…is that nothing much has changed at all. In fact, to paraphrase Arnold Rimmer, the thought occurs that we haven’t budged a smegging inch! Well, that’s what it feels like. I know I have a book out there. Two in fact. Three if you include novellas. Four if you include anthologies. But life trundles on as it ever did. Not for me the rabid auctioning off of my rights to the highest bidder…I’m just going to work, doing what I always do, and complaining about not having the time or energy to do what I want to do…what I love. Because I love writing stories. And I want people to read them and to get some semblance of entertainment from them. But lately there has been a little misconception doing the rounds among some family, friends, and acquaintances. It’s quite funny actually, but I think it’s about time I set the record straight, because the misconception, bizarrely, is that I’ve made it! (Whatever that means!)
I’ll admit, from a distance, it might look pretty cool. I released a book, lots of people came to the launch, I did a little happy dance about selling out every copy, then I did a bookshop signing and the same thing happened there, and then I bleated all over social media about the charts, then I bought a guitar (with my earnings), and then we moved house and now live on acreage with the most ridiculous views.
So, I can see the problem. From the outside, it does look kind of impressive, but the other day someone asked me if I was going to quit work and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why.
They thought I was rich!
I laughed so hard I nearly shat! (super special brownie points to anyone who knows this gross but excellent reference).
The reality is I’ve sold a few hundred books, made a few hundred dollars (I get 10% or so of physical sales, it’s not a lot), the guitar was dirt cheap, and we moved house because we’re romantic idiots with more passion than sense.
But there is another side to this somewhat narcissistic tale. I am, indeed, an international, best-selling, award-winning author! Well, two out of three isn’t bad. But I did write a book or two. People have bought them, read them, enjoyed them, and reviewed them. And for one brief shining moment, this happened…
But more than that, I’ve had the most lovely messages from friends and complete strangers, and I’ve made friends because of writing.
Then just last week, I spent a bit of time in the primary school attached to my work (it’s a P-12 college) and a young girl asked me if I was ‘the one who wrote that book’, and I got to say yes! (after I checked that she meant Albert the Great Australian Dragon and not the adult book about a drunk guy seeing dead people!) We had a cracking chat about talking dragons after that.
Look, I’m not saying I’d turn it down if an agent decided to start a bidding war with the Top 5 publishers and it crept into six-digits, but I am genuinely content carving out my own little corner.
Thank you to everyone who has come along for the ride. I can’t promise riches, but I can promise some ridiculous stories.