I'll be honest.
I'm pretty confident in my writing ability. I've been telling stories in one form or fashion for most of my life, and have written a variety of things ranging from college news papers articles to poetry to screenplays for corporate training films. I've got a degree in Radio-Television-Film that includes an emphasis on screenwriting, and I've been lucky enough to see and do things that most people would never consider doing, which gives me a unique perspective for storytelling.
But I've never published a book. I'm a complete unknown when it comes to writing in a near endless sea of complete unknowns who also have their own books to sell. I expect in the long run I'll do well enough at it, but in the short term I really didn't expect much. In all of the research I did leading up to this, first books should come with extremely low expectations. Many people sell only a small handful, if any at all. Other more successful books cap out at twenty or thirty copies sold in total.
When you've got a larger library of books to choose from you have a better shot at getting your stories read, but early on, expect little to no traction in getting sales. That was my expectations coming into this. Today I sat down and started tallying what I've done from the various outlets I've had to see how I've faired here just under a couple of months into my first release.
Well over seventy of you have purchased a book from me. Many more have advised me they are planning to pick it up in the very near future. That is far better results than I could have hoped for when I planning the book's release in January. So far the feedback I've received has been very positive. Reviews from folks who have no reason to just 'make me feel good' have been glowing. I even had a coworker I've only met a few times come up to me and tell me they were eagerly awaiting Book Two!
I can't thank those of you who have given me a chance enough for the time you've spent in the River Sanctuaries world. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to finally do something I've wanted to do my entire life.
And to those of you who made it out to my first Book Signing, a special thanks to you as well! I believe I signed somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-five books Saturday, and had some great conversations with some incredible folks. I look forward to doing more of these in the future!
I do ask one last favor from those of you who have the books. Give me feedback. If you have time and haven't done so yet, jump on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, GoodReads or any other similar spot and give the book a rating where you can. If you have any feedback you don't want to share through a review, please feel free to email me at ZabeTheWriter@gmail.com or reply to this blog post. I'm hard at work on book two now, so if there were things you really liked, things you really hated, or questions you really wanted to see get answers then now's a good time to let me know.
Speaking of Book 2, I can tell you it's coming along very well. The stakes continue to raise as the events at the end of Book 1 spell out serious consequences for everyone. Look for more information on that soon!