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Familiar Anonymity

What a good weekend.

For me, at least. I had my first free promotional for my Sci Fi Adventure novel, Redemption. Over the course of Sat and Sun, 288 people downloaded the document for free.

For the weekend, I set aside any thoughts of making money from this, my first literary endeavor. Instead, I easily focused on the fact that just over 300 people (if you count the 20 folks who purchased the e-book before the promotional) now have my novel in their virtual hands! For several years, Redemption sat on my hard drive. I picked it up every year to edit and re-edit the text. I fixed plot flaws. I polished sections and tinkered with pacing. But, only a few friends ever read the darn thing.

One trait that (I think) sets me apart from many of my artsy peers is my extreme pragmatism.  I realize that many of those 300+ downloads were performed by friends and friends of friends who were just being nice and trying to help my Amazon ranking. Many of them have probably never even read a piece of science fiction or fantasy. Still, I also know that a good many of those 300+ WILL READ my book. This is extremely exciting and anxiety-producing at the same time. I know that some of  the people who will read my story will not like it or will not feel that it lived up to what they expected when they downloaded the file. Some of the people who will ready my book will be relatively unmoved by it. Maybe they will think it is just so-so at best. Or maybe they will think it is a good first effort by a new author, but not really of “professional grade.” But. Some of the people who will read my book will most likely really like it. They will have good things to say about the characters and the plot and even about me, whether they know me or not. Heck, they might even ask where book #2 in the series is. And when will it come out?

gameofthrones2As Sunday drew to a close, I had the distinct pleasure of Redemption topping out at #15 on the Amazon Kindle Free eBook SciFi Adventure sub genre list. That means that my book thumbnail appeared on the first page of the top 100 free ebooks list in that category. It also means that my book showed up in the same virtual breath as those to its left in the top 100 “paid” ebook list. For a moment in time, my book stood alongside the likes of George R.R. Martin and Orson Scott Card. Yes, their books were on a different, much steeper and more exclusive ladder than mine, but…well, there we were, all in a single eye-shot. Orson and I. Fellow authors.

Needless to say it again, but I will. It was a good weekend.

And what has Monday brought? My ebook is no longer offered for free. It costs $2.99 to download, and honestly, not a single person has done so all day. I am not sad. I am not depressed. I know a decent amount of people are reading the book or have it in their queues. It is, after all, around 150,000 words in length, so I completely understand that no one has finished reading it yet. If fact, reading the entire book, no matter how interesting, will be no small feat for most working people with limited time for such things.

Monday has also brought a strange and almost (but not quite) welcome pause to the fantasy of being a successful novelist. I am able to relax today and to wean myself from constantly checking the Amazon sales report. This is a good thing. Also, my Facebook page is much quieter. Maybe this is also due to that fact that people are busy reading my book. I’d like to think so, but it’s also likely that they just aren’t commenting on my updates. Yesterday and Saturday, I was like a mini-star in my Facebook world. I was like the child beauty queen who wins the local crown in a little mid-western town. Today, I am that friend who published a book, had a flurry, and is being kinda quiet today. Either way, today brings many things, but above all it brings this familiar anonymity, or so it feels to me at least. And this also is a good thing.

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