Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Hard to Compete with "Lesbian Love"

Well, today "A Summer Wedding" is #6 on the eBook short-story bestseller list.  There has been some shuffling in the top 4, and I just got bumped out of the #5 position by "Lesbian Love, Collection 3".

On another note, "A Summer Wedding" has managed to stay at around #130 on the eBook Fiction list, and when you consider that there are over 16,000 titles on that list, I'd say I'm pretty happy about that.

In other news, my second short story, "5" is available at  Hopefully, it will rise through the rankings and enjoy similar success to "A Summer Wedding".  Also, at W. H. Smith's, "A Summer Wedding" is holding on to #34 on the eBook short story bestseller list (out of 670).

No complaints here...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Best-seller List Update - 10/22/2010

For today, "A Summer Wedding" is holding strong at the #5 spot on the Waterstones eBook Short Story Bestseller List.  At times, I have considered the idea that they don't update this very often, and so I am just kidding myself that I have stayed on the bestseller list for nearly three months, but today I noticed that two of the items in the top 4 had switched places.  So, now I am confident that people are still buying "A Summer Wedding".

By the way, I would like to offer my congratulations to my fellow Untreed Reads Author, Wade J. McMahan, for holding the #1 spot on this list for quite some time, with his mystery "Bite This!".  Way to go, my friend (whom I've never met).

Also, yesterday, I noticed that at W. H. Smith's (another UK retailer), I am #25 on their eBook short story bestseller list (out of 671 entries...puts me in the top 4%...not too shabby).

Stay tuned for more updates on the best-seller list.

One last thing for today:  Untreed Reads released the Spanish language version of "A Summer Wedding".  Recently, Untreed Reads starting using Barnes and Noble's pubIt method of posting books for sale, on a trial basis.  It turns out that the first book that sold using the new pubIt method was "Una Boda de Verano".  What's more?  It got a 5-star rating.  How about that?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Best-Seller List Update (10/20/2010)

First of all, as I type the date above, I realize there a strange, semi-palindromic symmetry to it (ten-twenty-twenty-ten).  Of course I would notice meaningless crap like that.

Anyway, on this day, at, "A Summer Wedding" is still #5 on the short-story eBook bestseller list, and has worked its way down to #84 on the Fiction eBook Bestseller list.  By the way, I'm not at all upset by #84, since there are over 18,000 fiction eBooks available at Waterstones.  I guess that puts me in the top 0.5%...

...and that ain't bad.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Singing the six-figure blues (has nothing to do with my salary)

Well, I just broke out of the 300,000's on Amazon's sales ranking with "A Summer Wedding" (I'm now in the low 100,000's).  Still would like to see it push below 100,000.

Maybe some day...

Oh, and also, I am working from my home office today, and John Carpenter's "The Thing" came on.  One of the greatest horror movies of all time, and quite possibly the best motion picture homage to the H. P. Lovecraft style of weird story.

Which reminds me...I'm working on this...hmmm, maybe later.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well, I just took a look, and "A Summer Wedding" is #240 on the short-story eBook best-seller list at Books-A-Million.  Okay, so it is out of only 920 or so items in that category, but that puts it in the top 30%.

Of course, I realize that if the category is specific enough, I could be at the top.  For instance, I'm sure that I am #1 on the "short-story eBook about youthful love in early 1970s America best-seller list".

But, the bottom line is, someone must have actually purchased it at Books-A-Million...astonishing.

No, I'm Not Bilingual

So, I received news today that the Spanish-language version of "A Summer Wedding" ("Una Boda de Verano") is getting ready to be released, and is currently available at the Untreed Reads Store.

Seeing as how "A Summer Wedding" is so popular across the pond in the UK, maybe it will be equally successful in Spanish-speaking countries.  No se.

Also, I'm going to start a frequent bestseller list update:

So, for today, at, "A Summer Wedding" is #5 on their e-Book Short Story Bestseller list and #72 on their e-Book Fiction Bestseller list.  People keep buying this story!  This is considerably better than my ranking of 300,000+ on their bestseller list, but that's okay, because I prefer US customers to buy from the Untreed Reads store (less fees, so royalties are higher).

The strangest thing, though, is that I seem to have some difficulty breaking past the two erotica short stories that seem to always rank just a little higher on Waterstones.  Hopefully, "A Summer Wedding" will outlast these titles someday and rank higher.

We'll see...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I actually get paid for this?

So, about six months ago, I started writing again, mainly for my own entertainment.  You see, I spend a few nights a week in a hotel room, because my job requires significant amounts of travel, and as a result, I have loads of time to myself.

I usually work until I have caught up on all of my correspondences, and then I have choices:  (a)  I could sit on the bed and rot my brain with the TV, which, save for "LOST" when it was still on, was something I had very little interest in, (b)  I could read, but I generally saved that for the plane trips, when I had a couple hours of uninterrupted reading time, or (c) I could do something else, like write.

Writing was something that I did quite a bit when I was in college studying Chemistry.  I know, those things don't seem terribly compatible, and it probably makes me strange, but I have long since given up the fight to be normal.

Anyway, I digress...

So, in early May of this year (2010), I wrote up a very short piece called "A Summer Wedding".  It was sweet.  In fact, I was more than a little surprised that I had written what could only be called a Romance.  But, in the end, that's what it turned out to be (no, not a "bodice ripper", but a sweet coming-of-age story of young love).  After I polished it up, I submitted it to a new digital publishing company called Untreed Reads, and within a couple of weeks, the impossible happened.

Jay Hartman, the editor-in-chief, emailed me and said that he absolutely LOVED the story, and would be thrilled to publish it.  Positive that this was a joke, I chuckled to myself dismissively and then re-read the email.  It seemed legit.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, I received a contract.

So, here I am six months later.  I was just informed that preliminary information indicates that "A Summer Wedding" sold 200 copies in the UK last quarter (July - Sept), which is about 200 more than I had imagined it would sell.  Certainly not making the NY Times Bestseller List, but at (kind of like, it has been on the e-Book short story bestseller list (usually in the top 5) for the last two months.  Furthermore, my new story "5" is out in the US and subsequently will be released in the UK in the next couple of weeks.

On top of that, "A Summer Wedding" has been translated into Spanish ("Una Boda de Verano") as a pilot for Untreed Reads...let's hope that goes well.  I have looked over the translation/retranslation manuscript, and I am extremely pleased with the outcome.

Finally, my longer short story, "The Annex" is slated for release in late November.  At around 8000 words, it is quite a bit longer than my other pieces ("A Summer Wedding" was less than 1000 words, and "5" was around 1500 words), so I am a little apprehensive about the final editing process, but so far, I have found working with Untreed Reads to be a pleasure.

So, we shall see...

I guess the obvious question now is this...why am I writing a blog?  Because I'm vain?  Probably.  Because it has been suggested that a blog is a pretty good idea for a published author starting out?  Sure.  Pure marketing?  Okay, guilty as charged.

Also, as I press on towards the ultimate goal (the publication of a full length novel), I thought I would document the process.  I don't know exactly who is going to read this, but if there are other aspiring "Accidental Authors" out there who would like to read the exploits of a new author trying to becoming something more than just a hobby-writer, here it is.

I promise to not deluge you with posts, but also, I promise that every post will be completely honest and unvarnished.  You can help me celebrate my victories as well as my crushing defeats.  Okay, well, that didn't come out right...I don't want ANYONE celebrating my defeats.  :-)