2,103 books downloaded for free over the course of three days. Then came putting it back up for regular sale. My spirits rose as my ranking clawed its way to 16k, then rapidly fell as my rank has done nothing but sink ever since that glorious moment. Once I break the 10k marker, I’ll have made it into the top 100 in fantasy. That tantalizing and uplifting closeness seems to have turned into a dream-crushing disappointment.
When the going was good for the first four days, I managed to reduce my need to check amazon to 1-2 times a day. As my rank sank, desperation drove me to check almost hourly. Is it better? Is it worse? Do I have reason to feel happier again? Am I going to regret looking again? What if it is better and I can believe things will turn out okay? Maybe it’s better now and I can stop worrying. Please give me a sign that I’m not failing again. Please let my rank give me hope! I know it’s only been a few days and I have to give people time to read and spread the word about it, but I want that unrealistic instant fix to my pitiful life. I just want people to like me.
As soon as I realize I was trying to will a magic instant fix to all of my problems, I stopped stressing out so much. It’s so easy to have unrealistic expectations of yourself and everything you do, and it’s even easier to be blind to these delusions, which return like dandelions and crab grass every day. I have to keep weeding them out so they don’t blanket and smother healthier thoughts and realistic ideas. It’s the tougher side of being human.
The current game plan: just keep writing. I’m doing that alright. So much so that I push my wrists to the brink of spasming every day. I’m desperate to get another book out there. I have to. Once I do that, there’ll be less pressure on Shield of the Gods to perform. I’m in succeed-or-die-trying mode.
I sneak onto my goodreads.com profile to see what more people think of my book. Almost 40 people have added it. A few people have read and rated it (3.86 star average; not too shabby at all), and the rest have tucked it in their “to-read” pile. To read… Oh boy. And I’m guilty leaving many books in that state for months on end, and I few I’ve changed my mind to “eh, forget it.” So, after giving away nearly 3,000 free copies over all five promo days, only time will tell if it adds up to anything. It’s too soon to draw conclusions. Sure, I keep assuming my lackluster results these past few days automatically mean I’m a failure once again, so now I’m slowly convincing myself to stop compulsively checking amazon. It’s hard because I just want my book to be a source of joy and happiness, and not just for me.
Since the beginning of March, I’ve been toying with the idea of moving in with a friend in Arizona. My friend offered.
Having been a New Englander all my life, that’s quite the geographical change. Still, there’s nothing here for me. All the jobs are elsewhere and I think I’m overdue for a life shakeup. I’m in a rut. I need fresh scenery and fresh company. If it doesn’t work, I don’t have to stay there. I’m always welcome back home. Gonna continue thinking this move out. I wouldn’t move any sooner than the last week of June or the second week of July if I do. There’s financial and medical stuff to plan out, along with seeing how my book sales fluctuate; however, I think I’d move no matter how my writing fares.
I’m at about 75k words and 245 pages into To Ocean’s End (see my Publications & Current Projects tab for full details). I’ve got four more chapters before the climactic twist that propels me and my characters into the final third of the story. I’m really proud of how it’s coming out. Beta readers have unanimously agreed–without communicating amongst each other–that this book is better than Shield of the Gods, which is great for so many reasons. I’m learning and growing as a writer and storyteller, and that just gives me high hopes once I make this sucker available on amazon. I have a good feeling about this one.