A Taste of Success

I’ve hardly slept in the past week because I’ve been too excited. My KDP five-day free eBook promo went far better than both I and my publisher had hoped. Here is the final tally:

USA: 12, 733

UK: 441

France: 155

Italy: 2

Japan: 2

India: 13

Canada: 73

Brazil: 3

Mexico: 1

Grand Total: 13, 423 (feel free to check my math; writers generally suck at math)

I was hoping for around 5,000 copies downloaded. When I hit that goal in about two days, I was stunned. I couldn’t stop saying thank you in my head over and over. I was quite honestly at the end of my rope motivation-wise. After all these years, I just plain couldn’t write for myself and a mere few others anymore. What’s the point if I couldn’t find a way to share my books with as many people as possible? I’d written all of two chapters so far in September, and almost nothing in August. This book promo came at the right time.

On the morning of the second day, I gaped at my computer screen as the amazon.com ranking read “101.” I couldn’t possibly get any closer to the top 100 in all of the Free in Kindle store without making it. Would I make it as the day progressed?

At lunch time I hit 104, then a few hours 106, then 109 around dinner. Aw, I’d peaked already. So close, so incredibly close, but no cigar. My publisher shared my “aww” moment, yet we were both thrilled to see my book even get that high up. The top 100 get special attention. I’d gotten one place away from such awesomeness. I was pretty darn happy how the promo was faring, but still, it’s natural to want to keep reaching higher.

A few hours later, I get a FB message, my Publisher saying, “You’re number 45!!”

Me, aloud: Whaaaaaat?!

Cue bringing up the amazon page and more gaping that followed. I couldn’t believe it. I really was #45 in the entire gosh darn Free in Kindle store. I’d made it into the top 100. After seen 101, I’d hoped for just 99 or 100. I would’ve been perfectly happy with that. Getting all the way to 45? Way more than I could’ve hoped for. My publisher typed *squeal* to me via FB and I gave my screen a flat look. “Men don’t squeal.”

“Well I just did. I’m so excited!”

“Okay, then. I stand corrected.”

Around 4:30 the next morning, shortly after I’d finally managed to fall asleep, this glowing thing enters my room and I roll over in bed. My roommate is standing there with his cell phone shining down on me. Did his alarm not go off this morning or something?

Him: Angie, I didn’t know whether or not I should wake you, but I figured you’d want to know. You’re #22 on amazon!

Me: Whaaaaaat?! *Jumps out of bed, wide awake again*

Sure enough, this is what I saw:

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 7.41.16 AM


I snuck all the way up to #20 before bouncing between 30 and 60 for the rest of the promo. I was so thrilled, so thankful. Thousands of people now had a copy of one of my books in their hands, and were even starting to grab book 2 in the trilogy. They were liking it. If you’re not a writer, the sheer joy I felt is hard to understand. Essentially, it’s that great feeling we all strive experience day in and day out. Seeing proof that people enjoy my books gives me that.

Regular sales have begun. So far it looks promising. I’m already almost selling enough on a daily basis to make a modest living off of my writing. However, I’m not all goggly-eyed yet. 13,423 readers is not a grand number in a global population of over 7 billion. I believe this promo will get the ball rolling, but my writing career still needs several more good pushes if I’m going to safely assume this will be my day job. There’s lots of exciting marketing stuff coming this fall, so I’m hopeful. I’m finally hopeful.

Even though I’m not goggly-eyed, I’m still daydreaming. I’m hoping to make it big so I can pay off my college loans and my car, and some medical bills. In addition, I’d love to be able to pay off my mother’s and brother’s college loans, along with give my youngest brother some funds for when he starts college. I’d love to treat my family to all sorts of enjoyable things, even if it’s something as simple as taking them out to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just to be able to do something as simple as that after all the help they’ve given me would bring me such joy. I want to be able make other people’s lives easier and be enjoyable company, inspire others to be happy and live in the moment. I’ve spent far too many years being depressed and unhappy. I don’t want others to feel that way. It’s not fun at all. Hopefully my readership will continue to grow and I can spread the joy.

I got a lovely surprise this morning: Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 4.27.55 AM

Unfortunately, amazon.com doesn’t tell people when an author they’ve read before publishes a new book. I don’t get why they’d skip this. B&N does. Poor, failing, B&N. I’d do marketing through them, too, if they offered what amazon does, but sadly they don’t. I wish the two companies would collaborate or something. This world will be a darker place without bookstores to walk into.

I’m working hard on finishing Aigis 3. I’m trying to get it out before Christmas, but no promises. I want to deliver a quality story with a satisfying ending. I’ve been frustrated with books that feel a little thin because the authors were rushed into releasing the next installment so people could make more money sooner. I refuse to do that. I feel an obligation to my readers, my characters, and myself to write the story that needs to be told. I can’t in good conscience do it for greed.

Thank you, everyone, who made my free eBook promo an phenomenal success! I cannot become great, unless society chooses to lift me up on their shoulders. I am no one, unless people want me to be someone.


About Angela Macala-Guajardo

Author, teacher, soon-to-be full time writer for two companies. Also a lover life in the Arizona desert, puppy butt wiggles, and kitties purring away on my shoulder.
This entry was posted in fantasy, happiness, marketing, publishing, success, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Taste of Success

  1. Pingback: A Taste of Success | Journey of the Writer's Heart

  2. That’s so wonderful! I don’t even know you, but I can’t help feeling excited for you nonetheless. Great job! And good for you for not rushing the third book before it’s ready. 🙂

    • smwelles says:

      Thank you very much! If you enjoy reading fantasy, you’ll have to give my writing a shot 🙂

      • You know, I’ve never read fantasy, but just recently I was eyeing a copy of Fantasy and Science Fiction (at a real physical bookstore–B&N!), so I may try it yet. And your series sounds like a trendy place to start!

  3. smwelles says:

    Awesome. I can give you plenty of recommendations if my books don’t do it for you. I love the breaks from reality fantasy books give you.

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