Yesterday, my fiancé and I had a conversation about Bite No. 1: The Old Man at the End of the World. ‘Who do you think should play Gerald in the movie?’ he asked.
‘Sure,’ he shrugged, ‘The Old Man at the End of the World: The Movie.’
‘I think you’re getting a bit ahead of yourself,’ I replied. Lovely though he is, my fiancé – shall we just call him Bob for the purposes of this blog – is great at counting chickens and all that. Once, when I write a (non-fiction) article for The Irish Times he bought twenty copies just in case the edition became a collector’s item.
‘Oh yeah,’ said Bob, pointing to my laptop screen [he wouldn’t normally say things like yeah but let’s just use that for the purposes of this post], ‘let’s see the those sales.’
I pulled up the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing – the Pearly Gates of Amazon Publishing) Reports tab for my account and turned the laptop towards him.
‘Awesome,’ he said [again, awesome isn’t a standard Bob word]. ‘What’s the graph’s scale?’
This is what he saw:
Seven copies. And he bought one of them (is that against Amazon law?). I bought one too. I haven’t told my mum that I’ve written a tongue-in-cheek zombie novella, so I can at least assure you that the remaining five weren’t bought by well-meaning family members. But, nine days into my publishing career and seven copies sold. Well, five really. It’s not great. The movie rights are on hold.
Two options then:
- My fellow Kindlings (my new term for kindle readers) are find the book using one of my 7 kindle keywords/phrases, read the sample and think: No thanks, this is pure rubbish. OR… (fingers crossed)
- My fellow Kindlings are not finding Bite No.1 at all and are spending their time reading much more enriching material.
In the meantime, Bite No.1 has dropped from a rank of #62,000 to #160,000 in the paid kindle store. So, these figures seem to align nicely with the accepted notion that you need to sell one book a day to be within the 50,000 – 100,000 rankings on Amazon. Author T.R. Ragan has a little chat about that in this blog post.
So, the protagonist of The Old Man at the End of the World, Gerald Stockwell-Poulter has quite some way to crawl out of the hole he seems to have got himself into. Nevermind the zombies, Gerry, watch out for those dreadful sales rankings! If I find a way for Gerald to soar, I will let you all know. In the meantime, Bite No.1 has had a few lovely reviews at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Goodreads. A grovelling thanks to those who have taken the time to make my day!
Back to Bob: ‘How about Jim Broadbent?’
I thought I should get into the spirit of things, even though it was all rather depressing. ‘Well… ‘ I said, ‘I suppose Ian McKellen would be a winner. As long as they don’t make him as tall as he is in Lord of the Rings.’
‘Or The Hobbit.’
‘Don’t even talk to me about The Hobbit.’ I thought about Ian McKellen earthing up leeks and stabbing zombies with a pitchfork and wondered if he might at least consider the offer, as he wouldn’t be playing another wizard.
‘How about Justin Timberlake?’
Now Bob was just being plain silly and, as I refreshed my KDP sales (still seven), I wasn’t in the mood. Sensing an impending Ice Age, Bob suggested that we take the £1.45 + $0.82 (before tax) that I’d earned from Bite No.1 and buy half a coffee.
‘Sure, we can do that,’ I said turning my screen towards him again and highlighting Amazon pay royalties for each marketplace approximately sixty (60) days following the end of the calendar month.
‘In early May then,’ he said, ‘in the meantime, I’m putting Bill Nighy on notice for 2018.’