Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gauging success

Life has been pretty hectic the last six weeks.  In that time, I have finished a novel, placed it at about a dozen e-reader distributors, finished the paperback version of the same novel, done a half dozen interviews, joined another half dozen book clubs with great people who support new authors, and started book two of the “An Upstate New York Mafia Tale” series.

Book two is tentatively called Buffalo Soldiers.  Tentatively because I am aware of the historical implications with the name, but love what the title means with a mafia spin.

Also, I have worked with my brothers and my Dad to alternately spit-ball ideas, work on the legal side of the writing business, and get the online version of the writing business up to snuff.  To that end, we have a new website opening up called Best Fiction Novels at www.best-fiction-novels.com.  Thanks to Rob Denmon at Florida SEO Design, we have a workable presence on the web outside of this lovely blog.

With all of these things going on, I haven’t been able to reflect much on whether or not my novel is actually doing well since I released it.   I am having trouble finding the right way to gauge success.   I know it sounds like an odd thing to worry about, and I hear it from other indie authors a lot.  I have sold a couple hundred novels at this point.  I am told that is pretty good, but I have the desire to be read by as many people as possible and don’t really feel satisfied.  I guess that is a bit greedy.

I try to remind myself when I started toying with the idea of self-publishing that I would be happy if one person read my book and liked it.  I remember saying, “Hey, if one person reads it, that’s better than it sitting in a drawer collecting dust.”   But a curious thing began to happen.  As people read it and good reviews began to flow in, my confidence in the story has also grown.  It is almost a snowball effect of dissatisfaction based slowly on rising expectations.

To be clear, I don’t envision having the world’s number one seller, even though it is “America’s #1 Crime Thriller” by Nicholas Denmon.  But suddenly I feel eager to see just how far this novel, this series, can go.  The support of readers who like your book is contagious.  I remember when I dabbled in acting for a time.  I remember the addicting feeling of performing for an audience and that instant feedback on the performance.  It really is something hard to equal.   But reader support as they finish your work and give it a stamp of approval is really a feeling that rivals the instant gratification of performing on a stage.

So, in a way, the feedback and support has really made me ready to go hardcore on Buffalo Soldiers.  I don’t want to disappoint and I know what it is like as a reader to want the next installment in a series.

So, to sum up, thanks for the support and motivation!

Family Note:

Speaking of family, recently three of us boys, the ladies, and my Dad and his lady friend Paula and her daughter and his boyfriend met at an Italian restaurant to celebrate two of my brother’s birthdays.  At this restaurant an older man named Carmine greeted me at the door.

Carmine was as Italian as the meatballs and walked me to the table where my family and friends sat.  In route he told me he knew who I was because I resembled my brother who had already arrived.  He knew Paula and gave us our first round of drinks for free, and I felt like my novel came to life for a moment and we were suddenly sitting like a bunch of Goodfellas.  It was pretty cool.

I love moments where the whole crew gets together and laughter flows as freely as the booze.  Time seems to have sped up a bit lately, so I really appreciate moments like that.  I know I sound old at 29, but hey, shut it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Um... wow.

    Congratulations? Yes, Congrats are in order for such an amazing writer as yourself with such an amazing novel such as For Nothing. But... so much more.

    Things like, HELL YES you should feel confident. BE confident in this novel that has sold hundreds of copies in the mere weeks since its release, with not a single negative remark.

    I think as your fans that we are also eager to see how far your novel will go, but even more excited to see where this series will take us. Personally, I can't wait for the next book.

    Whether or not you are satisfied with your success thus far, you will be. As a reader who has been instantly captivated by the world you have created for us, I know that For Nothing, "America’s #1 Crime Thriller" by Nicholas Denmon, is just getting started.

    Congratulations, Nick.