Welcome to the unreal?

Good evening and welcome to what will likely be a very raw and unfiltered post. Unlike many of my other posts, which go through a rigorous review and proofreading process, this is a little more stream of consciousness.

Why?

My paperback released for pre-sales today. And I was not emotionally prepared for the response.

For those of you who have been following me for a bit, you know my book release for Kindle pre-sales way back at the end of June. It’s been fun too! I occasionally check Amazon’s Author Central to see how its doing. I can tell when a post here hits a nerve or touches a heart because I’ll see a temporary spike in ranking from someone buying a copy of the book. It warms my heart that people trust a brand new author (been writing fiction for 20+ years) in their debut novel (in fiction, I’ve been published… elsewhere) enough to buy an e-book on pre-sale, full well knowing it will be a while before they can read it. I assumed in the pandemic end times of 2020, paper books, the antithesis of “buy now” and slow to ship, were dead.

But on social media (Twitter, FaceBook, and Instagram) I hear a different story. There were still a few wonderful and stalwart souls who, like me, love books, physical books.

A piece of another world they could hold in their hands. A sliver of some other reality they could curl up around, under a warm blanket, on a rainy day, to pass the time safely existing in another life.

These are my people.

A few people assured me they would buy the book, bless them, when it was available on paper. I took those pledges with a grain of salt, knowing that the busy world we live in washes over our memories, erasing those little hidden gems like the announcement of a new book. I don’t blame anyone that forgot it would be available as a real, physical paper book. I cannot begin to count the million little promises I made to myself over things I wanted that slipped from my mind. (And my bank account probably thanks me.)

My wonderful publisher got the book finalized and off to the publisher recently. (On time and budget, it’s a miracle!) And we were all please to see the first round of physical books would be available on release day!

I love Amazon but I didn’t have faith they’d have the physical copies up for pre-sale at all. Until today. I got a text early this morning “Hey, I thought you said your paperback wouldn’t be up for pre-sale?” Uh yeah, I didn’t think so either! Check. Double check. Ask for friends on Twitter to check for me… yes, it’s available for pre-sale. Oh, my goodness, I HAVE A REAL BOOK FOR SALE!

Look, if you’re a writer, you know. If you follow me because I run really far, let me explain: an e-book is amazing, you can read everything you’ve written, but when you grew up with a deep and abiding love for the smell of an old library, knowing your book with come to fruition in physical form is a minor miracle.

So, I smiled a little, went off to my day job, and enjoyed a day so long and stressful that I didn’t – couldn’t – stop for lunch. And when I came home, I decided to check my Amazon ranking again.

I almost passed out. I might have cried. I did math three times in two different ways because I didn’t believe what I saw.

In only a little over nine hours, my book was in the top 1.2% of paperbacks for sale on Amazon.

Let me blink really hard and clear my vision again.

Amazon has 8-million books available for sale. I’m in the top 1.2%... and it’s still in pre-sale.

Welcome to the unreal.

Yes, Amazon has crazy, wonky algorithms… yeah, it will probably drop. Yes, it will definitely drop.

But today. For just one day. I am a brand new fiction author with a book for sale that cracks not just the top 50%… the top 10%… but the top 1.2% of all Amazon’s physical books for sale. I am living a dream.

I am elated. I am so thankful for everyone who follows me. The people who support me, the would-be overnight success, fifteen years in the making. The people who have encouraged me through this journey. And if this crazy unreal continues, I will owe it to the people who have supported me along the way. As the man said, “You’re the real MVP!” and I am grateful for you in my life.


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One Comment on “Welcome to the unreal?

  1. Pingback: Big Week! – K R Paul

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