In 2008, I think, I released my first book and, over the years (and years) I flogged a fair few. Seven titles later and some are selling relatively well (not brilliantly but at least they are selling) and others... well... not really selling.
My vampire book, for example, sold.... well.... let's not even go there. In fact, hell, let us pretend I didn't even write it!
Occasionally reviews pop up online too (on Amazon.co.uk more than .com) and it's great fun to see what people have to say but I think it's fair to say - I've always been a bigger author in my own head than I have in real life.
I just figured - believe it enough and others will soon follow suit and buy into the whole 'Matt Shaw is an author' gobbledegook. Build an online persona interesting (crazy) enough to draw people in so they're curious to see what I write about.
And it works.
Anyway, I've been releasing books since 2008 (as previously said, pay attention) and only now have they started to take off - in 2012 (isn't this when the World is meant to end too? Goddamit!)
On 30/01/12, I released the final part of my trilogy to 'Happy Ever After' and thought I'd try something new - make the first part of the story free. I didn't think anything else of it - once changing the details on the Amazon Kindle site - until I checked the sales at the end of the 30th to see if my new book had sold any. It had sold 1.
'Happy Ever After', however, a couple of hundred in America. It had also sold a couple of hundred in the UK. I was ecstatic and phoned my mum (don't laugh) to share my news. As the evening went on it broke the 1,000 level (combined sales across the sites). By morning, I checked again due to being like an excited kid, another thousand... until, by the end of the fourth day - I had slightly over 10,000 downloads across the Amazon sites (but only one of those was from France.... the bastards.... they have no taste).
And that included 200 copies of the second and third book of the trilogy - which people had paid full price for (not that full price is a lot.... less than a couple of quid!) I never dreamed of shifting that many let alone in only 4 days (it had helped that I also made 5 of my other titles free too).
Watching the downloads change, on the report, every few minutes and seeing new reviews pop up really gave me a confidence boost with regards to what I write. Here I am, little old me.... sitting in my empty house, writing my stories and now.... over 10,000 people in the world have read my work. The reviews that crept online; some of the readers even loved my work.
This new experience, with kindle and experimenting with giving stuff away to introduce myself to the writing world, has taught me one thing.....
No matter how bleak things are, no matter how you think you're doing.... NEVER GIVE UP.
I'm an author until the day I die.