I was going to call this a milestone, but really it’s the first step of (another) very long journey.
Today, my friends, someone bought one of my stories. I am pretty sure this is entirely out of love for me, and very likely by one of my parents, because the only people I’ve told directly that the story is available are on my mailing list … and you know what? I really don’t care.
I am absurdly happy. This is the very first paid sale I have of a piece of my writing. Other things have been published — a couple of academic things, obviously a lot of blog posts (for here and for other places as guests) — but this the first one that was paid.
In other announcements: my short story “Scheherezade” is now available for purchase as an ebook at most online vendors (Amazon.ca and .com, also .co.uk, .au, and others but I don’t have clickable links for them; iTunes [sorry, I can’t figure out how to link it outside of the iTunes store itself], Kobo, Xinxii and its affiliates in Europe; Google Play is not yet set up). “Inkebarrow,” another short story — this one’s about Shakespeare! — is available over on my author website.
I feel like I did when I started walking at St Abb’s Head in Scotland. It wasn’t that that was quite the beginning of my journey — there was an awful lot of planning and journeying of a different sort before I got there (planes, trains, and automobiles, quite literally), but once I set foot on the hill, the walk proper was begun. Likewise, now I’ve put up a piece of writing for sale, and someone (doesn’t matter who) has bought it, and … well, that’s it, really. I am happy with that. There will be many more stories, long and short, and (I hope) many more sales to come. But this one is special: this is the first story that I put up for public reading, this is the first story I put up for sale, and it’s the first one that has sold a copy.
Here’s a screenshot. This is success, dear readers:
(Also, apparently one sale is enough to put it at #6062 in the Amazon.ca store? How intriguing! It’s #33 and 48 in two apparently different categories of Fantasy > Historical too. I am learning so much about how this industry works every day; and there is so very much more to learn.)
Actually, you know, it is success. This is hitting my first milestone! Which to be honest, I was really thinking in terms of Till Human Voices Wake Us, the novel that is going to be coming out later this spring, all going well. Because that’s a novel, and will have a paper edition as well, and I have some (pretty low-key, but existent) plans for marketing, my metrics are things like: first sale; tenth sale; seventy-fifth sale; over one hundred; and then we get into longer-term hopes and dreams. The reason for the first sale is, I think, fairly obvious; the tenth takes me out of my immediate family and very closest friends; the seventy-fifth is the average number of sales for a self-published book, which coincides fairly neatly with the larger circle of family and friends one can induce to buy one’s book; and over a hundred is when we get into the territory of strangers.
I understand short stories (outside of erotica) don’t usually sell all that many more than five copies a month. It’s more of a quantity game with them, if you want to make your living as a short story writer. I don’t, particularly; this is the first year I’ve ever written short stories. I have a few out on submission, and more in the works, and a plan to publish one for free each month (before it will go to paid), because I’m enjoying writing them. It’s also a means to start building a virtual shelf for myself. When Till Human Voices Wake Us is published, there will be other works by me up — as well as this blog! — and since the short stories I am publishing at the moment are connected to the novel, I hope people who enjoy one will be inclined to look at the others, too. Plus, as I said, it’s fun.
Happy May Day, everyone! I am going to gloat over my first sale again, and then get back to writing. 🙂