So, JAVELIN RAIN, my 5th published novel, comes out in exactly one week. It’s a time of celebration for me, because this is five more novels than I ever thought I would get published, but it’s also a time of serious anxiety, and that’s what I want to talk about here.
People are always asking me how best to support my writing career. Should they buy the book in print or digital format? From Amazon or B&N or Powell’s or some smaller indie bookstore? Should they preorder or not?
These kind of questions are *greatly* appreciated, because they show that you care not only about my writing, but about *me*, and that you are invested in my long-term success. It makes me feel like you’re not only fans, you’re friends, and when you grew up a friendless nerd, that’s one hell of a thing to feel.
I’ve struggled to embrace the Patreon economy. I understand that it’s a legitimate way to earn money, the forefront of a fundamental economic shift that is moving us into a new era of how people make a living. But I’m a crusty old sailor, and asking for people to simply donate money doesn’t jive with the way I’m in the world. I’ve written a book, and I want it to be so good that you want to BUY it, and not from me directly. I don’t have anything to sell you. My PUBLISHER has things to sell you, things I helped create, and I get a cut of the action. That’s the way I want to work, and while I understand it is antiquated and fading fast, it remains what I want. So, yeah. No Patreon for Mykey.
But so many people have emailed and asked me how they can help, that I am certainly not above answering the question (I did it once before here). And the truth is that I *do* need help, because like it or not, sales drive my ability to get future book deals, and I’m not a guy who wants to be his own publisher. My books have done very well, but not so well that I am more than one poorly-performing book away from the end of my career.
So, if you want to help (and you can afford it), here’s how you can:
- Buy JAVELIN RAIN. Either preorder it or buy it in the first week it goes on sale (March 29th – April 5th). I know it’s silly, but first week sales are the thing the publisher focuses on the most. You can have the best “long tail” in the history of book publishing, but if your week 1 numbers aren’t stellar, then you’re going to have an uphill battle when you pitch your next idea.
- If you’ve been thinking about buying JAVELIN RAIN as a gift for anyone, now would be the time.
- The publisher is also watching for spikes in sales of my other books as a reaction to JAVELIN RAIN’s release. So, if you’ve been waiting to try any of my other novels, I’d be grateful if you’d pick them up during the first week JAVELIN RAIN goes on sale.
- If you’ve read any of my books, please post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. The number of reviews on there does effect how the books are presented.
- While I am grateful for you buying a copy of any of my books in any format, I am most appreciative of sales of paper copies. Publishers weight this higher than digital, and more importantly, it motivates buyers for bookstores to stock more copies, which in turn grants me more shelf-visibility and a better chance to sell.
- Recommend me to your friends, ask your bookstore why they don’t carry me (or thank them if they do), make my book your book club selection, recommend your library carry me. Spread the word.
I love being a writer, and I want to go on doing it for the rest of my life. I am incredibly grateful to you for supporting me in this, and cannot thank the many of you who have reached out to ask me how you can help enough. As long as publishers pay me to write, I will keep writing, and with your help, I’m looking forward to many more years of pounding away at the keyboard. Buy links for all the major vendors are on my home page.
It’s been one hell of a ride so far, and it’s shaping up to be even better. Onward to book 5 and beyond.