If you follow me on Facebook, you might have noticed the image to the right over here pop up on your newsfeeds within the last 12 hours or so. That’s right, as of approximately 9pm yesterday, THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO was listed as the number 13 bestselling English comedy book on the German Amazon site. If you take a close look, you’ll see me sitting right there next to the amazing Terry Pratchett…and not too far away from another Pratchett that just so happens to have Neil Gaiman listed as co-author.
These are big names to be associated with, and therefore I should be all proud and whatever, of course. I mean, come on, on some of the lists, I was just a few spots away from the iconic Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy! My silly little Buddy Jackson was just about to rub elbows with Arthur Dent.
If you follow much for independent authors, you’ve probably seen similar photos before. It’s exciting to get to see your own work listed alongside the work of those you respect. However…the image is very misleading.
First, I’d like to note that Buddy has fallen off all of the three bestselling lists it was on last night except the one pictured above. On that one, he is currently sitting at #63, and by the top of the hour, I wouldn’t be surprised if he fell off completely.
You see, these ranks are based off of actual sales of books in those very specific markets, and they are updated hourly (or almost hourly….). So, my placement at number 13 on this list populated by some of the greats is a direct result of my actual sales. Of course, that statement alone is also misleading, as I have sold all of two books (note sold, as in, for money, as I’ve given away a hundred or so) in Germany, both of which just so happened to have occurred within the last 2 weeks.
Now, I don’t want you to get me wrong; I’m awfully proud of those two sales. However, I also don’t want you to get me wrong when I show an image like this, as it is no way indicative of my true ‘ranking’ as an author. Heck, I’ve sold dozens of books stateside and I’ve never even come close to Mr. Pratchett’s oldest stuff.
Which is where my real problem with all of this comes into play. Sure, for that hour, my book may have been selling better than the book that wikipedia notes as being the “third fastest selling book in first week of publication”, but that doesn’t actually mean that my sales hold a candle to any of the five thousand Discworld novels….it just means that German people don’t buy that many english books (go figure)…it’s also an indicator that there aren’t nearly as many ebook sales on Amazon.de as there are in other markets, like Amazon.com.
Yet, although I’m not truly poised to be the literary David Hasselhoff, I have to admit…I’m feeling pretty darn successful. I’m pretty certain that by spring I’ll have already surpassed royalty payments for 2013. Sales, since the release of THE AGORA FILES, have doubled…which is good, two books should, hopefully, bring twice the number of sales. And I’ve got a heckuva lot of projects that are swimming through the development pipeline and getting ready to come out to you.
In other words…I finally actually feel like an author…and it has almost nothing to do with the fact that my name and Terry Pratchett’s name appeared next to each other on a German website…almost nothing.
Anyhoo, got tons of stuff to get back to…like figuring out how to buy even more copies of my own book in Germany so I can get myself higher and fool all my friends on facebook into thinking I’m the next big thing.
Have fun out there!