Some Semi-Random Observations
I had not planned on releasing three very different books in the space of three weeks. In fact, one of them wasn’t supposed to be written at all! But the Evil Muse, and the success of what was supposed to be a set of stand-alone stories was such that I released a short urban-fantasy novel, the tenth Cat Among Dragons book, and the second Shikari book in three weeks.
So, what were the results? 1) A frazzled author.That’s because I also had a major concert I was performing in, plus some Day Job things that overwhelmed me to a degree.
2) The urban fantasy (Strangely Familiar) sold like wildfire. This is partly because Sarah graciously mentioned it on Instapundit, and partly because there seems to be a hungry market for urban fantasy without “whiny b-tches for main characters” as Dorothy Grant phrased it. There’s also no sex, although that may or may not be a selling point, depending on how the series is marketed. Humor and adventure sell in urban fantasy, as the success of the Alexi stories and now the Familiar stories shows. Take heed, all ye who write.
3) The Cat novel is moving very slowly. I expected this, because the series has been slowing down. The story turned dark, and a number of readers stopped enjoying the character and the series. Plus it is ten in the series, and lots of people will not want to begin with the end. And I didn’t advertise it, other than at my blog and at Sarah’s place.
4) The Shikari stories sell really well. Not as briskly as the Familiars book, but this is the second in a series, and adventure science fiction with younger protagonists (16 and 19, in this volume). Again, there’s a market for retro, Kipling-esque adventure stories out there for teen and adult readers. I have not advertised this one as much, but that’s not stopping it. Rory’s cover is also helping. *waves toward Australia*
5) According to the warning I got from the ‘Zon, I am perhaps selling too well and they think someone is committing fraud using my books. I will not get paid for those reads and buys. They did not say how many are fraudulent, so I won’t know for several months how badly this will hurt my payment. I sent a reply thanking them for the warning and pointing out that I do not advertise. This was more to establish a paper trail than to get anything done, because I am aware that Amazon is… less than instantly receptive to certain things. If I see a sudden spike in sales, I will tell Amazon, so I will be less likely to be blamed for the activity, now that I am aware of it.
6) I am not certain that having the three releases boosted sales. There may have been some spill-over, but since they are different genres, different series, and different shades of light, darkness, humor, and romance, I’m not certain they helped each other the way three Shikari books or three Cat books would have done. Several fans were thrilled at having three new books in as many weeks, but I can’t keep up that level of output. It wasn’t planned, I assure you.
7) There may be a fourth pure fantasy novel before Memorial Day, but if not, it will be in late June or mid-July. I expect it will move very slowly because of the summer doldrums.
Edited to add: Merchant and Magic will be available Tuesday, May 15, barring major problems.