At approximately 11:15 P.M. PST on April 20, 2017, I refreshed my
KDP "reports" page for the twentieth time. (That is a conservative estimate, as surely I should not sound like a loon on my first post.) A "reports" page shows an author how many units his or her novel has sold and how many pages has been read on Kindle Unlimited. At the time, my book was live in time zones that had reached April 21st, but for reasons unknown, I did not receive sales from preorders until 11:15 P.M.
I would like to say the moment I received my first order was memorable enough to recall the exact time stamp of it, but it wasn't. In fact, I had an ugly reaction. I saw the number, and my heart plummeted. I had sold three copies after a month-long preorder period. It was disheartening. It was frustrating. It was saddening.
I cried. My boyfriend--bless his soul--held me while I cried and cried and cried. After all, I had put in three years of undergraduate studies, learning the craft of writing, and I was working my ass off in graduate school to better myself even further. So much time and money had been spent, and I was left with three preorders. $6.12. All but one from people I knew. And in my mind, that justified my broken heart and traitorous tears. At the time, I vowed to quit, to give up, to throw in the proverbial towel.
You guys, I had a Rooster Day. You know what I mean. Those days when your head is so far up your behind, so clouded by emotions that you cannot formulate rational thoughts or make rational decisions. Except, I didn't want to be Monica. I wanted to be a bigger person, but I was so down, so depressed that I couldn't bring myself around. Naturally, I went to the gym and got a massage on the Planet Fitness hydromassage chairs for as long as they would let me.
Then, a miracle happened. When I woke up the morning of the 21st, I received 6 eBook orders, 1 paperback order, and 597 KENP read. Wowzers. That meant I sold 10 total copies on my release day, along with at least 2 KU book borrows. I was amazed. I was happy. And I felt foolish for overreacting hours ago. Yet, I still had so much hesitation and uncertainty. After all, I had no feedback and less than $30 a day is not a stable income--especially if I would like to live in Orange County, California.
Fast forward a couple days, and it's 3:32 AM. My release weekend is rapidly coming to a close, and I feel on top of the world. I feel like the possibilities are endless. Like I may make a career out of my passion. The sentiment began when I received my first fan message on Facebook. A dear reader called my book "brilliant." I was a over the moon.
This was a stranger, another living being, and she thought my work was "brilliant." I didn't pay her to tell me that. I didn't ask her to either. Hell, I didn't even know her. Yet, she took the time to message me that. And afterwards, the support poured in. Don't get me wrong--I don't have troves of fans. Instead, I have a handful of wonderful, loyal readers that believe in me. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
With their help, I spread the word about Asher Black. I started release day ranked at almost 2,000,000. Now, I am at #5854 overall in the (Paid) Kindle Store and #48 in my genre, Organized Crime. This is no more than ten copies sold per day, but this is still beyond what I imagined. And this is most certainly beyond what I imagined during my rooster day.
I had a Rooster Day, and it won't be my last. I know this. I accept this. But I also need to reflect upon this, because life has a tendency to make more sense backwards, yet it can only be lived forwards. Isn't it so much like life to operate like this? The point of this post is this: whenever you have a Rooster Day, recognize it for what it is--something that will pass. You're not Monica. You're Lucy. You overcome your struggles, and you don't take yourself or others down during your Rooster Days.