And no, I'm not talking about drunk texting.
You know, I may have shared this story before but for those of you just joining us, I'll recap.
On November 25, 2012, I released a book titled "The Christmas Cottage". This was a book that I wrote for National Novel Writing Month - November 2012. Yes, I wrote it in less than a month. The story wasn't planned, I started on NaNoWriMo late and basically the words just came to me. I thought it was pretty cool.
Anyway, I had a book signing event for my first book, "Jordan's Return", and I wanted to have something to offer anyone that showed up other than my signature in the book. So I came up with a plan to offer a free ebook for Christmas. The problem was that the book signing was at the end of November and I was still really in the editing process of my quickly written book. I rushed through the edits and had bookmarks made that essentially said "My gift to you...free ebook...blah, blah, blah" and then I found out that Amazon would not allow me to do that.
Again, I was in a rushed mode and didn't do my research. Shame on me.
So I decided to put the book out there for .99 cents. It was a novella so I felt that the price was fair. I got creative with the bookmarks and took out the "free" part. I put the book out there and started marketing with the help of an assistant. I didn't have particularly high hopes for the book because I remembered how little the first book had done but this book wasn't about the sales, it was about keeping my name out there until the agent in NY decided what she was going to do with a book of mine that she has in her possession. You see, this novella was more about keeping my name out there; it wasn't about any great plan for a best seller.
Best laid plans and all that...
Imagine my surprise when the book started climbing the charts. Imagine my surprise that people were actually excited about it and responding to my ads and cries for support. Totally unlike the response I got to book number one. I was giddy and excited and damn near in tears when the book hit one of the best seller lists!
Imagine my surprise when I started getting negative reviews and critiques because of my spelling/grammar/keystroke errors. I have no excuse; I rushed the book, I didn't spend enough time editing. The funny thing is that most of those negative reviews say that they really enjoyed the story, just that the grammar/spelling errors were too distracting.
I spent three days currently re-editing the book and tonight I re-submitted it to Amazon and will have to do the same tomorrow with Nook. I should have taken more time. I should have waited to release it but I was really not expecting all of the hooplah that I got. I wasn't expecting so many mean people.
I'm reading a book right now that is a collection of short stories that is absolutely horrible. I mean, I don't know who chose these stories but they are not a grouping that should be together. Some stories are short and sweet while others are just crude and full of vulgar language and sex scenes. I'm not a prude and I've written many a sex scene for my books but these scenes made me wince. Am I going to attack the publisher and writers? No. Am I going to ask for a refund? No. I bought it, I read it, I own it.
I'm just praying that I have learned from the negative reviews and from reading some bad books and that my next book won't be such a downer to so many people. Sorry that I let my excitement ruin your reading experience. That wasn't my intention...