brendandetzner (brendandetzner) wrote,
brendandetzner
brendandetzner

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Regrouping part 3

So like I was saying, the problem with my book sales is that I desperately hoped they would look something like this:

______X
____X X
__X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
B M O W

And was willing to live with it if they looked something like this:

X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
B M O W


They have instead ended up looking like this:

X
X
X
X _ X
X X X
B M O W


(Ignore that little underscore there, it's the best that the sophisticated suite of tools Livejournal provides could offer.) So what lessons can we take from this merry little surprise? We'll start with reasons to be optimistic, move on to things I might not like but need to expect moving forward, head over to things that still confuse the hell out of me, and conclude on Things I Would Have Done Differently If I'd Had Perfect Information.

*Beasts has a great cover.

This was one area where working the dealer's room at the convention in Indianapolis was really helpful. Watching people float from one book to another and then eventually arrive at Xavier Nuez's awesome photograph over and over again really cleared this up. All the art I have for my book covers are things I'm really proud to be associated with, but there's apparently a distinction between "great piece of artwork" and "piece of artwork that makes people want to buy a book".

*There's a bigger market for creepy short story collections than I thought.

Hey, it's no Amish romance, but people like different lengths for different genres, and for "funny/creepy/surreal" people like short stories. I happen to be well equipped to produce funny/creepy/surreal short stories, so this is good news. It also seems like the "new book in a series promotes previous books in the series" effect works on series of short story collections just like it does in other genres. This all means that you can be expecting a new collection from me, and maybe subsequent collections, a lot sooner than I'd originally planned.

*All readers, even people who are really into what I'm doing and support me, are not equally interested in every genre that I work in.

There are people who like Beasts who are patiently waiting for me to get this other stuff out of my system so I can give them another collection. There are people who liked The Orphan Fleet who aren't really going to tune back in until they get the sequel (coming in October!). And Millersville had admirers who have no interest in getting anywhere near anything that smells like fantasy or science fiction.

I think this is also the reason my Patreon didn't do as well as I thought it might. This was part of why I was in a bit of a funk a few days ago, but I wasn't sure if I should bring it up, because I didn't want the people who did decide to support me to feel like I didn't appreciate them, which is not the case at all. I also didn't want people who are into what I'm doing but didn't do the Patreon to feel like I didn't appreciate them, because that's not true at all either.

Basically, the big P is for people that want ever single thing I'm putting out, irregardless of genre, and want it right away, which is kind of a lot given the release schedule I've been going ahead with. If that's you (and I'll just go ahead an include that link here), it's a great delivery service that's a little cheaper and much faster than Le Zon. But it's not everybody, and that's totally cool.

And I've gone long again. I'll try to wrap up tomorrowish. Thanks again for being lovely human beings.

-Brendan
Tags: the plan
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