I just discovered this group. I am uncertain of the etiquette and am searching the FAQ that I may learn the ways of the IASFA. Apologies if I run afoul of the rules; please chalk it up to the inept bumbling of an untrained padawan fresh off the Internet.
I come to introduce myself. I am an entrepreneur in cybersecurity and crypto, where my day job is to help people protect their identity and intellectual property on the Internet. My world is one of cryptography, cryptocurrency, and tokens, both fungible and non-fungible. I write science fiction to decompress from my day job.
I began a few years ago with a somewhat ribald, frankly male-fantasy tale that I wrote merely for my own private amusement. I had no intention whatever of publishing it. However, a lady-friend had other ideas, and after a concerted barrage, I surrendered and placed it on Amazon. The sales exceeded my wildest expectations. Well, my wildest expectations were meager, so any sales would have exceeded them, but nonetheless, it did okay.
Two sequels followed; they did bupkis. The greatest teacher, failure is. However, though they fall far short of being a best seller, they do trickle along with regular, if unremarkable, sales. They persist at that awkward intersection of too good to unpublish and walk away, but not good enough to go anywhere.
So, I decided to write the fourth book of the trilogy. The new book, a prequel, is still in process (Current working title: “The Hat and the Canary”) and I hope to get it out later this year. So, as a run-up to that release, I am doing a refurb of the existing three stories, a fresh edit, some minor tweaks to close a plot hole or two, new covers, and a bit of promotional polish.
I loosely refer to the series as my “Chromosome Quest” series. The first book is titled Chromosome Quest: Love, Dinosaurs, and the Clockwork Apocalypse. Clockwork Apocalypse refers to the Singularity, the runaway AI that threatens all of humanity with destruction. The second is Chromosome Conspiracy, where the bawdy, uninhibited fur-girls come to Earth and the hero must protect them from the Men in Black. The third is Chromosome Warrior, where a female former “Man in Black” picks up the hero’s mantle and confronts the ultimate villain. A short story from that book is free to read on my site under the title “Deinonychus.” (https://www.nathangregoryauthor.com/deinonychus) As a part of the new polish and promotion, I am considering changing the titles and republishing, but no decision is firm. I am not even committed to “The Hat and the Canary” as the title of the 4th book.
My long-term goal is massive, overwhelming success, including a “made for Netflix” movie of my stories. However, I will still call it successful if I barely break even by selling just enough books to cover the promotion costs, new covers, etc.
I also publish stories on Kindle Vella and am currently using that medium to test-market chapters of “Hat.” It can be found from the link on my author’s website at: https://www.nathangregoryauthor.com/serials — I have other episodic stories there too, and links to my various books, including my non-fiction.
So, pass on what you have learned of the mystical secrets of the IASFA, that I too may one day master the dark art of selling books.
Joelle Presby says
Colleen Simpson says
Wow – sorry I missed this. Welcome, Nathan! I don’t have much I can pass on in the ‘dark and mystical art of selling books’. Craft, on the other hand, while I’m still – and will forever be – learning, I’ve been playing with words for over thirty years. I am a writer, first and foremost, and it’s always nice to meet someone who has a much fun with words as I do…which it looks like you do!
Nathan Gregory says
Thank you, yes I do enjoy the writing. The selling, not so much. I just put the fourth book of the trilogy, which I have now decided should start its own series, up for pre-order on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09YNG2JD3
The final title is set, and the cover is approved, and the manuscript is almost finished. I am hopeful that it will be successful.
Michael Gallagher says
Hey Nate! Belated welcome – sounds like quite a job to have to decompress from! I’m glad you’re following your dream. Hope something comes of it!
Craig Martelle says
I would write in more mainstream areas of Science Fiction in order to not handicap yourself. Trying to sell books that are off the beaten path will be a monumental challenge, even for the most seasoned of indie authors. Also, if your book one sold any copies at all but you couldn’t sell any of books 2 and 3, then that tells me there is an issue with craft. The readers weren’t engaged enough to want to buy the follow on books. There are no readers over on Vella, that is effort with no gain.
I suggest a new series and maybe getting a developmental editor to make sure you are writing a book that can be sold. Like you said, failure is the best teacher. Did you get quality feedback from those first books in order to work hard at the right things moving forward?
Nathan Gregory says
I certainly agree about Vella. A monumental waste of time! So far, the 4th book is doing fairly well, getting steady sales. Not setting the world on fire, but ticking along regularly.
Nathan Gregory says
Been a while since I checked in here. That new book is out now, finally. The published title settled on “Undercover Alien: The Hat, The Alien, and the Quantum War” and it is available on Amazon in eBook and Paperback formats. The audio version is in the works. Sometime late Q1, I hope.
Even more interestingly, the book cover is in the AllAuthor cover contest. I made it into the top 100 (currently ranked at #51) but may not make it into the top 50 unless I can chase up some more votes. If you’d care to vote for me, hop over to https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/14533/ and give the vote button a gentle click.
I still have a few ARC copies available, so if you’d like to get a free copy in exchange for an honest review, PM me.