Mark Terry

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Battle For Atlantis

April 27, 2011
I've been looking at my e-book sales a lot (no kidding, at least once a day) and an interesting thing has been happening. My dominant sales have been THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK and THE SERPENT'S KISS, and I find it interesting how there seems to be a trailing effect, although I'm not anal enough to graph it out. What I mean is, PITCHFORK tends to sell relatively high numbers, and then the next couple weeks' numbers for SERPENT seem to be a close match. That makes sense. PITCHFORK is the first Derek Stillwater novel and SERPENT is the second, so if people liked PITCHFORK presumably they will turn around and purchase SERPENT.

I have other titles up and there's no particular pattern of sales yet, except one.

THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS continues to grow. In fact, its sales seem to rival THE SERPENT'S KISS and, I find it interesting, is starting to sell on the Amazon UK site. Now that the Amazon Germany site is part of the deal, I'll be curious to see what, if any, of my titles sell there.

Anyway, THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS was originally intended as a 5-book series featuring Peter Namaka, who discovers he is the son of the Hawaiian goddess of the sea and, as it turns out, the Heir of Ar'Tur, with more than a nod to Arthurian legends. (And more than a nod to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson novels).

The growth of sales for ATLANTIS has convinced me to start working on the follow-up, which was originally going to be titled THE SPECTER OF AVALON, although I think perhaps THE GHOST OF AVALON might be a more appropriate title for a middle grade fantasy novel.

This might, in its own way, be one of the more useful and interesting aspects of the e-book phenomenon: writers can judge reader interest in their titles and do follow-ups that go in that direction. Of course, a year ago that wouldn't have made much sense because it's only been recently that ATLANTIS has started growing in sales (the last couple months), still ... I wasn't inclined to write the follow-up if ATLANTIS only sold 1 or 2 copies a month. Unless I really, really wanted to.

So that's interesting, I think, and pretty cool. I sure had a good time writing ATLANTIS and look forward to seeing what adventures Peter and his friends have. I guess I should also get my act together and make sure ATLANTIS is available on other platforms.


Blogger rkfinnell said...

I always hear how one should forget the first novel and concentrate on writing the next one. I find it difficult writing the sequel to my first novel while it barely moves in sales. It certainly isn't for lack of effort in marketing and on a zero budget to boot. It ain't easy.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I think you should - UNLESS it's a sequel or second book in a series. At least if you're planning on publishing to a traditional publisher. I say this from experience, primarily because if you can't place the book it's unlikely anybody's going to be interested in a follow-up. There are exceptions, but it's not really a good idea to get too far ahead of your marketing efforts.

11:02 AM  

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