Thursday, 4 April 2013

A very worthwhile long wait!

As we all know - all those of us who've ever been a writer of any sort, published or not, successful or not - things are slow to happen in the world of writing! In the early stages of my writing life I became so used to waiting for months, even years, for responses to submissions, that when I was finally a published novelist I really didn't expect things to move any faster - and of course, they didn't!  That's just the way things were.

In some ways, all that changes when you decide to self-publish. Using Kindle Direct Publishing, once a book is ready to publish, it happens so fast you can hardly blink. But as with any form of publishing, it's one thing having a book 'out there', and quite another thing selling it! 

Well, I'm here to tell you never to give up hope of those sales happening. After nearly two years of being available on Amazon, my Kindle edition of 'The Trouble With Ally' (published under my real name, Sheila Norton) has suddenly started to sell so well, that during its best week so far, it got very close to Amazon's top 100, and was in the top 20 of their 'women writers & fiction' category! All the more surprising as 'Ally' was the first of my published novels - first published in book form 10 years ago.

I have no idea what kick-started this sudden massive increase of sales after so long, but obviously I'm thrilled, and the nice thing is that I'm also seeing increased sales in the other books (as hopefully, people who enjoy 'The Trouble With Ally' are going on to buy others).

I've also had a flurry of new reviews - nearly all of them very complimentary, and I'm sure that helps too. Reviews are so important, and it's so nice when readers take the trouble to tell me (and/or tell the world!) they've enjoyed one of my books.  And some reviews give constructive criticism (for instance, I had one, otherwise very favourable review, which pointed out some errors and formatting glitches. Mortifying, but at least it enabled me to take action, make corrections and re-publish).

So: to sum up, I'd just say to any writers who might be feeling fed up waiting for anything to happen - for a response from an editor or agent, or for something that's been accepted to actually appear in print, or for payment to arrive, or for a book to actually start selling a decent amount of copies - take heart from 'The Trouble With Ally'. I wrote it, and started submitting it, in 1999.
It was accepted for publication in 2002, and published in print form in 2003.
Now my Kindle edition is selling in thousands!

So thanks to Amazon, thanks to my previous publisher Piatkus who started the process, and to all the readers out there making it happen. And now I'd better get on with writing book number 11!


  1. Congratulations, Olivia. Isn't it great when a book takes off like that?
    Roll on your next success. x

  2. Wonderful news, Olivia!well done!

  3. Thank you so much Rena, Suzanne, and Frances! It's so nice to have your support and yes - it does feel wonderful! x

  4. That's great news Olivia, hope you get many more sales.

  5. Thank you Susan. Even if it doesn't continue to build (which I obviously hope it does!), the excitement of this little sales spurt will always be a really good memory. We writers have to live on our moments of excitement!