Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome to the longest-running* yet least-read** blog on the internet! Here you'll find me writing about all the things that I write about, which strikes me, just now, as somewhat recursive. In any case, enjoy :)

* not true ** probably true

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So I (finally) received my royalty summary statement for Thagoth. Latest royalty check? US$82.78.

That's not the interesting part.

The interesting part is the title of this post. 434 copies of Thagoth have been sold from day 1 through March, 2011.


Now, there are two ways I could look at this number. In fact, there are two ways I DO look at this number.

The first way, the pessimistic way, is to compare that number to, well, just about any author you've ever heard of, and realize just how pitifully small that number really is, especially after eight years on the market. And there's no way around it; it is a pitifully small number. The useful part of thinking pessimistically, though, is when you start asking 'why?'

I know why.

Thagoth was released only as an ebook, in 2003 (when you said 'ebook' people replied 'ewhat'?) with a craptacular cover and with zero marketing from Random House. My editor was fired while she was working on the book, and nobody at Random House gave it or any of the other OWW 'winners' an iota of attention.

Now despite that, Thagoth managed to garner 93 ratings on Fictionwise back then, the overwhelming majority of them positive:

Maybe I ain't Shakespeare, but I wrote a book, and the people that read it, liked it.

Now for the optimistic view on 434:

  • 434 people bought my book. The vast, vast majority of them I've never met, and never will. How frigging awesome is that? 434 times more awesome than sitting and whining about never having a book published, however brutal my publishing experience was, that's how awesome.
  • In their dismissive treatment of Thagoth, Random House serendipitously managed to get something right: The price point. Thagoth is $2.99, which happens to (arguably) be the sweet spot for ebook pricing. Back in 2003, it was a throwaway price point.
  • When I'm ready, I have the ability to take Thagoth back from Random House. Their rights expired after three years. Once I'm ready, I can (and will) take the book back, give it a sweet, sweet cover, and re-release it.
434. I think it's my new favorite number.


Dream Pedlar said...

You wrote, you published and you were read. That's like way up there! You rock, Michael! :)


Dream Pedlar said...

And why did you suddenly disappear from here - for a long time that too?

Claudia Del Balso said...

Hi Michael,
Don't worry about numbers. At least you finished your book, published it, and sold it to some fans ;)
Not everyone writes, let alone, finish a book. That's quite a feat.

Michael McClung said...

Dream Pedlar- Life intervenes, sometimes, and blogging takes a back seat :) And anyway, when are YOU going to post something new? :D

Claudia- Absolutely true! :)