Wednesday, 2 January 2013


2012 has been a good year for me

My novels have been selling steadily, if not in the huge quantities they did in 2010/11, bringing my total ebook sales to over 60,000. I published a new novel. I've recently had a nice run of enthusiastic reviews, and for a writer nothing is more rewarding than knowing readers have enjoyed your books.

So I had intended to write an assessment of the highs and lows of 2012, plus hopes and predictions for 2013. It was going to be all bullet points - you'd have loved it. I did the illustration specially.

But then I changed my mind and decided to write briefly about persistence. Because in an overcrowded and competitive marketplace, persistence probably matters more than anything, including talent. It's so easy to get discouraged as a writer; sometimes the effort seems pointless. But just keeping going as others fall by the wayside puts you in an elite group, and it's from that group that successful and famous authors will emerge.

Here's a toast to 2013: health, happiness and success!


  1. Thanks for this encouragement, Lexi. I am finding it exactly as you say, an overcrowded marketplace.

    An interesting exercise I conducted in my own romance time travel genre on Amazon was to note the dates of publication of those in the top 20 Kindle ebooks. Most were published in 2010 or 2011.

    If anyone else has checked in their own genre, are you finding the same? If so, it is backing up what Lexi says too.

  2. The nice thing about ebooks is that, unlike print books, they do not have a shelf life. No one will rip off their covers and send them back to be pulped. They can sit around twiddling their fingers until their moment in the sun arrives.

  3. Happy 2013!

    I hope this will be an even better year for you!

  4. Over 60,0000 sales?!?!? That's just brilliant!! Wishing you an even more successful and fabulous 2013, Lexi! Take care

  5. Why is it that the comment that resonated with me most in today's blog was 'sometimes the effort seems pointless'.


    On a brighter note, happy new year, Lexi!


  6. All the best for 2013.

    Just started reading Ice Diaries and it's brrrill!

  7. Kitty, if only I had that extra nought...

    Guy, that is normal writer's angst. Keep those fingers tapping. Happy New Year!

    Debbie, thank you! Readers are writers' very favourite people :o)

  8. You continue to be an inspiration. Thanks for that and for the stories and characters and especially for being a great friend.

    And Guy, let's banish "pointless" from our vocabulary, shall we? Unless, of course, we need to describe how a character feels as he suffers understandable despair just before we make things even worse for him.

  9. Yes! Let's all be the opposite of pointless!


  10. Let's hope 2013 is kind to us all - especially those bits of Life over which we have no control.

  11. Weather, tax and teenagers?

  12. Persistence. So true, in all areas of writing, not just making it.

    There's that quote, attributed to various people, that goes, "it took me 20 years of hard work to become and overnight success". It doesn't really matter who said it, I'm convinced it's true.

    After some of the sales you've achieved, I can see that selling 60,000 e-books, when you have more out, might be a bit of a disappointment. But if it helps to put it in perspective, I've had my books on Amazon about the same amount of time as you have and I dream of selling 1000 in a year, hell, I dream of my monthly sales getting into double figures... or shifting any on dot com! Mwah ha ha haargh!

    Happy New Year and all the best for 2013.



  13. MTM, 60,000 is a grand total of all my sales, not just in 2012. Had I sold 60,000 in 2012 there'd be no living with me :o)

  14. Hmm... Of course, persistence has its place, but it’s a first cousin of the pernicious notion that you can do anything if you only put your mind to it. I could tell you a hundred thousand things that I would never be able to do, however hard I tried.

    It may be true that persistence plus talent was, as Anna hints at the top of the page, a killer combination circa 2010. But the number of ebooks has increased exponentially since then, and I’m not sure that all the talent and all the persistence in the world will ensure that a new voice gets a hearing today.

    There’s no problem for those who are happy to write whether or not they find a readership, but to those less high-minded, I would offer no encouragement to self-publish a novel in 2013. It demands an awful lot of effort, with, I suspect, little chance of meaningful reward.

    er... Happy New Year.

  15. Agreed it's much harder to self-publish now than it was mid-2010 when I started. I don't think the problem is too many indies, as most of their books are quite bad, a published slushpile. It's more that Big Publishing has finally accepted digital is here to stay, is bringing out back lists as ebooks and is getting its head round the notion that as an ebook costs nothing at point of sale, it's possible to make more money selling it at 20p than £6.99. Also Amazon's algorithms make it harder for a book to keep high in the charts.

    But things will go on changing, and not all those changes will be bad for writers. There will be new opportunities. Even now, some authors are doing very well. 2013 is certain to be an interesting year.

    Happy New Year to you too, Iain :o)

  16. I agree with Iain. Sort of. And with Lexi. Sort of. Right time, right place, with right offering for right audience. All of these things are big factors. Knowing (or being lucky enough to somehow intuit) where to spend ones time and energy is also part of achieving success in a field as crowded as ours. And luck cannot be discounted one little bit. Luck gets you those rare Dear Readers who not only love your stuff but go out of their way to spread the word for you. And we all know that sort of thing is a hundred times more effective than any self-advertising. And with that sort of lovely acceptance comes confidence. With confidence comes more production. And things build from there. This is all supposing that talent and basic literary skills are part of the equation. Although, as we all know, the reading public can be very forgiving when it comes to quality. At times it seems they avoid it like the plague.

    But there is no way of knowing where or when those Dear Readers will stumble across your work. And so you have to give them as many chances a possible to find it. And that is where persistence pays off.

  17. So in short, we just need to get on a roll and keep rolling.

    Just off to do that...