Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Love Story

This isn't part of Zombiepalooza, but it's something I wanted to say. This blog isn't meant to be a rant. I'm not writing from an angry place. And it's not a direct reaction to anything. It's just something I've wanted to say for awhile, and I'm finally frustrated  enough to say something.

Here it is: I didn't sell a million books by selling a million books.

What I mean by that is everybody keeps talking about  how many books I sold and the "phenomenon."I spend more time during interviews talking about sales than I do my actual books. There are so many blogs and tweets and all that talk about numbers and not writing.

The number one question I get is: How did you sell so many books?

Here's the secret: I wrote a book that many people enjoyed.

I did not say I wrote the best book ever written. I did not say that everybody loved it, because some people who read it really hated it. What I did say is that many of the people who read it, liked it. And the people who liked it went on to tell their friends, to blog about it, to tweet about it. People who read it based on friends recommendations went on to like it, and then went on to tell their friends. (And I am so, so grateful to each and every one of those people).

Terri the screenwriter who is adapting Switched, and my current editor at St. Martin's Rose both approached me/agent in early January, before I released Ascend, before I made the USA Today Bestseller list, before I became a story about the numbers I sold.

Both of them found Switched on their own and liked it so much that they wanted to do something with it. Long before I sold a million books.

What I'm trying to say is that in the story about me and my "phenomenal" sales, the part that seems to always get overlooked is the actual books.

It may have been luck that Terri and Rose read Switched, but it wasn't luck that they liked it. It wasn't the $.99 price-tag that compelled them to approach me and Steve. It wasn't even the "inspirational" story about me self-publishing. It wasn't the book cover, either. It was the book.

You may hate my book and think it's total crap. But to ignore the fact that so many people did like it is to deny a major part of this story.

In the end, after all the ways people try to spin my story, it's really just a love story. I loved writing, I wrote a story I loved, readers fell in love with the same characters I did, and I love my readers. That's all there is to it.