Regular readers of this blog will be well aware of - and probably participated in - my attempt to construct a top-class marketing pitch for my novel A Half Life of One. I'm pretty sure I've now got the best Query Letter and Synopsis that money can - or in this case didn't - buy. I'm also pretty sure from the feedback I've had over the last year that the book isn't a total clunker. Quite a few people have read and enjoyed it over the past year via my other blog. Judging by the stats there around 1-2 people a week read the book in its online form. Let's say 50-100 readers a year. Not quite a bestseller then.
The question I find myself wondering about now is: how much greater will the readership be if the book is picked up by a traditional or paper-based publisher? One thousand more readers a year? Two thousand? Twenty thousand?
Judged by the following two examples, the answer might be, not much.
Gerard Jones is famous - perhaps notorious is a better description - for his website "Everyone Who's Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing". After many rejections, Gerard finally had his book "Ginny Good" published in April 2004. The book was favourably reviewed in the Guardian and a number of other publications. In October 2006 he received his royalty statement. In the previous six months he had sold 24 copies (one of them, incidentally, to me). Becoming a published author hasn't yet made his fortune it seems.
A couple of months back I had a conversation with one of the blogosphere's top literary bloggers. A true A-lister. She receives in excess of 900 hits a day, sometimes much more. A few months ago she published a novel which she has promoted on her blog. The book is also available as a free download. This book too has received a number of favourable reviews, including one in one of America's top broadsheets. Six months after publication she had sold 34 copies.
Maybe getting published won't be the answer to all my prayers after all.