How To Succeed at the Kindle Without Even Trying

I think I can safely say my experiment in online publishing was a failure. After a couple months of availability on the Kindle I sold 10 copies and four copies of the PDF version. This isn’t very unexpected. Other than announcements on Twitter, FaceBook, my blog, and a couple of the Kindle forums, I didn’t do much else to promote the thing. I appreciate all of the people who posted on their blogs and retweeted my posts, but I just don’t think this thing was destined to work. Short stories seem to be the worst possible sellers for the kindle which surprises me a little. I think short stories and novellas seem to be ripe for electronic publishing more than books.

But all of this got me thinking about what else of mine might be profitable for the Kindle. I still don’t want to put up any of my unpublished novels (even though this seems to be the area where people have had the most success) but I thought my blog might be a possibility. I’ve mentioned here before that I started a blog because I always wanted to be a newspaper columnist and that seemed to feed the urge for me. Well, most columnists build a nice little cottage industry around publishing collections of their best columns and I wondered if publishing a collection of my best blog posts would be a good idea. So I went through and read through five years of blog posts and came to a couple of realizations:

1) Blogging, more than any other writing I’ve done, seems to be my most natural form to work in. The words flow smoothly and I think I have a good style and narrative tone.

2) My blog reads like a novel. There’s plenty of recurring characters, a few subplots, and a dramatic arc as I go from single writer struggling to make it in a college town to married man then a father trying to juggle family life with the real world and with my dreams.

3) My writing and my life are tied very closely together. I initially thought about separating out the writing posts from the other posts about the daily hoo ha in my life but I found that in almost every writing post I related it back to something going on in my life at that time, and that in a lot of my regular life posts I talked about being a writer or some such thing. I think this is reflected in much of my fiction that is heavily season with tidbits from my real life.

4) I miss blogging. Even if nobody read the blog it’s nice to have a record of everything that’s gone on in my life over the past five years. I suspect that once I’m done with the book I’m working on now I’ll pick up blogging again more regularly.

Who knows if I’ll do anything right away with the collection. I don’t really have the time or desire to go through and polish it up enough to be worth anyone paying money for, but once I eventually get a foothold in the industry publishing novels and such it night make a neat little collection to publish.