This month alone over 1000 people have come to the IoPress site and read the 94 Weeks and Single Episodes essay about braces on TV and over 200 have read the essay on Lolita's Braces. That's awesome, and it's gratifying to see so much interest in some of my writing. But even though all these readers also see some information about the IoPress books when they come to the site it's really disappointing how few copies are being bought. Even if only 1% of the readers of the essays bought them, that would already be quite a few copies sold, but in September it's been a lot less than that.
I'm not sure whether I have the wrong information about the books at the site, or not enough information, or whether the books just don't sound interesting to everyone who comes to look at the site. It's very confusing, and also kind of disappointing. I really thought that with all the people who get braces every year - literally millions in America alone! - there would be a good audience for books like mine, but either I haven't been able to reach that audience yet, or they're just not there. It's frustrating and I'm not really sure what to do about it. I like writing the books, no matter how many or few I sell, but it is a bit harder to be as enthusiastic if I can only get so few people interested. And I would like it if the books at least paid for themselves - I'd like to make enough to cover the Lulu and website costs. It's not that it's a lot of money, but it would be easier for me to justify continuing to do it to myself. Right now it seems almost like a vanity publishing project. If I sold enough to cover my costs then it would be like being a real author and publisher (even though lots of publishers don't seem to make much money with their books either!).
Meanwhile, the next book is going well, except I want a better title than "The Girl Next Door" which is the working title I've been using. Parts of the book have gone off in directions that I didn't expect, and that's a lot of fun. The characters really take on identities of their own and they sort of force me to let them act in particular ways. But it's still a long way from being finished. And it's also going to be really long - which is a pain because it means it will be more expensive too.