Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Book Breaks Out -- Or 100 Agents CAN Be Wrong!

Before I decided to self-publish, I submitted my manuscript to 100 MG agents and got 101 rejections (yes, one agent felt the need to let me know she wasn't interested in representing me twice). Actually, I did get 10 requests for fulls or partials and some had nice things to say about my writing (a couple even asked to see my next manuscript) when they sent the dreaded Rejection.

Still, I was convinced I had a book that some kids would love. Today, I'm glad to announce that I was right--I just sold my 500th copy of SZJMB this month.

Now, 500 copies a month may not sound like a lot, but it's very good for a Middle Grade ebook. In fact it's good enough to rank as  the number #1 most popular Children's Humor ebook on Amazon and the #1 Bestseller as well.

I don't know how long this will last, Amazon rankings change all the time. But it's been #1 for a week (occasionally it goes to #2 or even #3 for a few hours before bouncing back) and I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

I realize this isn't the same thing as selling a million books, or winning a Newbery, but it does prove that the agents missed a great book. No hard feelings though; I still plan on submitting my newest manuscript to them. But, I'm not going to spend a year querying and rewriting. If they don't like it, I have faith I can find kids who'll enjoy it.

Speaking of which, while I'm being self-indulgent, I might as well post some of my favorite kid reviews:

From Apple:
"i ♥ this book
this was the best book i have ever read"
"This was the best book ever
I could not put this book down I really hate reading but this book I could read it 1000 times if I could"

From B&N:
"You have to read this book
This book was one of the best books ive never read and im one of those kids that always reads that is saying a lot so read the damn book!!!!!!!!!!!"
I couldn't put my nook down, it was just too good! It's thrilling, exciting, and in some cases sad. But i loved it when nate ran over the zombies! Usually girls don't like that stuff. Oh, by the way i finished this book in 3 days!"
"Best book ever!
I could not put this book down i read it all in on day it was so good. Everyone should read this book,i think anyway. I could read this book mutipule times plz write some more books like this one. If i could i would give M.J.A Ware an award for writeing such a good book!"

I do realize these reviews are so good, they almost read like fakes--honestly, unless my Mom posted them, they are real (and my Mom wouldn't do something like that--she probably can't figure out how to post a single review, let along a bunch of fake ones). It's really just that these are the best of the lot. If you want to see reviews from people who didn't like it, try Goodreads--hey, it wasn't written for them anyway.

That's all the blatant self-promotion I can stand for one day. I'm just so excited about my recent success, I had to share the news.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Reviews and a Mini Sales update

So, I'm way behind in posting reviews, again. Sorry reviewers, I really do appreciate  the fact that you graciously give your time to help struggling authors. I'm just not very good at keeping up with you.

First up (and most belated) is a review from Kitty Bullard at Great Minds Think Aloud. Kitty loved SZJMB, well her exact words were, "I absolutely, 100%, loved this book!"
She's also the first person to spot a little Easter Egg in the print version of the book. I won't spoil it here, but if you are interested, check out her great review.

Cordelia Dinsmore frequents Absolute Write, a great writer's community and contacted me on there about getting a review copy. She's not a zombie fan and was a little worried SZJMB might not suit her taste, but I think the characters won her over as left a great review, "I think MJ has nailed the middle grade voice. I have a young son, so we read a lot of middle grade books around our house. We also watch quite a bit of kid-friendly television. The characters in SZJMB think and act quite similarly to many of the kids, both real and fictional, with which I am familiar."

Cordelia has her own MG/YA book, Michaela's Gift coming out next month, so keep an eye on her blog.

Last, is my shortest review ever (not counting iPod/Pad reviews), but it's still a great one, from Trisha at Passing Through. This also happens to be my first Tumblr review, which explains why it's just three (great) sentences.

Now for the mini sales update. Well, they've been great. I'll try to post an in-depth update in the near future, but for now, let me just say that in April I finally broke 500 books sold in one month. And--I hope I'm not jinxing myself here--but it looks like I'll do the same in May as well!

Thanks to everyone who's helped make that success possible (especially the reviewers).