After publishing my first Penelope Mystery last year, I had an ah-hah moment. It took a bit of discovery to get there and knocked my pride down a peg. After having Penelope And The Birthday Curse represented by a literary agent for a few years and beta readers who raved about the book, I figured the book a shoo-in. Move over J.K. Rowling, here comes Ron D. Voigts. It didn’t work out quite like that.
The first let down came when I realized in the first few months I could attribute almost all my sales to friends and family. I started looking for the stranger factor when a book sold, someone I didn’t know who bought it.
The next surprise was some indie bookstores refused to sell the book. One honest seller told me that he only sold YA and MG books from four authors. The rest gathered dust.
Another revelation came in two book signings where I was positioned in the MG section of the bookstore. No kids came in to buy books! Not my books, not the bookstore’s books. Adults bought them. My sales were to aunts and parents and grandparents.
By this time I had the second book out. Penelope And The Ghost’s Treasure. I vowed it would be the last one. But I still had stories in my head. A friend pushed me the write the third book. I started penning it and did a short story too. Penelope And The Christmas Spirit.
December became the turning point. I believe those parents and grandparents bought Christmas presents. My sales bloomed. For 2011, over half my sales came in December. For me it became a Merry Christmas.
In March the third novel PENELOPE AND THE MOVIE STAR will come out. While filming a movie in the old historic hotel that now houses Tiffin Prep School, the director is murdered and Penelope is the only witness. She tells that she had her eyes closed at the time, but everyone thinks she may remember something. The book is high on adventure and antics with twists and surprises along the way.
Check out Penelope’s Blog for a sample.