Cloverdale resident and author Martin Crosbie is learning just how rewarding self-publishing can be, after phenomenal sales in February through mega online shopping site Amazon and other online sources.
Crosbie has always enjoyed writing and has many journals from his travel and life experiences, but found it hard to free up rare spare time to write.
While he works full-time as general sales manager at Kustom Koach RV in Aldergrove, he decided to get back to writing. He took a writing course a few years ago and started working on My Temporary Life in earnest.
After several revisions, Crosbie submitted his fictional story, “a romance-suspense-coming-of-age book,” to several publishers and agents. More than 100 of them.
He was turned down.
Discouraged but not defeated, Crosbie decided to take advantage of a self-publishing feature on Amazon.com, and My Temporary Life was published late last year.
When Amazon offered a February promotion that would feature his book for free, Crosbie took advantage.
“Then things went crazy. The e-book (version) went through the roof … 51,497 people went for the free promo,” he said.
“The next day (Feb. 12), it was the most downloaded e-book in North America.”
Since then, it has ranked in the Top 10 on most of Amazon’s charts – including the bestseller chart, coming in just above popular novel-turned-movie The Help – and was number seven on indiereader.com’s overall bestseller chart as well.
Crosbie confesses he thought there would be much less interest when the promotion ended and people had to pay for his book.
“I thought there might be a few (purchases) the next morning,” he said.
“There were 200. There were 16,000 sales in three weeks.”
As of midday March 7, total sales of the e-book version of My Temporary Life (available in e-book, to “borrow” online or in print) were at 66,716 and 2,747 readers had borrowed it by paying through online options.
Readers are giving his book rave reviews; 48 out of 50 gave it five stars and the positive comments keep coming in.
“It’s a great time to be a writer … (being self-published online) means I can get my work to readers much faster,” Crosbie said.
Metro Vancouver social media specialist Dave Teixeira agreed the online world is “terrific” – not only for writers, but for musicians and artists of all kinds.
“It really levels out that playing field,” he said.
“With the advent of e-books, Kindles and eReaders, it’s a great way to get your work out there. The challenge with anything online is that there’s no filter.”
If recent sales numbers are any indication, however, Crosbie’s book is becoming a fast favourite with readers around the world.
“I get emails every day from around the world,” he said.
“On Twitter, there was a guy from Taiwan asking about the book cover. They come from Luxembourg, from Australia … from everywhere.”
My Temporary Life is a work of literary fiction that crosses over into a mystery/thriller according to a release. It is the story of Scottish adolescent Malcolm who, while trying to find his way in the world, meets a beautiful yet haunted young woman and sets out to help her save her daughter’s life.
Crosbie is working on a sequel he hopes to have out by December, but continues to be pleased with his online success.
– Visit his website at www.martincrosbie.com or go to http://www.amazon.com/My-Temporary-Life-ebook/dp/B006O2P13O to purchase his book.