On May 19th (wow, it’s already been more than a month) I enrolled my novel An Unproductive Woman in the Amazon KDP Select program.  I know that there are some authors who like the program and others who don’t.  Initially, I thought that KDP Select was an attempt by “the man” to control us little ‘ol authors, but the more I thought about it in relation to myself, the more I realized that I have NOTHING TO LOSE and anything (and I mean anything) at all to gain.  So I enrolled, mostly as an experiment, to see how my  humble novel would do.

Well, I made a few sales.  By a few, I mean a couple here and there.  Literally.  I’m not being modest here.  Honestly, one, maybe two sales a week.  Some of this is my fault…actually I take most of the blame.  I haven’t exactly been promoting.  Mostly, I don’t know how.  I tweet about AUW on occasion but I feel weird about dropping consistent consecutive tweets about my book on twitter, and Facebook, and G+ like some people do.  Kudos to them, but I just feel weird.  Don’t get me wrong, I do, just not very much.

Wednesday of this week, I decided to get online (finally, because I’ve been meaning to do this since joining KDP Select) and make AUW free for five days.  Yesterday was day one.

I don’t know what other people’s sales look like, but they certainly can’t be worse than mine have been, so you’ll certainly understand why when I checked my account last night I was more than a little thrilled to see that in less than 24 hours my book rose from  a rank of 448,224 in the Kindle Book Store to 296.  None of this actually translates into cash, which is okay with me at the moment.  I’m awed by the fact that nearly 900 people have copies of my book in their Kindle.  Of note, my novel is currently ranked #41 in the Best Sellers in Contemporary Fiction Top 100 Free.  Pretty awesome.

So, this brings me to my point, in a round about way.  Writing is the thing that I love to do. Writing is the thing that I would do all day everyday (you’re right, I have difficulty balancing) if circumstance and time permitted.  Last night, I gave a lot of thought to what this whole Amazon thing means and how I feel about the sudden jump in downloads.

There are people out there, myself included, who always have their eyes peeled for a good cheap or free book.  These downloads may not translate into great reviews.  Let’s be honest.  My book may just sit in hundreds (perhaps thousands by the time this is over) Kindles and never be read.  Never.  But someone will read it.  Right?  Someone will like the story.  Someone will review it on Amazon.  Someone will tell their friend about this new indie author who wrote this terrific book called An Unproductive Woman.  Someone will be angry with my characters, or love them, or cry for them.  Someone.

And that is how I will know that I have done my job.



An Unproductive Woman is the title of my first novel.  I wrote it several years ago and the process of doing so was quite cathartic.  I learned a lot about myself through my main character Asabe.  Asabe is wise, patient, and has a will unlike anyone I’ve ever known.  Despite challenges she always remains steadfast and unflappable.

People who know me and who have read the book often try to liken me to Asabe, suggesting that if we could be superimposed, we’d be the same person.  I consider that high praise, despite the inaccuracy.   While writing An Unproductive Woman, I was consciously creating a character that I would be proud to emulate.

I published An Unproductive Woman in 2008, about 11 years after actually writing it.  I’m certain you can imagine that much has changed since then, both with me as a person as well as with  my writing interests and style.  That doesn’t mean that I love this book or the characters any less though.

It has been suggested to me in the past that because AUW is set in Africa and the characters are Muslim, that these are the only populations among which AUW could possibly have vigorous sales.   I never believed that.  Human beings are, well, human beings, and the vast majority of human experiences are not unique.  AUW tells the story of a family, of life challenges, hard choices, of faith and loss of faith, of love, of joy, and of life.

I’ve recently taken steps to revamp AUW’s reputation and image, increase exposure and hopefully sales.  I’m proud of the reviews AUW has received so far and hope there will be more in the future.  I wanted to share the new cover.  Starla Huchton did an awesome job of it.  Check out the stellar write up she did of it on her blog.

I hope some of you will check it out online, download a sample, hit the like button at Amazon, buy a copy, or tell your friends about it.  It really is a worthwhile story.