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.