Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

First Novel Disconnect

May 10, 2016 by Richard Wright in Journal, Writing

CuckoosThe bird done good. In a month and a half I’ve sold three times as many books as I did during the whole of last year, and I’m fast closing on what I sold the year before that. In terms of finding readers, this year is already way better than last. Not that I’m raking it in of course, as those sales have centred around my first novel Cuckoo going cheap (sorry), but it’s a relief to see something moving.

That it is Cuckoo which has…um…taken flight (sorry) pleases me too. Putting a book on sale in no way guarantees that people will buy it – the world is full of cheap or free books after all, and Cuckoo is hardly new. For some reason though, despite not having many reviews on Amazon (and those are ‘mixed’), Cuckoo has always done better than anything else I’ve written. Over its lifetime as a self-published book it’s sold almost exactly twice that of my next most popular (which is currently Craven Place, rankings fans). Add to that the copies it sold previously, when it was published separately by Hard Shell Word Factory and Razorblade Press, and it has every right to feel smug about itself. I wish I could bottle what makes people look at this book and exchange it for their money.

Strangely, I often worry about recommending Cuckoo to new readers, because it was my first novel. I was working out how stories worked when I wrote it (I still am, though I hope I’ve at least mastered some of the basics), and got a lot ‘wrong’ in the process. I wouldn’t write the same book today, and probably couldn’t. At times I don’t even recognise the me who somehow put that tale together. None of that is a problem with the book of course, as the consistent sales seem to indicate, but they explain why I get a little nervous when somebody tells me that they’re reading it. In some ways I don’t connect with it very well anymore. That means that I feel just as awkward when people tell me they liked it as when they tell me they didn’t, because it hardly feels like me they’re talking about. I wonder sometimes whether all authors feel that way about their early stuff, or whether I’m just a bit odd.

I suppose it’s a hardly surprise. There are two quite interesting decades sitting between me and the kid who wrote this on an electric typewriter (really). Having Cuckoo in the world is a way to wave back at him, I guess. Nice guy. Bit messed up. Hope he makes it.

Anyway, if you want to meet twenty-year old me and see what he was up to, travelling through actual time in a strange book-shaped capsule, the ebooks of Cuckoo all stay on sale for the rest of this month. You can get it on iBooksKindleKoboSmashwords, or the Nook.

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One Comment

  1. Richard SalterMay 11, 2016 at 12:39 am

    I realized I didn’t own a copy of this. Now I do, thanks 🙂

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