Three months on.
Approaching 70,000 downloads, and 199 (almost all lovely) Amazon reviews.
To celebrate three months of Sealed with a Kiss being out there in the wild (and it’s been a pretty amazing, whirlwindy sort of three months) you can download the Kindle version absolutely free today. Tell your friends!
For Amazon.com users, pop over here.
And thank you all, so much. I’m in the process of moving all my writing stuff over to the Rachael Lucas author blog so this is probably the last one of these sort of posts you’ll see here. Coming up later this week: cake, cats, and a review of an amazing book I’ve been reading.
I was reclining in my study this morning, listening to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 and drinking some coffee when the doorbell rang. The delivery man stood on the doorstep, box in hand.
Actually that’s a big lie. I was standing in the hall half dressed, wondering where the hell my jeans had gone and having just yelled at one of the children. I had to shout upstairs for someone to get the door because I don’t think the delivery man needs that sort of trauma at 10am on a Thursday.
So anyway, in the time-honoured family tradition of unboxing videos (more often scooters and computer games round here) I bring you the Sealed with a Kiss debut, filmed by Archie.
(the link, for those of you with awkward laptops like mine, is here)
We decided that it’d be nice to have a photo of me with the books, like a Proper Writer. If I tell you these are the best of the bunch, that’s probably all you need to know. I pull so many faces and talk so much that it’s impossible to get a picture of me.
I can actually hear my mother telling me to stop being silly.
I hate hate HATE having my photo taken. I was once interviewed for a newspaper article and the photographer took 1500 photographs in one afternoon. I had my eyes closed or my mouth open in every single one.
Look at that. One photo where I don’t look like a complete lunatic and actually look like a proper grown up writer. A bit of a tired one, mind you. Pass the coffee…
And look: proof that I’ve been a disaster in front of the camera for a very long time.
The exciting bit. To win a copy of Sealed with a Kiss with anything you want written inside (not the sequel, before someone suggests that) just leave a comment below telling me your favourite comfort reading.
I’m giving away one copy in the UK, and one overseas, so if you can mention where you live, that’d be lovely, too.
terms and conditions here
The US edition is up on Amazon (you can buy it or the Kindle version here), The UK version of Sealed with a Kiss is available here via Evertype. Meanwhile you can buy it on UK Kindle here (still only 77p this weekend!).
Congratulations to Inheritance Ade and Joyce from Alabama! Hooray. I’ll be in touch tomorrow to find out your addresses and what you’d like written in your signed copy.
Sealed with a Kiss will be available in paperback later this month, which is lovely news for those of you who want an actual copy that you can hold in your hands. Hooray. I’ve been working with Michael from Evertype, a fab indie publisher from Ireland, and he emailed to say that it’s gone to press and I can now start spreading the word!
I set myself a goal when I decided oh sod it, I’m going to self-publish like my friend Melanie. I thought if 100 people actually downloaded a copy of Sealed with a Kiss I’d feel like I’d done okay, because I don’t actually have 100 friends, so that’d mean that some people had actually bought it because they wanted to, not because they felt they ought to be polite.
Downloads happened. Writer friends said ooh, I hope you’re screengrabbing this because these Amazon chart figures are good. I was completely clueless about what was going on and whether it was A Good Thing. Mainly I was worrying because I was BORING MY FRIENDS TO DEATH on Facebook and Twitter talking about the book (thank you all for being so tolerant).
Then I decided to give the free promotion tool a whirl on Amazon.
Ooh ooh, I’m in a chart, I thought. Yippee.
Top ten! I was by this point completely giddy with delight and my friends were alternating between saying well done and wanting to hit me on the head with something heavy. The trouble with self-publishing is that you have to try and let people know you’re out there. You’ve got to give the book a bit of a push before it gains momentum and starts doing something for itself.
And then there it was. My book was no1 in the Amazon Kindle free downloads chart. Over the course of the promotion Sealed with a Kiss was downloaded around 25,000 times. Lots of friends and family thought I was completely barking mad to give away my book – but my main aim wasn’t making a fortune* really, it was getting the story out into the wild.
*That’s not to say I wouldn’t like to make a fortune. Please send any spare millions my way, thank you.
So that was that. I imagined it’d just disappear off into the depths of Amazon. Occasionally, someone might buy a copy and that would be it. I have to confess that after a week of having to cheerily point out that look, my book’s available free right now, it was going to be rather wonderful to just ignore it and have a little rest.
SO, the next day the book went back onto the Amazon sales listing and off the free promotional chart. And then this happened:
Right now Sealed with a Kiss is no.7 overall in the Amazon Kindle Store and I am still too astounded to know what to say. But I wanted to save it here for posterity, because one day I’ll have stopped being amazed and then I can come back here and read this and realise it actually happened. Today alone over 1200 copies have been sold in the UK. It’s completely and utterly bonkers.
Thank you to everyone who cheered me on, tweeted links, told their friends, shared on Facebook, bought the book, left a review on Amazon or GoodReads and especially thank you to all my friends and family who have put up with me droning on and on and ON about this.
If you’d like to buy a copy (if you haven’t already) you can download a Kindle edition of Sealed with a Kiss here at the Amazon.com site (currently only 99c) or pop over here to buy it for 79p. Or you can wait and splash out a bit more on a shiny actual book, which will be available both here, and on Amazon.
If you’d like to put your name down for a signed copy leave me a comment here. Ooh, that’s a lovely thing to be able to say. Eeeeek.
If you’d like to download a copy of Sealed with a Kiss from Amazon, it’s free until Monday!
UK readers – click here to download Sealed with a Kiss
Amazon.com readers – visit here to download your copy.
…my lovely friend Danielle Raine is visiting today. She’s lovely and funny and clever and inspiring and generally ace. You can find her writing blog here and she’s a constant source of inspiration. So here she is, talking about our thing. We’ve all got one (eating cake is a superpower, right?)
Do you know your ‘thing’?
That thing – your unique gift, your flair. That thing you can happily spend all day doing, or do with your eyes closed.
Your creative genius.
Many people believe that only ‘arty types’ have something special to offer in terms of creative stuff. But we’re all creative. Life is a creative act – we create things all the time; families, salaries, evening meals, safe and happy childhoods for our little ones. Every human can and does create on a general level, all day long.
But each of us also have a special skill – our own personal superpower that we’re particularly amazing at.
Yours may be in the traditional creative fields; writing, drawing, playing music, performing, photography, design etc… Or it may be the hobbies you’re drawn to in your free-time; cooking, baking, crafting, knitting, crochet, flower-arranging, decorating, gardening or dancing. (Or a spectacular combo of these!) These are all creative outlets, activities we enjoy purely because they express our inherent creative urge.
Or your creative genius may be a little less obvious. Perhaps you’re a great listener or peace-keeper, an amazing parent or friend. Maybe it’s within your day-job – running a business is a highly creative pursuit, as is taking care of a family and home. Many jobs involve innovative thinking, idea-generating and solution-finding. This is your creative self in action.
So, why is it worth taking the time to identify when and where you shine? Well, allow me to offer you…
4 Shiny, Happy Benefits of Knowing (and Doing) Your Thing
• Once we’ve identified our thing – and how important it is – it becomes more obvious that we should make time for it. For example, if you dismiss your love of roller-skating as just a whim, it’s very easy to let it get shuffled down the never-ending To Do list. But when you see just how vital this activity is – for your wellbeing and enjoyment of life – you’re far more likely to make the time for it. When we know how much it matters, we find a way.
• Creative expression is good for us. The inner calm and enjoyment of being ‘in the zone’ has positive and lasting effects on our nervous systems. Being absorbed and engaged in our favourite activities can reduce stress levels and slow down the aging process.
• Feeling competent and accomplished is good for us, too. (And fun!) These feelings boost our endorphins and our self-esteem. When we spend time in our particular zones of genius, we feel good about ourselves – we walk taller. And, as a happy side effect, we look better too. (Confidence is highly attractive.)
• Creative expression is a powerful marker for happiness, and when we feel fulfilled and happy, we’re naturally much nicer people! Indulging in our chosen pursuits make us feel good, and that good feeling is contagious. We’re more generous, tolerant and forgiving. Pursuing our thing is actually a great gift to our families, friends and communities.
So, find – and do – your thing!
Even just a short time spent expressing your unique brilliance can make a positive difference to your day. If you do this daily, it can spark a happy upwards spiral that shapes your whole life. And like the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings – the ripple effects can reach far and wide. (Can you imagine a world where everyone does more of what they love to do? Maybe we could paint, bake or fox-trot our way to world peace…?)
So, do that thing that lights you up and makes you feel like you’ve found your groove in the world.
Do it for your health. Do it for your family. Do it for the good of the planet. Do it purely because you love to do it.
Do that thing. It’s what you’re here for.
…Danielle’s latest thing? She’s written another book. It’s fab. From Wannabe To Writer is available now and it’s ace. Go and have a peek and be inspired.