I’ve hit a couple of milestones in my indie author career in the last few weeks. Firstly, Blood on the Motorway, my first novel, is three years old. Well, it’s a lot older than that if you include its protracted initial pregnancy, but that’s how long it’s been since I launched it as a debut author. In the three years since it’s been joined by its sequels – Sleepwalk City and A Final Storm, as well as my non-fiction musical misadventure book, Welcome to Discovery Park.
As I’ve rounded the corner on this milestone, I’ve hit another one. In three years, with these four books, I’ve hit a grand total of 3000 sales. 3000! Not JK Rowling territory, perhaps, and certainly not enough yet that I can cash in my day job and lay spread-eagled on a mattress made of money – but it’s significant, mostly because I can conclusively say at this point that it’s not just people who have met me or are blood related who are buying my books.
In the first year, sales topped off at less than two hundred, then gathered pace in 2017 and levelled off to a more consistent level in the last year and a half. This is, it has to be said, hugely gratifying. A huge chunk of people who’ve read the first book have gone on to read the second and third, or picked up the complete trilogy version. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive (save for the odd one moaning about my feelings about Trump or saying they loved the book and then awarding it one star) and I’ve had some lovely emails from readers and more than a few requests to write more stories in the world of Burnett, Tom, Jen, et al.
If these first three years have been a success, however, they’re nothing compared to what I have planned for the next three. Looking ahead to May 2022, if I write another catch up then I should have released the first four novels in the Sunset Chronicles, the first three novels in another brand new series (top secret for now, although if you follow me on Instagram you may well be able to gather the subject matter), and three collections of short stories. By my mark that will take my total book tally from four to fourteen. Suffice to say, I’m ramping things up a bit.
For now, though, I just want to say a huge thank you to every single person who’s bought one of my books, an even huger thank you to anyone who’s left a review, sent me an email, joined the mailing list, or bought one of my shiny pieces of merchandise. You are all magical people. Not one of those people yet? Well, what are you waiting for?
Paul Stephenson is a writer of horror and science fiction novels. Blood on the Motorway: An apocalyptic trilogy of murder and stale sandwiches is out now in ebook and print from Amazon and all other good bookstores. You can get the first book free by joining the mailing list or reading along at Wattpad. Oh, and he’s got a Patreon. Sign up for free books, a free weekly short story, and much more.