My first novel, On the Wings of Morning, was released on the Amazon.com Kindle page Tuesday evening about 11:45 PM, representing the fulfillment of my life-long dream of publishing a novel. Things really started happening in earnest Wednesday, when I did my part by posting the news on Facebook and Twitter (it’s all about the social media these days), as well as in these pages and through my email list. (In case you’re interested in promoting something, I estimate I reached 800 people directly. Indirectly, the number is probably closer to 3000 since the people I touched have contacts of their own. Sociologists who have studied “relationship webs” say that a typical person knows 100 people. The growth is then exponential. Each of those 100 people knows 100 people, and so on and so on. There’s no way of discerning the total number of contacts accurately. but if every person contacts say 10 people in their web, that’s 1000 contacts on the first iteration, 10,000 the second, and so on.) (Don’t hold me to the math. I’m a writer, not a statistician.)
The people I have had face-to-face contact with about the book’s release, about 60 people at church Wednesday evening, and a like number at a Robinson High School Retirees’ Luncheon today, were nearly as enthusiastic about the book as I was (and that’s saying a lot). So figure that was 120 face-to-face contacts with the potential for 1200 with the first iteration. It’s the fun of compounding numbers, like interest as they used to tell us. It’s true.
In thinking about the long pathway to this book, I realized that with this project, as with so many other undertakings, it does indeed take a village to produce something like Wings. Certainly I had studied the air war for decades and have written ever since I could do so, and did the drafts and revisions for hours on end, but I also learned from so many others along the way, those who encouraged and strengthened me, who made corrections and suggestions and made the book immeasurably better than it would have been otherwise. I am particularly thinking of my twenty beta readers who pointed out what worked and who had the integrity to tell me what didn’t; my brother Ron, friend Lee DeArmond and former airline captain Jim Uzzle checked the details about flying. And I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my colleagues in Write by the Rails, the Prince William-Manassas chapter of the Virginia Writers’ Club, who encouraged me and listened to me talk about the book for over a year. I learned from them not only about writing, marketing and publicizing my works: I gained once again an appreciation of the strength of community and the value of caring friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you all.
Right now, Wings is on three top 100 lists for sales on Amazon.com: #11 on the Kindle “German Historical Fiction” list; #71 on the Kindle “Historical War List”; and #97 on the Book “Historical War List.” There are some pretty heavy hitters from the world of literature ahead of me, so I feel pretty good about that. It’s still early, so we’ll see how it holds up.
I hate to ask people to buy things–I couldn’t sell water to someone dying of thirst–but I honestly believe that this book would make a great gift for almost anyone from a young adult to a senior who might enjoy an engaging tale of ordinary people caught up in difficult times who do extraordinary things. No gratuitous violence, no inappropriate language or steamy romance scenes–I promise. Give it a try, and I hope you will enjoy what I have written. Thank you.