I have a best selling book on Amazon!
Unix and Linux Troubleshooting E-Book
Yes, that's the title and yes, it's just as esoteric as it sounds. The audience for that subject is limited - many of the people reading this hub won't even know what that might entail, but let's just say that there were enough people interested seven years ago to put several thousand dollars in my pocket in the first year and although sales have declined, I still sell a few every month.
It was worth my time. It took me about a month to scratch out 214 pages. I felt I made enough money to justify that effort and I was happy. Sure, I would have been happier if it had made me $50,000 or more, but that wasn't going to happen and I knew that.
I had lost interest
But because sales had tapered off, I honestly haven't paid much attention to it in several years. It was only because I was recently polishing up my resume that I went to my Amazon product page - I wanted to make sure I had the right link.
Upon arriving there I noticed that two people had been kind enough to leave very nice reviews. One called my book "Whimsical, entertaining, yet informative" and as that indeed was my goal in writing it, I was happy to see that.
But then I noticed the rankings Amazon adds to the listing. I almost rubbed my eyes: did that really say that my book was number 38 in Kindle Store>Kindle eBooks>Computers & Technology>Operating Systems>Unix ?
Yes, it did and it also said I was number 73 in the more inclusive Books>Computers & Technology>Operating Systems>Unix category. Even the overall ranking for all Kindle books had me at 165,644. That last one is a long way from best selling, but gosh, there must be millions of Kindle books, so it's not at all shabby!
It's a best seller!
Proud or not?
At first I was a bit negative about this. After all, it's not like being in the New York Times Best Seller List or being mentioned by Oprah. It's a book with a very limited audience and although I sold it at $29.95 the first year, I reduced it to $2.99 later. At that price, many people will buy it just out of curiosity.
But hey, was I being fair to myself? I thought about it more and decided that yes, it may be a smallish feather in my cap, but it is a feather and it is important and worth mentioning.
Shout it out!
So I did. Although I hadn't done any advertising of my book in seven years, I put out a Twitter blast and mentioned it on Facebook and Google-Plus. I sent bragging email to family and friends. Hey, why not? It may be an obscure little accomplishment, but it's not something every author can claim. I can swell up my chest a little bit, can't I?
After recovering from my initial shock, I've been thinking about this. Should I do an update? The book is seven years old and there is certainly plenty of new information I could add. Some sections might benefit from some corrections made necessary by advancing technology, too. I have the time, and the subject matter still interests me.. should I?
On the other hand, the dollar return might not be worth the effort. I don't think I could raise the price and I'm not sure how many of the updates would sell. This might be a fair amount of work for little return.
But there it is at number 38 - maybe updating could push it even higher and it might have a decent return?
Would you update?
If you were me, would you update?
Back when I wrote this in 2008, I did put out a feeler to see if any of the folks who publish titles like this would be interested. I got turned down flat - most didn't even bother to answer me and those that did just sent form email rejecting the idea.
But things have changed since then. Print on Demand publishing has become much more efficient and less expensive. And again, there is that #38 ranking - they've put out other hard copy books that are well below mine.
Should I investigate that again?
Try for hard copy?
Should I approach publishers for print on demand?
A best selling author!
So that's how I became a "best selling" author. I'm quite sure that has more to do with the niche I was writing in than any extreme talent on my part, but still: it took some talent, right?
No, I'm not adding the link here. Really, any normal person wouldn't be interested in buying it. If by some odd circumstance you are, I bet you can find it at Amazon without too much effort!