This might surprise you. It surprised me a lot because there was suddenly a $3.32 payment from Google on my bank statement. I guess if you're one of my friends or family members, it may not be AS surprising, which is also kind of sad. Without any more buildup, here's the surprise: my first legitimate book sale just occurred, and it happened in Australia!
Let me tell you why this is surprising. I have not marketed the book specifically to Australian audiences, nor have I focused on Google Books or Google Play as a method of selling it. In fact, all of my efforts have been in creating the books for Amazon Kindle, yet the power of Google got me my first legit sale.
Let me back up one second and say that the same book has a total of three sales as of early January. One other sale is to the friend who helped create the Real Wisconsin News website to begin with (and who I help a lot with websites), while the other sale was to the intern we hosted from Germany (mostly because I helped edit her 40-page paper).
I mentioned the existence of my books (including Nearly News: Satire Stories Seeking Significance 2006-2014) to the following groups of people without a sale: those receiving my Christmas letter (in the mail or online via a Facebook post), those who frequent my websites (and I know you're out there), and those former fellow union member teachers (I've reached out to about 20,000 as of the writing of this article), and folks in my Bible study group.
Basically, my conclusion is that people who you help out for free and people who live on other continents are much more likely to purchase a book from you than close friends, family, fellow church members, fellow union members, or Facebook acquaintances.
I want to make it clear that I have only once or twice specifically solicited a book sale, so it's not like I'm calling up everyone I know or posting on Facebook daily, but it is kind of sad, nonetheless, especially when I could go on my Facebook account right now and see a video viewed by millions of people of an animal being cute, someone falling down, or Taylor Swift admitting she's freakin crazy, complete with thousands of likes and shares, but if I post THIS article (which took some thought), I will get six extra hits, two likes, and no new book orders.
To the individual from Australia who bought my book, I'd like to thank you for making the effort to read some satire that will likely be a bit foreign to you. I hope you like it as much as we like Iggy Azalea and Outback Steakhouse (I know it's not really Australian, but whatevs).
Apparently, using social media to make others feel guilty (I shared this article) creates a one-day increase in book sales. I know this won't last, but maybe I'll get some reviews out of the purchases. If nothing else, I will get some groceries for the kids. Since it may be my top position ever, my 1-14-15 Amazon sales rank was 119,000 for Nearly News, which means I nearly broke into the sub-100,000 sales rank for a day. My author rank went from 1.5m to 200,000 for the day, too.