Who Moved the Goalposts? by Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell

I’ve blogged before about the rapid vicissitudes of being a “successful” author. A recent episode with my new book, Dead End, has been a microcosm of the whole capricious experience when my latest book was selected for amazon kindle’s summer promotion.

Knowing little – OK, practically nothing – about the book trade, my initial response was scepticism about the sense in giving away the results of my hard work for 99p.

But as Dead End shot up the ratings I understood the reasoning behind an offer designed to help a book reach a wider audience. For an author of two years standing, with an independent publisher, I dared hope Dead End might make it into the top 100 bestsellers, and was thrilled when it reached number 79. How exciting, I thought, if it could get into the top 50!

When Dead End reached 40 I found myself hoping Dead End would make it to the top 25… and then I wanted to get into the top 20, which would put my book on the first page of amazon kindle’s bestseller list.

Within the space of a few days I went from feeling very excited at reaching the top 100 bestsellers, to disproportionate disappointment when Dead End didn’t make it past 21 on the chart – dismayed even though it has been number 1 on the female detective bestseller list for a week, in the top 20 in the crime charts for books as well as on kindle, and other similar lists.

If you’d told me ten days ago how well Dead End would be doing on all these charts, I’d have been chuffed to bits. As it turned out, I felt disappointed.

Who moved the goal posts?

But there’s always the next Big Excitement around the corner. This month I’ve been invited to Harrogate Crime Festival and I can’t wait! That’s one excitement that won’t lead to disappointment – and there’s the added bonus that I’m going to be so busy attending panels and learning from other authors, I won’t have a moment spare to check my fickle sales ratings.

CWA nominee Leigh Russell writes the Geraldine Steel series:

Cut Short (2009)

Road Closed (2010)

Dead End (2011)

Leigh Russell

‘a brilliant talent’ – JEFFERY DEAVER
‘psychologically acute’ – THE TIMES
Shortlisted CWA New Blood dagger
CUT SHORT, ROAD CLOSED, DEAD END
amazon kindle’s number 1 female detective
http://www.leighrussell.co.uk
http://www.youtube.com/leighrussellauthor
http://www.noexit.co.uk/titles.php/itemcode/488
http://www.noexit.co.uk//titles.php/itemcode/526