Book By A 17 Year Old Becomes An Award Winning Amazon Bestseller
Today’s post comes in the wake of a recent book promotion and for a brief celebration that is years in the making and despite the hostile, ever changing environment.
On Nov 14, 2016 I did a one day, 99 cent promotion with a particular website that has a great rep with attracting readers instead of only other authors (even though they are readers too), and no it’s not Bookbub–they’re expensive and probably would turn down a book written by a teenager. They have a more social approach, and are highly selective of what they offer for their daily promotions. I also did a kind of unorthodox thing of offering the second book instead of the first, but I didn’t feel that it would make the cut of the site’s highly selective guidelines. Plus, I was offering it free to anyone who subscribed to my newsletter, but I didn’t share that, though. I was able to interact with and talk with readers. I even shared the fact that I was only 17 when I wrote it and I did have the Wisebear Bronze Medal Award and some strong reviews that I had managed to acquire recently to bring along with it.
Gasp! But why would I do such a thing in telling them that?
I wanted to be real with those readers. To tell them how it is and what to expect as to why the tone of the book sounds so young. I wanted to cull the herd of anyone who would not be interested aside from the fact they may not read young adult. I also told them who my ideal readers were: tweens and teens 13-17, but I did have to add in the young at heart adult. I knew there had to be some parents and teachers among those readers somewhere. I wanted it to be about quality and not quantity.
I’ll tell you what, I was a bit of a nervous wreck. My OCD and anthropophobia was acting up a bit. I decided to make sure the posts and tweet was up and then not get on to answer any comments until 7 p.m.
The reader feedback and comments were amazing. When I checked Amazon it had hit at about 15K and was at #23 in Teen and YA Fantasy Time Travel, #33 in Teen and YA Action Adventure and #36 in Teen and YA Science Fiction Time Travel in the PAID Kindle Store. A Top 50 Bestseller. It stayed in the Top 50 in Teen and YA Fantasy Time Travel for 3 days. At the time of this writing it is still in the Top 100.
I expected some sales, but I wasn’t expecting that. Readers loved the copy and the sample and the cover. Being about Egypt was another major point. Then time travel was. Being real also was. The award and reviews also helped, too. The organizer lent an extra hand in encouraging the readers to get for a “teenager near them” which is who it was actually for. A few of those parents and teachers announced their presence and one mom told me the excitement of her 14 yo teen daughter just couldn’t wait.
In case you are wondering I am not 17 right now. I WAS when I originally wrote it. I was 16 when I wrote Neiko’s Five Land Adventure. I never intended to publish when I started writing, but that later changed when other people told me about what kind of talent I had. I had no idea. I never intended on sharing it for anyone. I wrote for me. I wrote for fun. If I had friends to share it with, I wrote for them too as well as a younger sibling or family member.
I had never been to a writing class. I had no mentors. I never joined a writer’s group. I taught myself how to write a novel based on the basics I knew in school and from reading. I had to teach myself dialogue. I am a visual writer. The scenes play like movies in my head and I describe what I see. I’ll talk more about my teen writing years in upcoming posts.
This is another milestone in my career, but there are many more to obtain. I just savor the moment and press on.
It was a complete surprise. I almost never published because I never thought anyone would care or even look at them or think they are stupid just like they thought I was.
Not bad for a book written by a 17 year old. And some of it is spilling out onto book #1.
Many thanks to anyone who takes a moment to take a look at a teen written book.
About the Author
AK Taylor is an award winning YA author who has been writing novels since age 16. Beekeeper, outdoor sportsman, avid adventurer, and animal lover. Taylor lives in the backwoods of Middle GA where she continues to write stories.