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It's been fourteen months since Caffeine's commercial release, and over three years since its original release here on egrabow.com. The energy of the promotional flurry: making the YouTube trailer , appearing on guest blogs , running ads on Google, etc. has long transitioned to a fresh writing stage. The Day The Rain Came Back is full steam ahead, but I thought I'd take a moment to see where my first novel stands here in 2013.
Between EG, ManyBooks, and the Internet Archive, Caffeine's non-commercial version has been downloaded over 11,000 times. People who viewed it in web browsers, on Scribd for instance, aren't included in that number. Through Splashdown , of course, my book is now a source of income. In fourteen months the Print/ Kindle sales stand at, um, 40. A royalty check is nice, even a very small one, but I had Caffeine published to increase its presence among potential readers. The commercial version makes up less than half a percent of all readership, and there's been no increase in the free downloads either. Even the YouTube trailer (which I still believe is awesome) is barely getting any eyeballs. I'm starting to wonder if all that extra trouble was worth it. :(
With publishing still came advantages. A couple of the changes between the 2009 and 2011 versions weren't my ideas, but they were good ones. The small but steady stream of typos I was finding in the 2009 version has completely stopped. I've yet to spot one, or have one reported to me, in the 2011 release.
And going to Dragon*Con . Oh yes.
So now this novel is transitioning from its gimmicky short-term "new release" presence to its long-term "does it become a classic now?" presence. I know because the reviews are improving. Caffeine was always seen by me as a cult classic with more potential in the long term than the short. The initial feedback was positive, but turned quickly negative, staying so through the 2011 release. Now it's turned positive again, with one marked trend I'm happy to observe: the positive reviews are growing longer and the negative ones shorter. If a negative review went into detail and analysis, I might worry, but most of them just boil down to "I don't like long novels" or "I don't like Christian/ philosophical novels". Okay. Thanks for taking five minutes to skim the book and post a one-star rating. :P
Alas, the ultimate feedback has yet to arrive on the internet: The 2,000 word in-depth analysis of Caffeine's symbolism, message, etc. Maybe even a total deconstruction of the work. I know I must be patient. Maybe it'll come in among the next 11,000 readers. :D
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