I’ve often bemoaned the fact that it took me so darned long, ten years, to get my first novel published after I began seriously writing fiction.

I understand there’s a learning curve involved and that almost all novelists have to follow the arc of that curve to learn the craft. But ten years? Perhaps–and there’s ample evidence for this–I’m just a slow learner.

But wait. In recent weeks, I’ve had second thoughts about lamenting a “lost” decade. Or, in the words of footballdom, “Upon further review….”

Eyewall has done quite well. People ask me if it has exceeded expectations. That’s a hard question for me to answer, since I honestly didn’t have any expectations for it. I just wanted to get commercially published.

As of the end of October the book had sold over 40,000 copies, mostly in eBook format. To those of you who bought it, said good things about it and maybe told a friend, a hearty THANK YOU.

So here’s the “upon further review” part: If I had sold the manuscript just a few years ago it would not have sold over 40,000 copies. Quite frankly, I might have been lucky to peddle a few thousand copies in trade paperback format.

That’s because before the explosion of eBooks and the rise of Amazon as an eBook retailing giant, the marketing options that exist today were not there.

My publisher, BelleBooks, could not have run the promotions and directed the pricing of the book like it was able to do this year. EBooks and Amazon have leveled the playing field for authors like me and small- to medium-sized publishers like BelleBooks.

Fortunately, BelleBooks was, as they say in the army, “leaning forward in the foxhole.” The company was prescient enough to understand and leverage the tectonic shift taking place in the publishing industry.

So I’m glad it took ten years. It was worth the wait.

Timing, as the old saw goes, is everything. In this case, over 40,000 everythings.

-November 25, 2011-

IMAGE: Me reading my Nook.

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