At the end of 2022, Azoth Khem released The Brittle Riders: Book One (Second Edition). Not only was it voted the Best Science Fiction Novel of 2022 by the Critters Readers Poll, it also ranked in the top ten paperback sales for science fiction/dystopian books on Ingram Spark. We use them because they can, and do, sell to stores and libraries. Also, right now, Azoth Khem isn’t large enough to run its own warehouse.
Yesterday, February 27, 2023, they released The Brittle Riders: Book Two (Second Edition) on Amazon Kindle, where it immediately began getting downloaded and there are pre-orders for the paperback which will be following shortly.
This is much better than when I began this journey in 2016. Then, I had just met the woman who would become my wife and we would take a case of books to events and try to sell them one at a time to anyone who got too near. I use the word “events” to make it sound somewhat normal. What I mean is I hustled in bars, pawn shops, restaurants, computer repair shops, libraries, coffee shops, you name it. If I could get in without having the cops called on me, I did it.
I may have been annoying, but I was also effective. I perfected my elevator pitch, learned how to handle rejection (you get a lot of it when you do what I did), and slowly began developing a fan base.
Enough of one to earn my way into regional cons, build my display from a tablecloth and a homemade sign to a professional presentation with book racks and printed banners. In fact, the woman who would become my wife ended up traveling with me so we could keep traffic moving.
Then the pandemic hit. I’m not going to whine about it. It hit everyone. I lost good friends to it. I went to memorials for people whom I’d spoken with a week or two before. The world locked down and suddenly I needed a new source of income and a new way to market myself. In other words, this old dog needed some new tricks.
By taking advantage of digital conventions I was able to build a mailing list, this one, of thousands of subscribers. I started making short promo videos and distributing them however I could. If I could get a legitimate interview I would show up at an envelope opening. Well, I would show up digitally, I’m not insane.
All of that led to me undertaking the journey to meet film producers and so on, and that has been more productive than I might have thought or hoped.
I have no idea where this all will end up. I won’t even hazard a guess at this point. There are too many flaming bowling balls swirling in non-euclidean patterns to even try.
But I do know this, where I am now is preferable to where I was back in the good old days. All things considered, that’s not a bad place to start the next leg of this adventure.
Until next week, stay safe and sane.