I started my journey as an independent author of December 31, 2011, when I published two books on Amazon and Smashwords. This was after years of near misses with publishers and big name agents, and the production of over twenty novel length manuscripts. I published four more novels over the Spring of 2012, then several more that Summer, until I had ten novels out there. I got some reviews, mostly good, and some sales, mostly bad. My best month was about $40 during July of 2012, not enough to make me think about quitting my day job. I guess I was a little different from most self pubbed authors in that I quickly published a variety of works, most of which had been written with the possibility of sequels in mind. So I didn’t really have a clear direction at first in what was coming next. In August of 2012 I took two of my books down from Smashwords and enrolled them in KDP Select. In September I offered my science fiction novel The Deep Dark Well for a five day free promotion, and gave away over four thousand books. The day after the promotion ended it went to better than eight thousand on the Kindle sales list, and has fluctuated between that point and just below twenty thousand ever since. Now I thought I had something, real sales, and I started to get some more reviews as well. I ran several more promotions in 2012 with mixed results, giving away over ten thousand books.
I had a game plan after that first promotion. I had another science fiction novel, the Shadows of the Multiverse, which had all 5 Star reviews at that time. I thought I would promote it and get it to the same level as TDDW. I had also published the first book of the Exodus Series, Exodus: Empires at War: Book 1, and planned on doing a promotion for it in the near future. Multiverse did not sell as well as TDDW, to my surprise, but Exodus took off without a promotion. It amazed me for about a month as it was selling well with only one like and three reviews, with a 3 Star average. It sold 50 books a day, then a hundred, and is now selling about 120 books a day. Now it has 29 reviews with a 4.1 average. I released the sequel in November and it has been chasing book 1 in the sales results. It has 23 reviews with a 4.7 average and nothing under 4 Stars. I had planned to work on other books before I got to the next in the Exodus Series, but as my readers have spoken it is next on the list of new works to complete. I think the point is that no matter how much we plan as authors in the direction of our careers, it is the readers who really decide. I would be a fool to not pursue the Exodus series. People are already demanding book three, and I guess it is up to me to give it to them.
About the Author:
Doug Dandridge was born in Venice Florida in 1957, the son of a Florida native and a Mother of French Canadian descent. An avid reader from an early age, Doug has read most of the classic novels and shorts of Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as multiple hundreds of historical works. Doug has military experience including Marine Corps JROTC, Active Duty Army, and the Florida National Guard. He attended Florida State University, studying Biology, Geology, Physics, and Chemistry, and receiving a BS in Psychology. Doug then studied Clinical Psychology at the University of Alabama, with specific interests in Neuropsychology and Child Psychology, completing a Masters and all course work required for a PhD. He has worked in Psychiatric Hospitals, Mental Health Centers, a Prison, a Juvenile Residential Facility, and for the past five years for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Doug has been writing on and off for fifteen years. He concentrates on intelligent science fiction and fantasy in which there is always hope, no matter how hard the situation. No area of the fantastic is outside his scope, as he has completed works in near and far future Science Fiction, Urban and High Fantasy, Horror, and Alternate History.