Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Being a best seller on Amazon...

Last week the Atopia Chronicles, a compilation of six novellas and books, went to #1 on Amazon sci-fi/high tech, and #6 on all of science fiction. It was only topped by the Game of Thrones juggernaut, which, as one of my readers helpfully suggested, isn't really science fiction, so I was really at the top of all sci-fi (!)...at least for this small slice of time (a week and a half later now and it's hanging in there, very exciting).

So, a question some people have asked is: how does it feel? Interestingly the answer is: scary. I've developed a rather nasty case of OCD, and find myself constantly pinging the Kindle Publishing portal for updates every fifteen minutes, fearful that the mysterious forces have pushed my book into this space will suddenly, and just as quickly as they appeared, disappear.

Luckily, I've become quite chummy with Hugh Howey over the past few months, so he has been acting as my support group through this. Hugh is not only one of the best writers I know, he's also just one of the greatest all-around-nice-guys. The world seems like a better place when the good guys win from time to time.

I have something of a reserved emotional nature. As a child I grew up in Sheffield, in the UK (although my family live in North Carolina, USA, now) and I suffer from the Grand Malaise common to the Isles of repressed feelings. Apparently, the combination of wet, gray skies, oak trees and cozy pubs instills this in a population.

Or, it could have been my grandfather. He was a dentist, and in fact was once the President of the Royal Order of Surgeons of Scotland, which sounds impressive unless you happen to be a small boy in gray flannel shorts who can't speak until spoken to, must always keep his red clip-on tie buttoned up tight and must eat peas with the fork the wrong way round, forcing this same boy to smush them onto the back of his fork while gazing longingly at his tricycle out through the flat window.

To this day I feel guilty eating peas with my fork like a shovel.

Enough about peas. I'd love to hear feedback from anyone who reads this, just ask away, anything you want!!

And, I really appreciate all the support and great reviews, thank you to everyone! You can't imagine how nice it is to hear this feedback after two years spent in a room by myself, wondering if anyone would understand what I was trying to say!


  1. Hey Matthew, congratulations!! I am you during those last two years :-). The problem is, there is no preparation for this, right? We don't really sit there imagining in detail what is going to happen. We just hope that SOMETHING will. I'm grateful to Hugh as well. He's so accessible and shares his story while it happens. It's comforting and devastating all at the same time. Like watching a dialogue written by Aaron Sorkin. You're like, "Wow, it IS possible to write like this." And then, "Wow, I will NEVER be able to write like this."

    Anyway, congrats and much luck with everything.


  2. Congrats!!! I'm nowhere NEAR that (only 3rd month into writing my 1st novel), but cheering for Hugh Howey (who answered my questions numerous times), and now cheering for you! I got a brush of this scare once, when my short film was shown at a local film festival and people came up to me after the screening, asking questions - all I wanted to do, was go run and hide under my bed.

    So, as Stefan says, much luck!

    Ksenia Anske

  3. I'm so pleased that you've become great friends with Hugh, since he's the one who shared your great work with us.

    I love Atopia! Seriously, I love your series.

    My well considered question to a celebrity author: Okay, you mention that you are from GB. Have you seen the film "Love, Actually", and is your life similar to the character in the movie who went to the USA and was swamped with beautiful chicks?

    Seriously: Is it time to go back into your room for 2 more years? When is the next work coming?

  4. Great news! It's so encouraging hearing stories like this. I'm sitting at about 45,000 words for my first draft (hoping for 70 or 80 thousand) and every time I come across this type of indie success it gets my heart pumping and my fingers twitching.

    My question is this: did you only start having this kind of success once you released all your shorter works into one volume, or did you start to notice it as you released each section?

    I have downloaded the series (only $2.99!) and can't wait to read it. Just gotta finish I, Zombie first.