Sun Sets on Summer
It's been a while. Summer is wrapping up, kids are heading back to school, and vacations are winding down. Time to settle back into a normal routine.
It's hard to believe, but "You, Me, and a Tree" launched just this month. I was actually one of the last ones to see the published book, since I was out of the country traveling during its release. But in the end, I finally got to behold the fruits of my labor.
I have to say, it was very surreal to finally hold the book in my hands and read it for myself.
In the short time since "You, Me, and a Tree" launched earlier this month, here are some of the major highlights:
Peaked at #1 on Amazon's list of Best Selling Children's Poetry books
Sold over 175 copies
Listed for sale by Amazon and Barnes & Noble
I am very thankful for these successes, but most of all, I know these successes were only possible thanks to the support from the family and friends. Thank you all.
These accomplishments didn't come without their share of trials. Here are just a few of the issues I've had to deal with this month:
Amazon listing the book at a higher price (causing a significant reduction in sales)
Amazon increasing delivery time from 1-2 days to 1-2 MONTHS (also causing a significant sales decline)
Amazon blocking reviews
You may notice a common theme here... Working as the interface between Amazon and Ingram (the hardcover distributor) isn't always easy, and much of the book's success hinges on the support of other systems. But thankfully, in the end these issues have been resolved, and the accomplishments with the book were achieved despite these setbacks.
You may notice a common theme here... Working as the interface between Amazon isn't always easy, and much of the book's success hinges on the support of other systems. But thankfully, in the end these issues have been resolved, and the accomplishments with the book were achieved despite these setbacks. e support of other systems. But thankfully, in the end these issues have been resolved, and the accomplishments with the book were achieved despite these setbacks.
So, What Now?
Since the launch, I've received a lot of questions I never expected.
"Omar, are you quitting software to be an author full-time?"
"Can I get a signed copy?"
"Can you help me turn my idea into a book?"
When I decided to publish "You, Me, and a Tree", I told myself I would consider this book a success if I managed to get one positive review from a stranger (i.e. not just my mom or friends trying to be nice). I am thankful I can already check off that box, and many others.
So here's what's next on the horizon:
I'm finalizing the manuscript for my second book. This one will also be a picture book, but it will be a longer, more traditional children's rhyming book. I'll give more info as I progress, but for now I can't say too much. But I can say that I am extremely excited about the next book. It has been just as much fun to write as (I hope!) it will be to read. I love wordplay, and am navigating my way through this new story like a kid running through a playground, enjoying each fun obstacle along the way.
^ Something like that...
Anyways, to answer the questions that have been asked above:
No, I'm not quitting my job. I like working for Debug Academy, and I enjoy working on my writing in my free time.
If you'd like me to signed your copy of "You, Me, and a Tree", it's easiest if you're in the NoVA area. Send me a message, and I'll do my best to work something out. If you don't live in Virginia, still contact me, and we'll see what we can do.
And yes, I would love to help you turn your idea into a book.
Publishing a book has come with lots of unexpected rewards, but the biggest reward has been the inspiration that it has given to others.
Many people, from children to adults, have started asking me how they can publish a book. I love that going through this process has shown others that it's something they can do too.
So many people have great ideas, and since I have done a lot of the research and planning that goes into publishing, I would love to pass along that information.
If you have any questions, or want a blog post detailing a specific part of the publishing process, leave a comment, or message me privately. I'd love to get some feedback on what you all would like to see or know more about.
As always, I'll be sure to share more details as the next book gets finalized and underway.
Thanks for sticking with me.