Spooky Nook, A Year Later

Last year around this time I decided to really dive into the digital world and start self-publishing a handful of novels that had been collecting virtual dust on my hard drive. It was a risk, as there was no guarantee any of the books would sell, but thankfully that risk seems to have paid off. The first novel I published was The Calling, which I released nearly a year ago this month, and I'll talk more in-depth about that title in the next week or so. For now, I want to look at Spooky Nook, which I billed as a "prequel of sorts" to The Calling, a 10,000-word novelette about a writer whose wife has been missing for eight months encountering a familiar old woman with an odd request — a request that will introduce him to a surprising evil.

I forget if I mentioned this before, but the initial idea for the story came to me all the way back in high school. I was working at a local movie theater, and one night I was outside changing the marquee, and one of the movies coming in or going out was the Jodie Foster flick Anna and the King. And I, being the huge Stephen King fan that I was (and still am), gave it this very minor tweak: Anna and Stephen King.

Not that original, sure, but the idea stayed with me, and I began to wonder just who Anna was, and what Stephen King had to do with her. Of course, the story changed through multiple drafts, and then at some point I realized I could connect it with The Calling. Both the novel and the novelette can stand apart, but both make reference to events in the other work, which can be neat for those readers who like stories crisscrossing. My ultimate goal was that, when The Calling was eventually published, to have Spooky Nook appear in a magazine or online just before the novel's release, to help promote the book. Obviously that didn't happen, and so I decided to release the novelette as an ebook a month or two before I released The Calling. I included the prologue and first three chapters of The Calling as a teaser (including the great photo as the cover, provided by Greg Miller). I never expected Spooky Nook to be anything more than a promotional piece for the novel, and didn't expect many sales.

Well, just over a year has passed, and between Kindle and Nook, Spooky Nook has sold just over 1,500 copies. Because I like numbers, here's the monthly breakdown starting in February of 2011 and working its way to last month:

  • February: 6
  • March: 5
  • April: 10
  • May: 23
  • June: 30
  • July: 47
  • August: 72
  • September: 76
  • October: 115
  • November: 143
  • December: 209
  • January: 369
  • February: 397

As you can see, a nice progression there near the end of the year. Of course, ebooks sales were high across the board heading into Christmas and the month after, but even into February they have been strong. Now the question is, is Spooky Nook selling because it's a "prequel of sorts" to The Calling? I think it is. After all, I excerpt Spooky Nook after The Calling, so readers who enjoyed the novel will most likely have no problem dropping 99 cents (or 77 pounds) on the ebook. So there's that.

Anyway, if you haven't had a chance to check out Spooky Nook yet, it can be purchased in the US Kindle store and the UK Kindle store, and in the NOOK store. Let's see what kind of year this little novelette can have in 2012.