I’ve related the tale before about how I inadvertently wrote a children’s book while making up a story to help my toddler fall asleep night after night. My wife suggested that we enlist her mother to paint the illustrations, and that’s how The Walk came to be. It was a labor of love, and we never expected it to sell outside of our circle of family and friends. And that’s what happened for the first two years.
Every month or two, I would check the sales and find that we’d sold a handful of copies. It was gratifying to know that people were enjoying our book, and that was that. But last weekend, I happened to check the sales, and discovered that we had been selling more than a handful of copies for the previous few days. After doing a little research, I found that a book called The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep was the #1 bestseller on all of Amazon. It was a genuine self-publishing phenomenon, and our book, which bore the subtitle A Book to Help Children Fall Asleep and Have Sweet Dreams, because that’s what it did for our son, was being listed as “frequently bought together” with the other book. Over the next few days, we watched in astonishment as the sales, with no promotion on our part, began to grow exponentially. It’s now a week later, and the sales are still increasing daily, with the book continuing to climb the bestseller list.
This is the kind of situation authors dream about, but never really expect to happen. Two years after publishing the book and receiving only modest sales, it was elevated by a random coincidence, and now hundreds of people are reading, and hopefully enjoying our work. We’ll see how far this goes, but if it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone.