My digital publisher's accountant recently emailed me a report of the sales of my ebook, saying, "Should you have any questions, feel free to email me."
Well, as it happens, I had quite a few questions but ones that were too embarrassing to email her about. The first was those scary currency codes. I looked them up online, then once I had found out what they meant, I had more questions. But these weren't ones she could answer anyway. These were questions like, "Wow, someone in Sweden actually bought my book? Who? Could it have been the Swedish ambassador? Because he did like a poem I wrote to accompany a sculpture on exhibit seven years ago." I know that sounds presumptuous and his Excellency probably doesn't remember my name, unusual as it is, because after all ambassadors meet people with strange names all the time. But then, who knows?
I find it funny that people in countries where I don't know anybody (as far as I know) would have bought my book. I do think it's nice that the Scandinavian countries are all represented and I think a testament to the fact that people there do read. Of course, unless people contact me, I have no way of knowing who actually bought my book and why, not to mention what they think of it. Which I would like to know, unless of course they hate it.
I have actually made quite a few discoveries today about my book on the international market, unintentionally. Out of curiosity, I decided to look up Kobo, which was listed as one of the sellers on my financial report. I found my book there and also learned that you can download free apps there which allow you to read it on your iPad, iPhone or Android. I guess that's why I didn't know about it because I don't have any of those devices. All I knew about was Kindle and Kindle apps. I'm shamefully behind the times for someone who has two digital books.
While preparing lunch, I tried to sing a song in French translation and I couldn't do it. So I had this idea of brushing up on my French because I had worked so hard to learn it and it would be a shame to lose it. I went online to do some reading in French. I thought of checking out Amazon Canada because I figured it would be bilingual which was less intimidating than reading something that was all French. And because I was still in shopping mode although all I was doing now was browsing online and putting items on wishlists for the future. Sigh. I figured going on another Amazon was less risky because I wouldn't be able to do one-click buying. To my surprise, I found Amazon Canada not only was not bilingual, at least in its default mode, but it also did not have my ebooks! But even stranger was the fact that Amazon France did. Thank heavens for having an unusual name (okay, thank you Dad and hubby, really). My name pops right out when doing a search, even in France where there are other Raissas. Even if I didn't put quotation marks, because I wasn't really expecting to find it after being disappointed with Amazon Canada. So it was a pleasant surprise to find both my books there.
What a pity my French is not better, because I could not figure out to create an author page in French. The most I could manage to do was work on my profile page. Possibly that's the only option there is for authors. Maybe it's a technical thing or perhaps even a cultural thing. Though quite possibly it's because my French is just not good enough for me to find the French term for author page!
I guess the chances of someone buying my book in France are low anyway because the one person I actually knew there is living now, I think, in Switzerland. But then, who knows? It's a book about art and in a country that loves art, who knows?
I guess this is the way to think when putting your book out there in the world. Someone might buy it. And even read it. And maybe even (gasp) like it! Who knows?