About twenty godzillion years ago I was in school, and by ‘school’ I don’t mean cool kid Buffy/Twilight sexy adolescent. I mean braces, zits and grubby school uniform. The class had to vote for a representative. The duties were probably something to do with collecting the register and making sure there was enough chalk in the classroom. But it was a huge deal, not simply because you got to wear a dark blue enamel badge but because your classmates voted for you.
I remember the vote counting and the thrill of being selected by my peers. I also remember being surprised that people liked me enough to vote for me because I wasn’t an alpha girl in either the brains, beauty or sports department.
Looking at the Amazon ratings for my Darkbridge novel, Be My Friend, has sparked off the same emotion. I’m neither Stephen Hawkins nor Angeline Jolie and I’m not going to run the marathon – unless at gunpoint – but people have voted for me by buying my book.
And here’s another thought:
I know we’re all supposed to loathe Amazon because they’re the big bad, they don’t pay their taxes and they really want to sell people washing machines and not books. But my relationship with them has been entirely self-affirming.
Amazon has created a communication bridge for me and now it seems that people, who I don’t know, have been kind enough to buy my book. These people might have enjoyed my work and – steady on – these same people might even have told their friends.
This is the only explanation I can find for the little red spikes on the Amazon graph. And I’ve got Amazon to thank for giving me the opportunity to connect. What’s more I don’t feel that I’ve sold my soul to the devil because my soul is safe and sound – in my work.