Monday, April 02, 2007

I-Bomb: The 200th download

By most standards of the marketplace, The Imaginary Bomb has not been a spectacular success. The next person to download Warren Bluhm's podcast reading of Chapters 1-3 will be only the 200th since it was posted last May 15. Slightly less than half that number - 87 - have stuck with the story long enough to download Chapter 27, the end of the adventure.

Those stats represent the real reason why I haven't gone ahead with my once-dream of self-publishing a print version, and why I haven't felt motivated to continue the saga of Baxter Hetznecker and his friends, although I did post what I've finished of the sequel, The Imaginary Lover.

Friends tell me the I-Bomb is a fun story, and probably the main reason the podcast barely made a ripple is that I don't know marketing from a hole in the ground. I will gladly entertain suggestions about how to reach a wider audience - send me an e-mail.

On a psychological level, The Imaginary Bomb has been an enormous success. This little novel - more of a novella, really - burst out of my head in an explosion of creativity in the late 1980s, and after making three paltry attempts to attract a publisher, I packed the thing in a cardboard box and left it in the basement for 17-18 years. Only when Warren slapped me upside the head early last year did I agree to take this baby step of exposing my story to the world, but at least it was a step. Instead of continuing to hide my stuff under a bushel basket, I lifted the edge of the basket and said, "Hey folks, take a peek."

Bluhm has since made great strides in home recording - although I should snidely point out that Uncle Warren's Attic hasn't exactly made him a household word, either, even though he is twice the marketer I am (read: Twice nothing is ...) - so we freely admit it's not the greatest podcast novel ever produced, but all of these things aside, I am celebrating the pending 200th download. That's about 190 more people than ever were exposed to the novel before last May 15, so I've expanded my audience by a factor of 20. If I did that every year, I'd be J.K. Rowling before I die, assuming I live as long as my grandfathers did and my father has.

Thanks to all who have sent and even written kind words about The I-Bomb, and if you haven't heard it yet, hey, you could be the 200th "reader" by clicking here - tell me what you think. As Pete Wong might say, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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