I think I've figured out the problem with the book I've been working on. I just don't have a good solution. And I have less than two weeks to figure it out and fix it. During which I have a convention. Eep. So I will be busy. But I think knowing the problem will make it easier to find a solution.
This morning I'm going to go visit my book in the wild. I haven't done any drive-by stock signings, at which I introduce myself to store staff and offer to sign the books they have on hand. It's a great way to get books hand-sold and get booksellers to look at them, but it's also a difficult, draining process for me that requires building up a lot of courage. Plus, there aren't really any convenient bookstores anymore. But I haven't seen my book in any place other than the copy I have, and I know that there's a particular store with copies because my neighborhood librarian tweeted a picture, so I will start there.
One of the frequently asked questions authors get is how the book is doing, and I really have no way of knowing right now. About the only indication I get is Amazon ranking, but even that doesn't directly reflect much because they keep redoing their algorithm, and supposedly they give extra weight to books that are exclusive to them, plus the exclusives that are in the Kindle Unlimited lending program skew things, so there are books with very good Amazon rankings that aren't actually "bestsellers" in the grand scheme of things and books with seemingly poor Amazon rankings that are bestsellers. I just know that I'm getting some enthusiastic response from readers, and there seems to be positive buzz, but I have no way of knowing if that's translating into sales numbers.
I will be working on a proposal for the next book in the series next month, and I've already decided that even if the publisher doesn't want it, it will be published, one way or another.
But first, I must finish this other book to get it to the copyeditor on time. I need a miracle because right now I don't like the ending at all, but I don't know what the ending should be.