The James Potter Ride Thus Far
Part of the reason I started this blog is so that those of you who are my readers, friends and supporters (many of you are all three) can be more closely connected to the happenings in the JP universe. With that in mind, a quick primer for those who are just now tuning in.
When I was a kid, I was always depressed on the day after Christmas. There had been so much build up, and then it was all suddenly over. That was how I felt when the Harry Potter series ended. It had been such a great journey, and then, for the first time in years, the ride was done. There was no next book to look forward to.
So I started drabbling a new story of my own, picking up, more or less, where Deathly Hallows left off. The result was “James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing”, my first fan fiction novel, written before I knew what fan fiction was. At the encouragement of my wife and some friends, I released the story online. The story became a worldwide phenomenon, garnering international media attention and hundreds of thousands of readers. In the end, both J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros. had to deny that the story and its companion website were secret projects of their own. I spoke to Ms. Rowling’s agency and was assured that they did not (despite media claims to the contrary) plan to sue me. They were, in fact, very encouraging.
The success of JPHEC led, of course, to a sequel, “Curse of the Gatekeeper”, and then a third book, “Vault of Destinies”. All told, these three books have been read by over a million people worldwide. They have been voluntarily translated by readers into at least six other languages, with more in the works. They have inspired an excellent fan film (with the sequel forthcoming!), and even spawned their own fan-fictions. I have made friends all over the world because of these stories, and receive emails everyday from readers in all the corners of the earth.
It has been a phenomenal ride. And it isn’t over.
Amazingly, despite the fact that I have not advertised or promoted the books in any meaningful way for months, the James Potter websites are experiencing a consistent upsurge in new readers. The hits are coming from all over the Internet, rather than a few major links here and there, which tells me that, for the first time, the majority of the traffic coming to www.jamespotterseries.com is a result of sheer word-of-mouth promotion. People are talking about the books all over the world. The phenomenon has taken on a life of its own.
Here are the numbers for those of you who are really interested:
The main JP website is currently getting an average of about 600 new views a day, with spikes of over a thousand. This average is trending up daily.
The James Potter stories have garnered over 400 ratings on goodreads.com, with an average 4 star rating for each book.
So, the bottom line is that this ride, as it were, is far from over. It is, in fact, still gaining momentum. If you’ve been following this blog since day one, then you know that I am still not sure what to do with all of this. Writing fan fiction is NOT a particularly good way to launch one’s writing career. On the other hand, if a writer merely wants readers (and the answer to that is a resounding YES) well then, what am I waiting for?
So. I tell you all of this just to say, firmly and resolutely, THANK YOU to all of you who have encouraged me from the beginning, who inspired me to keep writing, and who still do so on a daily basis. The success of this endeavor, strange and underground as it may be, is as much yours as it is mine. I will occasionally keep you all updated as the JP ride continues on.
But I am very curious: what HAVE you all been doing to talk these books up? I know some have you have translated the books and started your own websites featuring the translations. Others of you have blogged about them, or simply told your friends. Tell me, how IS it that this has become so huge? I am extremely interested to hear the details.
For now, as always, onward and upward.