Sneaky Twerp is also pesky

I was amused to see recently that Journal of a Sneaky Twerp rose once again to the number one spot in its category on Amazon UK:

Journal of a Sneaky Twerp #1 in Teen & Young Adult Humor Nonfiction eBooks on Amazon UK

That being said, the category is almost comically specific.

Teen & Young Adult Humor Nonfiction eBooks?

Teen & Young Adult Humor About Farts With Hirsute Protagonists Nonfiction But Also Possibly Fiction Because Amazon’s AI Gets Confused By The Term “Journal” eBooks.

Still, it’s beating out some pretty famous competitors: Terry Pratchett, Judy Bloom, Louis Sachar.

Here’s the sales performance in the UK since its publication on May 4, 2020:

Sneaky Twerp sales on Amazon UK

The green line is price, the blue, sales rank, so the closer to 0 the better.

Am I rich from all these sales?

Hardly. This nets me about 80 bucks a month.

I wonder how many Wimpy Kid fanatics are hate-reading it?

Judging from the review summary, we can say with some precision, 34%:

For good measure, here’s the sales history of the ebook on Amazon US:

Sneaky Twerp sales history on Amazon US

Advanced base camp


Some of you may know me. Others, not so much.

Allow me to briefly introduce myself.

My name is Sean Miller. I’m American. 53 years old. He/him.

The “Dr.” above is from a PhD I earned a decade ago at the University of London. My research explored the role imagination plays in the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

After graduating in 2010, I did a postdoc in literature at Nanyang Technological University in amazing Singapore.

That gig was effectively my last hurrah in academia.

After the postdoc ended in 2012, I moved to Portland with my wife and first daughter, who was two at the time.

Since then, I’ve careened from one job to the next.

I worked in healthcare IT for a spell. I tried my hand at writing and selling mobile apps. I taught driver ed. I co-founded a startup that offered a system for driver ed schools to track their students’ coursework performance. I worked as a Google G-Suite administrator for the local community college. I tutored. I made artisanal organic soap and sold it on Amazon and Etsy.

Through all this meandering, I’ve never really found a vocation that felt like, as the Buddhists put it, right livelihood. Except for writing.

Most recently, I’ve been taking care of my second daughter, who just turned two.

When I’m not hanging out with her, I’ve been learning how to write middle-grade novels.

My first attempt was called Prezzemolina, The Little Parsley Girl. It’s based loosely on an Italian folk tale. I got some great development editing help on it from Mary Kole, a former literary agent who wrote Kidlit and who runs The Good Story Company. I self-published the novel a couple years ago.

Understandably, it’s flawed. At the outset of the story, the protagonist’s desire line isn’t clear. I take way too long getting her to the fun part — the fantastical world ruled by a sorceress and a crew of cunning fairies. Its themes are muddled. The genre, confused.

The leaning curve for novel-writing is steep.

My next project was a parody of Wimpy Kid called Journal of a Sneaky Twerp. Inspired by Scott Dikkers’ series, How to Write Funny, I wrote the book in a month and self-published it on Amazon.

Surprisingly, Sneaky Twerp has found an audience. For a time, it was #1 in its category in the US & UK. Some of the reviews still make me cackle.

Now I’m working on my third novel.

In this blog, I’ll be writing about my process. By that, I mean a number of things:

For one, the craft of storytelling.

Writing productivity, for another.

I’ll also chronicle my journey from newbie novelist to, hopefully, published author.

Lastly, perhaps unlike similar blogs, I’ll share details of the day-to-day decisions I’ll be making as I turn idea(s) into final draft(s).

It’s a tall mountain, getting good at novel writing, to be sure. But I’m not starting out at the trailhead, nor even base camp.

It’s more like I’m at advanced base camp.

Still, there’s a lot of mountain left to climb.

Join me…