Remember? I gave myself three years to become a best selling international author. It's now day 120. So how’s the journey going? Slowly but I think I’m consolidating my understanding of the market.
Here are some key thoughts:
Wattpad. I’m a great fan of this site though it tends to have a young membership – very keen on werewolves and the like. However I’ve got some great reviews and it’s good to know that ‘The Guest Who Stayed’ resonates with a young audience. I’ve had over 500,000 (free) downloads and I have over 13,000 followers. My challenge is how to involve these followers in the launch of my next book in late April. My current plan is to serialise it on Wattpad with a suggestion at the end of each chapter to buy from Amazon if the reader can’t wait to find out what happens. That way I’m hoping to get some ‘paid for’ sales.
KDP select. This is the promotion opportunity permitted by Amazon on Kindle sales – usually five free days in any three months. I’ve found this helpful for simply getting the book read. In my current campaign I’ve managed 252 downloads across all markets. I have linked these with’ Kindle Users Forum’ UK book of the day to gain wider distribution – helpful but of course no income.
Fussy Librarian – a selective platform that promotes a small number of books from different genres on any given day. It’s a good idea and is hosted by a very chatty web master – but no sales.
Blog – as you can see I’m keeping it up but no direct correlation to sales. However it is enjoyable to see hits from around the world. Makes you realise what a global community the self-publishing business is.
I have noticed a number of visits from Joanna Penn’s blog site - The Creative Penn (www.thecreativepenn.com) Joanna is a best-selling indie author and provides a wealth of expert advice on self-publishing via her site. Very well worth a visit. I left a comment on her site and it seems to have driven a lot of people to my blog site. (reminds me to leave another comment)
Goodreads: Everything I read tells me that this is the one to go for yet I also read about people who feel they have been persecuted and driven off the site. I’d love to hear about your experiences with Goodreads. I have a presence on the site but have not become actively engaged. I understand that the protocol is to take part in discussions without active promotion of one’s own book. That can be slipped in later.
What I’m going to try next: I’m keen to explore bookbub (www.bookbub.com). This is a paid for service where authors submit their e’ books and if accepted, the site promotes through a genre specific mailing list but charges a fee based on the price of the book. The site also publishes average download stats so that you can work out whether you will be in or out of pocket. Has anyone tried this route and do you have any observations on how successful it is?
Twitter: Still can’t get my head around this. Must try harder
I went to the London Author fair recently to network and generally find out what was going on. It was a good event, although sometimes difficult to get close enough to speakers to hear what they were saying. I’m not sure I learnt much that I didn’t already know though it’s good to have some of the important messages re enforced sometimes.
The networking however was very good. Determined not to be left standing alone eating my sandwich at lunch time I latched onto another first time author, Jeremy Cook. His book, ‘ Ghost Trader’ has just been published on Amazon and I’m engrossed in it now. It’s a highly absorbing story based in the world of high finance and trading. The main character is bankrupt trader whose life has been destroyed by the near collapse of Lloyds insurers. In hiding he meets up with a widowed trader whose husband committed suicide after financial ruin. At her instigation, they use ‘dubious’ trading tactics to try to recoup losses for their clients and for themselves. But then the story suddenly takes an unexpected turn. Following an accident, the characters suddenly exist in two parallel worlds – suspended between life and death - forced to confront their previous misdeeds. It’s a very well written and challenging story which I would highly recommend.
Finally, I’m now the proud owner of the first paperback editions of ‘The Guest Who Stayed.’ It should soon be available on Amazon and other bookseller sites. My only slight disappointment is the minimum retail price is higher than I would like - £8.99 and I seem to have no options to get it lower.
I would be much happier at £7.99 which I think is a more competitive price. Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?
If you're on the same journey and would like to compare experiences - I'd love to hear from you. Just hit the 'comments' button to respond.