Well I had a lovely birthday and a rare day off in the week. Now I’m back and working.
I was pondering how much time writers need to spend on their social networking. I’ve been paying for a Facebook promo that’s been running since the new year and will for the final 2 days, hoping to reach 500 new likes.
I also promoted posts with the Kindle offer and I think it will have made a difference, unique likes and definitely, as we approach a reprint, and clock up over 1500 downloads, and a reasonable sales, we have moved beyond my sphere of friends.
Initially sales by unknown writers are friends, family, even friends of friends. The average self-published novel sells 200 copies — it’s hard selling books. Luckily I have a publisher, but again small presses do not have the resources for the kinds of massive print runs and marketing you see with the big presses. But they do have avenues perhaps not open to the self-publisher. So it’s good to know at least my book is out there with people who don’t know me.
I remember when that news broke about J K Rowling and her altered ego, reporting sales of only 1500 books. Well to me these kinds of sales are good, but nothing when you examine the bigger picture. Of course then sales had a dramatic turnaround.
But what can we really expect as new writers and how much can we do?
A close friend self-published a crime novel and has had phenomenal downloads! How did he do it? He claims that luck plays a big part, and he has targeted a very specific genre with a loyal following. He also works in marketing so has employed a range of software packages to follow the right people on twitter building an audience far larger than the one I have built through interaction. He also tells me about other sources (all for money) where you can locate the emails of reviewers, extracted using software.
Now at the end of the day all of this becomes superfluous if the book isn’t any good, and in this case I know the book is good. So the writing has to speak for itself! But the question is — even if a book is GREAT can it disappear if not enough people get to know about it?
And how much do you, as the writer, need to do to make people know about it.
I have to make the time for a lot of this, after all I have to write, it’s what it’s all about and I have to work so I have to edit etc.
I am hoping a combination of my own marketing things (small steps) and those of the publisher (with 21 years of experience) will allow the book to start getting into more bookshops, airports, reviewed by broadsheets and so on.
I remember saying to the publisher in November — but “200 books is not enough sales”. He kindly told me that it had only been out for 3 weeks and everything takes time.
He is right.
But now I need people to spread the word, word of mouth does make a huge difference.
With people enjoying the book as much as they seem to be, I hope for more good reviews and that they will tell people who will tell people. And sadly I have to keep pushing. This self promo stuff is tiring!
So I really appreciate all the support and I hope all this pushing and dreaming will get me that bestseller!
And if you have read the book and would like to review it, have me on your blogs as a guest, tell your friends, share the links, this will be greatly appreciated!
I will have the slightly tweaked cover to reveal next week! So sorry for all the promo things but since you have all been on the journey with me I am hoping that sharing the journey with you will be helpful as you take your own steps towards writing success.
Dream big, but enjoy and celebrate in even the smallest steps. Count your blessings. I still pinch myself when I see how far I’ve come!
So all that remains to say is — have a great weekend everyone!
Small steps, big waves …