I know I am not the only self-published author here, so I wanted to share my success, struggles and lessons learned in my first month (and a little bit) as a published author.
WATCHER was officially published March 13, and things started off amazing. I had a bunch of pre-orders (mostly family and friends) which jumped me up to number 3 on the Amazon teen-Scifi-dystopian chart! Needless to say I was stoked…but there were a few things I quickly learned…
- Ranking chances on the minute so I quickly dropped (sad news)
- A lot of friends or family who said they were going to buy the book…didn’t (or I can assume they didn’t based on my sales numbers)
- I should have had ads and promos going BEFORE the release date
But the good news is…there was still time to learn! I ordered 50 of my own copies to sell locally…and sold 45 of those right away including a consignment deal with a local bookstore. This made me realize these points.
- If the book is physically there, people will buy it
- Local bookstores totally support local authors (indie or traditionally published)
- Parents make good sales people (I think my mom and dad sold 10 on their own!)
So in this month I started following more writer groups, other authors, podcasts and just researching as much as I can…in that time I found 3 MUST DO’s to be successful (and luckily I don’t think it’s too late to implement these)
- Build your newslette: giving a sneak peak of a few chapters enticed people to want to read it, and in return they sign up for your newsletter, now you have people to “bug” to buy more books and make more sales
- Network with other authors: after joining a few groups I quickly realized that other authors are more than willing to help each other! Newsletter swaps, freebie group promos, and just in general blasting your posts! Super helpful.
- Give the reader something for free: I’m doing this one a tad out of order, but the consensus is that people like things for free (duh) so Novellas, short stories, giveaways are always big draws. I had 2000 people request my book in a Goodreads giveaway! People like free stuff!! So a little late (but still relevant) I’m releasing two Novellas for free in May and June featuring the backstories of 2 characters in WATCHER.
So hopefully this serves as a little inspiration, motivation and helpful info for your own journey!
And for anyone still interested in checking out WATCHER, it’ll be on sale for .99 cents May 1-8 on Amazon Kindle!
Until next time…