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Re: My Self-Publishing Experiment - Initial Results.

Posted: February 16th, 2012, 8:55 am
by MattLarkin
Margo wrote:Sorry, furball.

Re: My Self-Publishing Experiment - Initial Results.

Posted: February 16th, 2012, 10:36 am
by Claudie
MattLarkin wrote:
Margo wrote:Sorry, furball.
It's all those cats she ate. Makes her cough a lot.

Anyway, I'm curious to see how this goes. My guess is that the increase in visibility will get you more sales, although it might not quite be up to the levels of a new, separate release.

Kind of happy my writing style has settled into standalones more than series now. :) Sounds simpler.

Re: My Self-Publishing Experiment - Initial Results.

Posted: February 16th, 2012, 12:16 pm
by dgaughran
I've tried a little bit of everything at this point. After a couple of months, I looked at promotional activies closely to see which were time sinks, which weren't fun, and which weren't working.

Stuff I don't do as much anymore:

* Submit to book review blogs (I still send new releases to reviewers who reviewed me before.)

* Guest posts.

* Hang out on readers' sites.

* Interviews.

* Blog/hops/tours etc.

I think all that stuff is good, can be fun, and is great for networking. I think it will get you some sales at the start, but after you have a bit of a base, you should cut back a lot.

It's also important to identify things which require an ongoing time commitment (trading guest posts, blog tours, posting on forums), and those that don't (i.e. setting up a micro-page for a new release or whatever) and see if you can do more of the latter than the former. that frees up a lot of time.

These are the two things that drove more sales than anything that I mostly focus on now:

* New releases

* Free books

Just writing a lot is a good approach too. And probably the best one. The only strict "promo" I do is around the time of a new release. I give each book a little push, then get out of it's way.

I did a lot of business stuff in Jan - ISBNs, expanding distro, translations, media interviews, etc, etc - but that's it on that front for a while and that's stuff that will pay off all through the year.

Now, I just want to focus on getting more titles up. I feel like I have all the other parts in place, but I'm still missing the most important one: more books.

I wrote 25k this month so far. I hope to have a first draft of a new historical at the end of the month. And then keep up a good pace for the rest of the year.

I didn't mention blogging and twitter. I use Twitter to make connections and to drive traffic to my blog. I don't use it to sell books, and don't think that works anyway.

Does the blog drive sales for me? A bit. No more, I would say. Great for selling things like the how to, but not for fiction. I've cut back a good bit on posting, to spend more time writing fiction this year.

But I would blog and hang out on Twitter if it never got me a single sale. It's fun. In fact, if you don't find any of this promo/marketing/social media stuff fun, you really are much better off just writing.

As I said, it's probably the best approach anyway - certainly until you have enough titles up to really get any return from any marketing/advertising.

Re: My Self-Publishing Experiment - Initial Results.

Posted: February 16th, 2012, 1:01 pm
by MattLarkin
You know, another author mentioned I should submit to book bloggers. I need to research ones that read books similar to mine, of course. I would say I got Storm because I followed you through your blog, though I'm sure that puts me in a minority, since your blog is really only for authors. I blog--not much any more--but I don't think Twitter sounds like fun to me.

Re: My Self-Publishing Experiment - Initial Results.

Posted: February 16th, 2012, 3:49 pm
by dgaughran
John Locke barely blogs. Michael Wallace doesn't have much of an internet presence. David Dalglish blogs on rare occasions, and I've never seen him on Twitter. I could give 20 more examples, but these authors have no problem selling huge amounts of books without doing all the things that some people say are essential.

If something isn't your style, don't sweat it. You'll find another way to reach your readers. Doing those things can help, but not if they are either (a) no fun or (b) get in the way of your writing.

A blog can help you sell some books, get the ball rolling etc., but people can only buy the book once. After that, you are on your own. But there are multiple ways to reach readers, and sometimes sheer volume of titles is enough. Hell, sometimes people get lucky on their first swing.

I see all these things as either trying to kickstart word-of-mouth, or help it along. But there are a zillion ways to do it.

Re: My Self-Publishing Experiment - Initial Results.

Posted: February 18th, 2012, 7:30 pm
by Starchaser3000
I'm unsure about the whole Facebook/Twitter thing. So far I have gone directly to various fantasy/fiction and writing forums with the intent to spark some type of interest in my debut 1st volume book. I guess if I establish some type of niche following first, then facebook/twitter makes sense. Its just right now, I don't think anybody would be remotely interested in who I am personally and what I do on a daily basis. That is why IMO, unless I have already generated some type of positive interest in people consistently leaving comments on my blog or buying my book FIRST, then facebook/twitter is just a waste of time. Unless anyone can convince me otherwise, in which I'm open minded to do so.

Re: My Self-Publishing Experiment - Initial Results.

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 12:12 pm
by dgaughran
It has been a couple of months since I did a sales report, so I thought it might be a good time to share what kind of value I’m getting out of my pimp suit. For anyone looking for numbers with lots of zeroes in them, or tales of battling with household names at the top of the charts, I have a warning for you: this is not that kind of report.

February Sales Report: Amazon Up, Everywhere Else Down ... else-down/