I’m still behind on posting these updates. At this rate, my 365 days will take four years . . . So my 99cent Bookbub application was rejected, which was a bit depressing, but not wholly unexpected. Need to work out what to use in my next application and get it in soon. Everyone who’s successful in this space chalks it up to consistency. Also, will keep trying to get more reviews.
Apologies for the delay in posting my activities! March has so far been a month of expanding my knowledge base, which means a slowdown in results as I take new skills onboard and skim off tactics that haven’t proved cost-effective. It’s frustrating, but just as with my writing practice, I do notice that these periods of expanded ability often do take a while to gain some forward momentum as all the new pieces are worked into your existing practice. I’m remaining hopeful and still going for a three-day action plan on more doable projects concurrent to these ongoing, more long-term items. I spent a lot of time creating lookalike audiences from people who like my page, but none of it worked the way I entered the info into FB’s ads manager.
To catch you up if you haven’t been following, I decided 2016 would be my make or break year for my book career. I’ve been pouring effort into traditional publishing for fifteen years and ten books. Last year I made the decision to self-publish for the first time. My strategy was spotty, all over the place, and yielded unveven results. But I was researching, I was paying attention. What I learned was there is a marketing component to self-publishing that has to be understood and planned for with a regular production schedule. Being “busy” doesn’t necessarily accomplish anything, and with today’s plethora of options, it’s easy to be busy and accomplish absolutely zero. Welcome to my world.
Thursday 21 January 2016
I cannot believe I am typing these words: MY BOOKBUB PROMO WAS ACCEPTED! Absolute insanity. Wow; I’m going to try not to get ahead of myself here. This is big. I need to calm down and make the most of it. So—need to update back matter for The Patrons so it’s link to my other books and to my signup list, get my iBooks page up for On Fire (which means I need to get my ISBN going), and try to finish transcribing On Fire as quickly as humanly possible. Trying to get the rights back to my most obvious next read after THE PATRONS, which is VIVIAN RISING, so I can link it in the back matter. I’ve been putting this off for ages, so I feel sense of accomplishment at getting this request in. Daughter accidentally smashed phone last night; hour on the line with apple, but managed to save over $100 to get a replacement. After that, washing machine flood. Two steps forward . . .
Thursday 14 Jan 11:30
Exhausted. Daughter talking to me nonstop about Fireman Sam while I try to do my one action. It’s a small one, took forever, but it’s done: I added a few more tags to a few more posts about my recent blog to get extra visibility.
It’s 2016; I’ve talked enough about how I’m going to boost my book sales income this year and the time has come to see if I can make this a reality. If I don’t, I’m going to get a proper full-timer in 2017. So, a lot riding on this; need to jump right in. Thought I would start off with a bang. So, I set myself on a mission to execute one marketing strategy per day for 30 days. Sure, I dabble, research, listen to insightful podcasts, but how much action do I actually take in my marketing efforts? It’s a new year, I’ve moved house, and it’s time to start some new routines that finally shift my self-publishing efforts into the next gear. I know I’m not alone here in wishing I could do more and feeling like all my busyness should be accomplishing something. But it’s time to face facts: what am I actually accomplishing? Completing? Putting out there? Not as much as I could with a quota plan built on sheer numbers. I made it simple: Action One New Marketing Strategy Per Day for 30 Days. In writing it down and sharing it with my peers I hope to both make myself accountable and inspire you to get moving, and share some concrete results on my efforts. Along the way, maybe we’ll all see what it takes to really get this self-publishing thing into income-generating territory. So, I’ll be blogging here throughout the month to report on my daily marketing actionables. Here’s to starting the year off growing my publishing income . . .
If you’re going to launch your self-published book with KDP Select (meaning give amazon exclusive digital publishing for or a 90 day period) in 2016, you’ll need to make the most of it by running a promo, most popularly the free days you’re given each enrollment cycle. The self-pub community (including yours truly), is starting to think you might be better off—if not right now, then certainly in the near future—going “wide” with your release, across Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Google Play (more on this in future post). But if you’re going exclusive to Kindle, which let’s face it, many of us still are, your initial release is your chance to get extra visibility by hitting the “Hot New Releases,” which you’ll get to stay in for 30 days, until those launch sales numbers cycle out of your ranking. This means more views, which means the opportunity for more sales.
With the launch of my first self-published novel, THE PATRONS, I knew I wanted to do something pretty special for a kickoff. It began online (more on this component to come); but locally, I wanted to get everyone excited and give them a chance to enjoy the moment in an insider-y way. I know how you writers are, because I’m the same, you think, oh, I don’t want to make a fuss about myself, but you’d be thinking about it all wrong. People want to take part in a book launch party. It isn’t something that happens everyday, though us authors feel like it is because we are so inundated with market and peer research. Friends, readers, and the general public want to share your big day with you . . . and everyone they know (!); I worked this out when I saw the amazing social media sharing of the book and bash; I never would have assumed. Here are some pictures to prove it:
It has been my practice for the last 15 years to write every day—even if I only had a few minutes to spare. I was of the opinion that things get rusty if you don’t. I teach this to my students and I practiced what I preached. But in the lead-up to giving birth to my daughter late last year, I decided I would take a break. It was a conversation with a fellow creative type about some frustration on the business end of my career that steered me toward the trial and I thought, well, it’s a great time to see how I go without writing. Maybe I won’t want to do it anymore. Maybe I’ll be cured and I can move on.