I’ve been reading Pat Fitzpatrick’s weekly posts about his self publishing journey with his book ‘Keep Away From Those Ferraris’ and it occurred to me that I should do something similar, but on a monthly basis rather than weekly. ?Coincidentally, when I checked the date for my last ‘progress update’ it was a month ago!
It is great that some authors are willing to share their sales figures. In one way, it could be seen as depressing to see how difficult it really is and when I read Pat’s posts, I am reminded that he is in a regular slot on the Today Show on RTE1, he writes for the Sunday Independent and will know other journalists too. If he is finding it difficult, how is a little blogging farmer like me going to sell in substantial numbers? ?I think the message is that all mentions of your book add to your profile. People put buying books on the long finger unless it is right in front of them in a bookshop and leads them to make the move to pick it up or unless it is as a gift for Christmas etc. Whether your book is featured in print or in a blogger’s book review or on the radio, all of the mentions add to your profile. People often need to see or hear several mentions of your product before they actually act. ?I know my pre-Xmas sales of 750 books is more than some published books have sold in their entirity and that’s what made me decide to order another print run of 1000 books. The last thing I wanted to happen was to get some good PR and not have the books in place to meet it. ?Now I have the challenge of getting that effective piece of PR!
The ’50 Shades of Hay’ feature whereby I was teaching a journalist how to be a perfect farming wife was published in the Sunday World two weeks ago. ?I wasn’t sure what to expect from it – would there be a surge of sales or not considering they have a million readers? ?There was no surge but quite a few people told me they saw me in it so it definitely added to profile. Just have to keep telling myself – it’s all about building up profile! ?My ‘Ten reasons to marry a farmer’ post hit a surge last weekend too, getting about 6,000 views over the weekend.
Argosy are taking my book, they are the only book wholesalers as such in Ireland and they stock to all independent bookshops. What I need now is for lots of people to go into the bookshops and order them so the bookshops may decide this book is worth putting on the shelves and then if people see it, they may purchase. Of course, this is the quietest time of the year for book buying apparently but it would do better sitting on a shelf than in a warehouse. ?Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway is stocking it and as they ship worldwide too I’m delighted.
I have about 70 of the hardback copies left here and there’s about 60 out there with a few stockists. ?I’ve sold about 840 books. The book stockists such as Kenny’s have the reprint which is in paperback. ?I’m selling about 8-10 a week from this website and I won’t have a report from Argosy for another couple of weeks.
The next challenge is Kindle. To be honest, I popped it up there and left it to its own devices. I lowered the price to $2.99 this weekend for Valentine’s weekend and just spread the word on social media but it doesn’t seem to have set the world alight. I bought a copy of ‘How to make a killing on kindle’ so that’s my challenge – to absorb that and put it into practice. I suspect one of the challenges with Kindle is that it’s not necessarily going to be in a popular category such as chick lit or crime where people might try a new novel in that genre. It will be another learning curve I think. I have a number of 5* (think it is 12 in total now) reviews on Amazon which I’m pleased with. I’m very conscious that a thick skin needs to be donned in preparation for looking at reviews!
Other news is that I’m planning the content and structure of my next book this month and plan to start writing it on 1st March. I still have to decide on my word goal per week to strike a balance between what is realistic and yet ensure it won’t take years. I still have to come up with my working title too.
The one thing about getting a book out there is that I am in contact with more authors now – between facebook groups, Linked In groups and reading their blogs. What definitely becomes apparent whether an author is published or self-published is that the writing of the book seems to be the easy part. Getting the word out there and generating substantial sales can be quite another matter 🙂