Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Am I Crazy? No - Definitely Not. :-)

Well, maybe I am a little crazy. :-) I've decided to make my book sales public for the next four or so months.

I'll give a link to the numbers in just a moment, but I want to first tell why I've chosen to do this.

My reasons:
I've been asked by other writers how and why I chose to eBook publish, how things have worked for me, and how I had so much success in the first week of my book being released. Since eBook publishing is still a new world, many authors don't know what to expect, especially if they are about to release (or just have released) their first book. I too am a first-time, no-name author, and I don't mind if you use my sales as a reference point to your own success.

Amanda Hocking, a major eBook author, has made her first few months of sales public, and it has helped her spread the word, since it's exciting to fans to see they're really making a difference. Her progress was a bit slow at first, but then it started gaining. I'm expecting it to be like this for me, with sales being really low in the beginning, while people still haven't heard of my books. Having outsiders know Amanda's success didn't hurt her sales, it advanced them.

So that's that. :-)

To see my sales/downloads for the month of June, plus an update on the physical version of the book, go here. (It will lead you back to this post, so don't worry about losing your place. I've created a separate blog completely devoted to the Kilenya Series, and will be using this blog for all my other random things. :-))

Now, I'd like to talk about how I got so many downloads within 30 hours of my book being released. I hope by letting people know this, other authors will be able to implement it into their marketing/promoting, thereby spreading the word about their books.

First things first: I use the networking basics: my blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I've been very good about using Facebook, and mainly because I enjoy keeping in touch with family and friends. Some of my cousins, siblings, and friends live very far away (boo!), so I make sure to do frequent status updates to keep them in the loop, and I check out theirs, too.

If you don't use Facebook a lot, and aren't comfortable with the people you're friends with, this step of what I did probably won't help you promote your book. Which is why I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and start using Facebook now. :-) Don't forget Twitter and your blog, though! (I'm a sporadic blogger, if you haven't noticed. Shame on me. :-))

I made sure to post a status update about my book nearly every week. There was a time when nothing was happening, and finding new things to say was really difficult. So I didn't. :-) Once things picked up again, that no longer was a problem.

 He he. :-)

About a week before my book was published, I went through my Facebook friends and picked out those I felt comfortable approaching and asking a favor. Some of you will remember my "Totally Random" message I sent out. I was really nervous it would offend people, but I didn't have any negative replies. I think those who didn't want to do it, simply didn't respond to my message.

I chose around 400 people and sent each of them a personal message. (Took me seven hours. Tristi, my editor, says I'm crazy. :-)) I asked if they wouldn't mind posting a little bit about my book with a purchase link on their Facebook Wall the day of my book's publication. Somewhere around 200 people were very happy to help me out (thank you, thank you, thank you!).

I also sent an email to every person I'd ever met in my entire life. (Okay, okay slight exaggeration. :-)) I tried to personalize those emails, too, but that was difficult. I figured they'd delete it if they didn't want to read it.

One thing to note for emails and Facebook: People don't like getting mass messages--they tend to be formal and unpersonalized, making the person feel lumped into a group, patronized, unimportant, or like the sender won't notice if the receiver doesn't read it, which may or may not be the case. Plus, on Facebook, when one person responds, everyone gets that response. Which is annoying. So, a personalized message is the best way to go.

Anyway. That's the first thing I did.

A word of advice: don't be afraid to be excited about your writing - your enthusiasm will spread to friends and family! It was so very hard for me (at first) to tell people I was working on publishing a book. I soon realized, though, that without support, I wouldn't go anywhere. (To my friends and family reading this: thank you for that support.)

Happy reading (and writing!)


  1. Wow, you are so great to want to assist other authors! I really look up to that. I'm sorry I didn't send a Facebook post about your book...I was lazy and probably a little jealous :/ :) cause you have been able to accomplish something so amazing! I hope you'll forgive me. :) Anyways, I used to network at a awesome monthly meeting called Biz Divas...they are very supportive of women entrepreneurs (including authors) if you want to check them out. :) Good luck with your book and I look forward to reading it.

  2. That's a lot of hard work. If you ever need help again, let me know. I'd be happy to help. :) I'm glad you had so much support!