It’s been 10 whole months since my first book was published, so I thought I would share my journey so far. Some awesome things, some not so awesome things and my crazy expectations that fell flat on the floor.
Sales: When I first published, I thought I did a *fair* amount of marketing to get my book promoted and getting pre-order sales. Roughly I had about 20 pre-orders. Which doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but for someone who has never published anything in her life, one would have been enough to put me on cloud 9.
After the book released, I expected way higher sales than I have actually gotten. I think with most new authors (especially indie authors who are very new to the industry), we expect their book to BLOW UP because we believe in it so much. Our book is new, fresh, original, like nothing else out there, so it’s GONNA sell. I could not have been more wrong. On average, since March, I average probably 3 books sold each month. Yes, 3. I’m not crying about it, but I just expected much more. Hard reality check.
Marketing/Promoting: Marketing is a FULL-TIME JOB, ya’ll. Most writers should understand that once you release your book, your work has only just begun. This applies whether you are a self-publisher or traditional. Granted, traditional might get you a bit more exposed, but they can’t do all the work. They have other books to work on too. You have to do well thought out promotions which usually includes money. Also making sure you’re marketing towards the right audience makes a huge difference. Even though I am 10 months out, I am still marketing my book as much as I can.
Social Media: I never knew how important it was to be highly active in the social media world. Guys, IT’S SUPER IMPORTANT. The way the world works now, the fastest way things travel is through Tweeting and Instagram. I’ve become very highly involved in the Twitterverse and it’s so been extremely helpful. Not only do you get to talk and interact with other writers and readers, you can promote anything you want and gain a following. Hashtags are your lifeblood. Using appropriate hashtags for your posts and knowing when to use them can boost your tweets and followers so much. If you are not currently on Twitter, I highly recommend it for any new writer trying to put themselves out there. I am already anticipating the sales for my next book to be much higher because I have taken the time to build up my following and allow others to know me and my writings.
Reviews: Don’t ever feel bad for asking for reviews. It is super crucial for any book at the very beginning to have reviews, and a lot of them. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have some of my reviews paid for. It’s something we have to do sometimes to boost our numbers. Keep in mind, these reviews are completely honest and do not guarantee perfect scores. That isn’t what you’re paying for. You’re paying them to read and take time to assess what they read and they tell you their thoughts. I’ve learned to take the bad ones lightly. Not everyone will like your book; some may not even finish it. You can’t write something that will be everyone’s cup of tea. Learn to accept this and you’ll go far.
Giveaways: Not saying I did this wrong, but I wanted to put it on here to tell you why it’s so important to have giveaways. I haven’t done as many as I’ve wanted, but having any at all is great. It allows you to build up hype around your book to people who may have never even heard of it before. People love free stuff. This is also an opportunity to get your book into more hands of your audience and getting potential reviews. (whether it’s good or bad). More reviews in general is better than a few perfect ones. You don’t even need to giveaway a whole bunch of things or expensive items. If you have customized something that only people get if they enter the giveaway, that is enough!
Supporting Other Writers: I can’t stress the importance of supporting your fellow writers and authors enough. We are a special breed of human and are in constant need of support. Having the support of a fellow writer is one of the best things to have. Not everyone has their family or friends to rely on to pick them up when they’re down, or to tell them it’s going to be okay. Other writers know you better than anyone else and exploring any channels to talk to them is one of the best things you can do. We understand each other more than anyone else and can relate to you and any struggles you might be having. Opening up yourself might be out of your comfort zone, but I highly suggest you do so, because they may support you as well. We all need to be there for one another. (Which is why I do my Indie-Go Interviews)
How I’m planning my next book release:
I will have two editors this time around, just to make sure everything is perfect.
I will have more betas and recruit them as early as I possibly can.
I am planning on getting a street team together. (keep an eye out if you’re interested.)
Promoting THE HELL out of it way before the release, including sending out a bunch of ARC’s.
Getting my book into more outlets, including physical copies.
I can try to answer any specific questions you might have regarding a new book release that I didn’t cover in the comments. Happy writing! ##