Eight months ago, I published my novel Perceval’s Secret as an e-book with high hopes. So, were those hopes fulfilled? It’s time to take a hard look back for examining what happened and perhaps a more realistic look forward.
Sales: The two best months for sales so far have been last April and last June. However, my monthly royalties so far have not yet broken the $40.00 mark. I’ve had no sales at Kobo International and I’m thinking of removing the novel from sale there. Sales at B&N/Nook have been sporadic and nowhere near the levels at Amazon/Kindle.
What contributed to the poor sales? There are interconnected factors. The first is that I am an unknown author — I don’t have a readership yet so no one is looking for my book. I’d hoped that my two blogs might have mitigated this more than they did. Second, in order to become known, it’s essential to do a lot of marketing and promotion. These two activities cost money that I don’t have. I went into credit card debt in order to do something, namely a large postcard mailing to professional orchestra musicians in America, and hiring AuthorBuzz for a campaign during the summer. I think both these efforts grabbed some attention (AuthorBuzz quantified it in “clicks” on the ads) but that attention did not translate into sales.
Current Efforts: I have been focused on getting book reviews for Perceval’s Secret, and developing another promo campaign for Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail blasts. There are four reviews at Amazon that are good to excellent. I need more reviews there, and more reviews at B&N/Nook. Tom Elliott, the book review editor for the Mensa Bulletin reviewed Perceval’s Secret quite favorably in the magazine, reaching over 50,000 American Mensa members. I only have the e-book version and I’m running into some resistance by reviewers as a result. Two possibilities I have yet to utilize are LinkedIn groups and GoodReads.
I’ve begun creating my project for Indiegogo to raise money to pay off my debt. As part of that project, I’ll create one or two videos. I’ll probably add a video to my Amazon author page, to GoodReads, and if I can, to my B&N/Nook author page. I also need to work more at Publishers Marketplace to create some buzz among literary agents and editors.
Marketing and Promotion efforts consume enough time to qualify for a fulltime job. I’m working part-time in customer service, and I’ve just begun that job so I haven’t yet settled into any kind of a new writing routine. So, of course, I’ve been thinking a lot about Perceval’s Shadow, the second book in the series. I’m now thinking that I will need to devote a full day each week to marketing and promotion efforts, a full day to my nonfiction writing obligations, and then a full day to fiction. But I’ll need to get through December to find out what my part-time job schedule will settle into. The holidays are probably not a good time for a regular schedule!
If you haven’t yet bought and read your copy of Perceval’s Secret, now is the time. It would also be a great gift for a reader who loves spy thrillers or psychological suspense.
Please write a review after you’ve read it! I love to hear from my readers…..