It’s All About Getting Noticed

book girlPublishing my first novel was one of the most important moments in my life.  It signified the fulfilment of a life-long dream.  I had climbed the mountain and reached the top.  Like many newly published writers, I was floating in a cloud of euphoria – convinced that everyone would love my story.   I’m sure you can understand my frustration when the hallowed halls that is Amazon barely registered an echo of my arrival.  At first, I visited my KDP dashboard daily – monitoring my sales.  In all honesty, there wasn’t many and most of those were probably from people in my local area – family, friends, etc.   When my dream of overnight success didn’t come true, I finally grasped the reality of my situation.  It didn’t matter how wonderful I thought my story was – I lacked name recognition.   My author platform was probably more akin to a board and a couple of nails.

Marketing Madness:  Yes.  I became infected.  I scoured various blogs looking for marketing advice.  I was the snake oil salesman’s dream.  If you offered me the cure for my lagging sales, I was buying!   I tried this.  I tried that.  I tried the other thing, too.  For all that effort, I did learn something:   As a newly published writer, I was picking my way through uncharted territory.  After trying various marketing tips, I realized that there is no “one size fits all” plan.

There were things I did that helped.  I went on tour (blog tours) as well as listing my book on some promotional sites.  Some worked better than others.  My e-book sales increased.  However, 70% of $2.99 isn’t all that much.  Multiply that by a few sales and my net profit still wasn’t anything to write home about.

While e-books are great, having a physical book to sell has its own benefits.  One of those being the ability to remove the middle man thereby increasing the profit margin.  Local festivals are a great venue for selling books.   I try to choose events that I feel are “book friendly.”  I consider the cost of the table – as in how many books I need to sell to break even.  I also consider the average number of people who will attend the festival.  Even if I don’t make a sale, being seen and getting my name out has its own value.   It’s like purchasing advertising.   Let’s say that an event draws 5,000 people and a space at that event goes for $100.00 – that breaks down to an advertising cost of 2¢ per person.

Not everyone is going to want a paperback.  Some people are dedicated to their reading device – that’s why I have business cards with a picture of my book, the ISBN, and a listing of where the e-book can be purchased.  Business cards are inexpensive to hand out – and while not everyone is going to follow through and purchase the e-book, it has been my experience that some will.

The holidays are approaching.  If you haven’t tried selling at an area festival, think about it.  I’ll admit to feeling a bit out of my comfort zone.  Ideally, I’d love to write and have someone else do the selling. However, that isn’t my reality.  For now, I’m a one woman publishing team!

 

 

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One comment

  1. I have a friend who publishes e-books. Her marketing is the hardest thing she does, but the effort is worth it. Also important are the reviews on Amazon. Those are really effective in drawing in readers.

    Like

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