Hello, how are all you fine people today?
Health update: I am currently fine. Thank you for asking. Well except for the lymphoma thing but you can’t have everything. Or at least you wouldn’t want it, Lymphoma is quite enough, thank you!
I wanted to drop a post on here today to talk about how my book is going, and also share some of the experiences of producing your own novel.
So some of you may have heard I wrote and self published a book (if not, then my social media wasn’t as irritating as it seemed). (see it at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Robert-Mr-Marcus-Evans/dp/1495975606)
The aim of producing a book has got to be shifting copies, so more people can read and enjoy it. In my case as I can no longer run I wanted to raise money for charity as well.
Before this I had an idealised view of books. It went something like.
2. Edit book
3. Publish book
4. advertise book until it reaches a certain coverage level and then bask in its sales.
Actually it ended up more like.
1. write book (yay, fun, new novel).
2. edit book (I hate editing. a year to edit a book. sigh)
3. publish book (format, check, change, rinse and repeat. Thirty or so hours later and the help of friend Max).
4. Advertise book (easy right?)
Wrong. Step four is much much tougher than I rather naively gave it credit for. Firstly I released my child into the world. It got likes it got shared. I asked a people to share it and buy a copy. They did and before I knew it, the status was shared 50 times.
Now there has been a study that shows if you ask people to do two things on social media they will do one (the share) and feel like they helped. So you actually get more sold if you just ask people to buy it. I thought that was quite interesting, but also true, judging by copies sold that day.
Anyway, I got a fair amount of traction on Robert the first month, and it was going well. I was then featured in two newspaper articles (https://spleniclymphoma.com/2014/04/11/an-article-of-two-halves-depressing-and-upbeat/) and on the radio. (https://spleniclymphoma.com/2014/04/24/a-link-to-my-radio-interview-in-case-you-blinked-and-missed-it/)
Interestingly I got a few hits to the blog (which was the main purpose of the interviews, so that was great) but not much of an uptick on sales.
Since then I have found that if I carry a few copies, people will ask about it, say they haven’t bought a copy, and then ask how they can get it. This has really helped get it out there.
As each copy is raising money for charity I also thought about holding an event to raise more. So far numbers are low, but I have done a bit of a push so I’m hoping people will come. Its in London on the 29th and the proceeds go to the Lymphoma Association.
I’d hoped to sell a 1000 books (high target I know) to raise £2000, but this should help raise more as well. (please come if you are around).
So in terms of copies I have sold
|Month||Amazon Sales||Kindle||Paperbacks sold in person||Total|
So as you can see Amazon is tailing off. The real challenge is getting the copies out beyond my friends. They are happy to buy them but beyond that it slows. It doesn’t;t seem to be reaching critical mass.
The other thing is you have to KEEP PUNTING IT. Marketing never stops. if you don’t market it, then you stop selling copies. Getting other people to help works. people sending it to their internal email, or recommending it, but people are not so willing to do this.
There have been exceptions. My grandma had her 80th and sold lots of copies. (thank you) so much so that a 82 year old approached my mum and told her how good it was (I wouldn’t have thought that was my target audience) :). Also Blacksmiths, the restaurant in Halstead, is stocking some and being great. Picture below (with my father also posing)
So although I have now raised around £500 or so I am struggling to continue pressure. Some of it is people meaning to buy it, but not getting round to it. The other is saturation of friends.
Another thing is reviews. I have 20 reviews on Amazon. Now I should have more than this from numbers sold, but its tough to get traction.
In conclusion its not as simple as writing and publishing a book and hoping copies sell. You need to push it. Continue to push it and get elp wehre you can.
So if anyone knows anyone who owns a shop or who will stock it you know where I am.
Until next time friends.
Ignore the boxes below. They are just there to remind me of my fallibility in deleting things from wordpress.