Not saying that’s unusual or stellar. I actually don’t know what average is. For those of you who are not writers, and/or not especially into the indie scene, this may not be of much interest, for which I apologize in advance. When you’re preparing your first book to go out into the world, and just after it goes out there, there are so many questions that go through your mind.
- Are people going to like my book?
- How am I going to get people to read my book?
- Am I doing well compared to everyone else?
While I won’t say that I have the answers to these, I do believe it’s about time for me to put my experience out here alongside so many other indies who share their results so that we can all get a better idea of things that work and how to gauge our own success.
Hush Money went live on Amazon on Thursday, August 5, 2010. That puts its 8-week birthday on Thursday, September 30. I am frankly thrilled at how it’s done, and yet, “satisfied” is not a word I can use. Because I’d love to see it do even better.
At the time I’m composing this post, Hush Money is holding around 1000 in the Kindle store. It had been holding firmly around the 2K mark, with fairly consistent daily sales (which I don’t think I’m allowed to actually tell you under the new Kindle rules). It then started a slow climb toward 1K, also climbing the Kindle store category charts that it had been on and off since its first week of release. It’s been on page 2 of its category charts for a few days now, with a significant increase in sales.
It did break into the top 1000 on September 28th, and its highest rank has been 699.
Since I think this is pretty good, I want to share with you some things I’ve done that I think have worked in my favor–beyond writing a decent book. Partly because I consider myself a lousy self-promoter, and marketing was something I was very worried about. I’m going to go into more detail about these things in later posts, so as not to overwhelm, but for now, here they are, in no particular order:
- Good, genre-appropriate cover art– I think my cover works for me in a lot of ways
- Website– that’s easy to read, all my info and links in one place, updated content
- Goodreads– Goodreads was originally described to me as “Facebook for book people.” Hush Money has been added by over 200 members. I’ve absolutely no doubt that exposure there has helped me.
- Giveaways– I gave away a lot of books, especially in the first few weeks the book was out.
- Reviews– I got a fair number of reviews on Amazon right away, and also on Goodreads. This gave me something to show both potential readers and book bloggers I approached later, which I think is especially important for an unknown indie.
- Good friends– This was really important in that first week, especially, because I went out of town the day after Hush Money went live and was offline for a week. I’m sure that Kait Nolan, who is effective at blogging and tweeting, pimped me out in both places.
- Pricing– Despite the fact that so many people are saying that $2.99 is the new $0.99, and the temptation to make decent money already, I’ve reason to believe that raising the price would do me more harm than good at this point.
- Cross-Promotion– At the back of my ebooks are excerpts from the ebooks of a few other indie authors in my genre, and I am in the back of theirs. I also have a line at the end of my product description on Amazon, recommending other indie authors, and some of those authors have returned the favor for me.
- Blogging, Twitter, and other social media– I’m not very good at social media, I don’t have a large following on any platform, and lots of days go by where I can think of little to say. I generally feel like I don’t get much out of it in terms of sales for the time I put into it. But I do get some, and when others allow me access to their networks, it makes all the difference. No matter how fish out of water you feel at it, no matter how much you think it’s all a waste of time, I don’t think blowing it off entirely is a best practice.
Coming up this week, I’ll be trying to cobble together some posts that get into these things more specifically, for those who want to know.
P.S. If you think this might be helpful info for your indie friends, please feel free to hit that tweet button. Thanks!