Today, February 27, 2017, my baby launches!
In addition to
it will also be published through:
…plus Barnes & Noble, Apple, Scribd, and more.
This makes me a published author of something other than featured news editorials, poetry and blog posts. Feels pretty fantastic, even if it turns out to be mostly meaningless.
Know what else feels fantastic? …and is also meaningless?
The first day Scourge of Sheol was released for pre-order, there were enough sales to wedge me between a couple C.S. Lewis books on a very, very specific Amazon category. The uber-specificity is what made it meaningless — and I still don’t care! It then climbed up even higher to #6 in that super specific category:
It probably won’t get any better than this, and that’s OK.
I was expecting about 20 orders in pre-sales from people I know who seemed interested enough (in me, at least) to be sweet and toss 99 cents my way. As of the evening of February 26th, I have 25 sales (that weren’t canceled):
Yeah, someone canceled an order. Hey, 99 cents is a big deal…mostly just to me, though.
If you’re curious what that means to my bottom line, with Amazon’s royalty structure, that’s 25 copies * $0.35 = $8.75. Of course, it takes 60+ days to get a check from Amazon, plus you need to make over $100, I believe, to have a check cut at all, so I may never see the 8 bucks. Ha!
Obviously, I needed to take a stab at more forms of advertising if this thing has a prayer of taking off. So far, I can tell you about one normal thing I did, and a couple more inventive things I’m trying.
The normal thing is applying to a bunch of sites that send out info about book deals to their readers. A lot of these lists exclude books that aren’t at least novel length, or which don’t have at least 5 stellar reviews or more. So, Scourge of Sheol was excluded from a bunch. Then, others simply cost a lot of money! As this is the first book I’m publishing, it wouldn’t make sense to spend too much ad money without other full-priced books lined up waiting in the wings. After all my research, here are the FREE lists I was able to submit my book to — with the advertising due to go out at varying times throughout this week:
One of the crazier things had to do with my experiences traveling Asia last year. I had so many damn Tinder likes in Japan and Taiwan that if I had a book out for sale then and had put it on my Tinder profile, I would probably be independently wealthy now.
So, I thought, “oh what the hell,” and threw the link to the book’s Amazon page up on my dating profiles. “What’s the worst that could happen?” I asked myself.
Well, shortly thereafter, a real, certified, scary weirdo started following me on Twitter.
So, that could happen.
Crazy idea #2 has to do with Givling.com. Givling is a student loan crowdfunding site I signed up to years ago. They had a great idea where people pay to play trivia games and that would pay off people’s student loans. That’s now combined with significant advertising dollah bills, so the concept is certainly viable! Recently, Givling mentioned a new idea where they would put up videos people sent in telling about their student loan stories and any advertising revenue they made off the videos would go to the pile of money that pays off all the student loans.
Well, this sounded like a great opportunity! I certainly have an interesting student loan story. I created the raw content for the video from when I was at my last amazing housesit with the very attractive golden retriever. Of course, I included information about the book as it’s the latest chapter in my student loan story. Then I edited and uploaded it over the last few days and sent the permission over to Givling to use it. I’m still not sure whether it was too shameless self-pimping-ness for them to accept, but, we’ll see! Here’s the video for your review:
By the way, if you want to sign up yourself and get in line to have your student loans paid off, go to Givling.com and use this invite code to get a free “welcome coin”:
Now, I’m back to searching for a roof to put over my head and trying not to vomit. The upload process of the book was pretty stomach-turning, but now people can actually read and comment on the thing! Eep!
If you do end up reading it and liking it, please leave a review! Each sale and each high review will raise my slim chances of success dramatically. Thanks again to everyone for their support!
2 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Update 5: Shameless Pimping and Plugs”
Inspiring quest there. What happened after? Thanks!
Well, sales dropped to almost nothing. Then, I let the slackers know the discount price was about to end — so I got a few more sales. Then I bumped up the price to $4.99 and had one more sale afterward, and nothing since.
Givling didn’t want my video without edits, so it wasn’t added to their playlist during the promotional period. I didn’t find out that was the reason until just the other day. As of today, the new, re-edited version is up on their playlist:
As it stands now, I haven’t even made the $100 minimum to have a check cut by Amazon, so I’ve effectively made nothing.
Most successful independent authors come out with one book priced very low or free to hook readers and then have more in a series which they actually make money off of. This book alone had very slim chances of turning a profit worth the effort. It did, however, allow me to get the framework set up for future works and gave me enough positive feedback about my writing itself to know future efforts may be worth the bother!
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