I chose to self publish because I had little faith that I would ever make it past an publisher's slush pile in this day and age. Now I'm feeling a little bit discouraged because my book is now at the bottom of a mountain of eBooks! I've sold about 60 copies through amazon and barnes and noble in three weeks. I don't know whether that's typical or low. I kind of think I've exhausted my friends (if they're going to buy it, they already have) and I hate begging for FB likes or asking everyone (again) to share the link.
Where do I go from here to market? I've contacted several YA book review bloggers and some have said they'll take it on, so that's encouraging. I have some pleasant reviews and comments on the sites. I set up a separate FB page (that no one's reading...) and a Goodreads page.
Is it just a game of word of mouth and waiting now? Should I offer it for free on sites such as Smashwords? (It's listed for $2.99).
Thanks for your help for a newbie!
Melyssa, your rank and sales, for the time you've had it up, seem pretty decent to me--above average. To gain world of mouth, you really can't rest on your fanny and expect some miraculous momentum to occur. It's an every-day process to create buzz and get the word out--and believe me, it's WORK. I tried a few tricks with my publisher (I'm not self-ebook-published), but this applies to anyone, really. Check out this blog post on what I did and what happened. YMMV, of course.
Thanks, Chris! I know I can't sit around and expect results, I just don't know where to go from here and I'm a terrible saleswoman!
Well, as writers we're not expected to be super sales people. But when our backs are against wall, well, we have little choice. Don't be hard on yourself or discouraged. I'm facing the same obstacles as you are and I find it incredibly tough to keep a decent rank a few sales going. My results are about like yours. You must be doing something right. All you can do now is improve, as can we all.
You can try some sponsored posts with Kindle Nation Daily, Kindleboards, Kindlefinds, Night Owl Reviews, for example. You could enroll it in KDP Select and do a free promotion. 60 copies is not a bad start for a few weeks. You could also try a virtual book tour organiser, such as Fierce reading, or Bewitching Book Tours. You have to work REALLY hard to get visibility, it's not for the faint hearted. Join some author groups on Facebook too, get yourself out there.
Knowing that there are so many bloggers out there, I sometimes doubt they help. I still like blogging, but you have to be truly original to get the word out past that massive herd of other people trying to the same thing.
All good advice below. In addition, I've joined goodreads, kindle boards (lots of passionate kindle readers in various genres!), and in my review requests to bloggers I offer to smashwords coupon for them to download the book in the format of their choice. Honestly, there's not been much traction yet in any of those, but if it feels like work—and it does!—it may eventually pay off.
Welcome to the hard part of the job and the part I sit in myself.
A few things that I have learned is your first book won’t really sell that well, I’ve been told that you need to start getting a body of work out there for people to buy. So don’t get discouraged, keep going and get the next books out there.
I liked the reviews I saw, but things you should look at:
This is where I’d start any who.
Thanks, Robert, for the good advice!
I do have a blog, though it's unfocused! It started as a humor blog...incorporated homeschooling...added in bits of my professional writing...etc. I think I should start one that focuses solely on my authorship. I do have the domain name bought and paid for for Shadows Gray - I'm just waiting for a techy friend to help me design it.
I'll work on the author page on Amazon, too. I did just get a head shot done and am waiting for the photographer to get it to me, so that's good! At least I hope it will be good. With my luck, I'll have two chins and no eyes. Sigh.
I'm not sure blogs really help much. You've got to get people to visit it regularly and getting them there involves plenty of good content. In turn, this is very time consuming, not a lot of bang for your buck. You may as well write a good short story and stick it on Smashwords for free. Visibility in as many places as possible. There are plenty of facebook pages that focus on books and reviews. Make friends with the admins. Host a giveaway on Goodreads - 2 weeks in duration, you only need give away 1 copy. You'll get around 900 entries and a few hundred will add it to their reading list - not bad for the cost of a book.
Marie, I loved the giveaway on Goodreads idea, but unfortunately as I was agreeing to the terms of service I read the "no ebooks" allowed clause. Dang!
I'd like to do give aways, but I'm not sure where else to go...my blog gets about 2000 hits a month, but only a handful of comments, and most don't seem overly enthralled with the book posts. I can certainly try though!
I'll focus on FB pages more and I'll think about the short story idea. Thanks!
LibraryThing do ebook giveaways :-)
I picked up a copy of your book, I'll let you know what I think! :)
Keep working you'll get there, I've just done a lot of talks with other authors who started where we are now and the best thing I can say is keep writing. It's the most important part. ;)