Post Publication–One Month and Counting

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Disappearing in Plain Sight has been romping free in the world for a month. Taking in that bit of excitement is an ongoing process. My publishing agreement with Friesen Press means I access sales information through my author account with them. The reports for outside venues are slow to arrive – 2nd week of the month for sales in the previous month for most places and closer to the end of the month before I get any information on Amazon Kindle sales. It is a waiting game on that front.

I try to satisfy my curiosity by constantly checking my Amazon ranking, which is so silly I cannot even imagine why I’m broadcasting the news. The numbers are meaningless from a statistical point of view. No one seems to have any idea how Amazon calculates rankings. Ah well, I am as guilty as anyone of clinging to straws in the absence of actual data.

The month has not been totally taken up with nail-biting ranking checks. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time building my social media platform, researching and learning about the marketing /promotion options that will work for me, and writing. I’ve logged about 10,000 words on The Light Never Lies.

Promotion and Marketing Update

Three of the things I decided to pay for:

  • One advertisement – I chose BC Bookworld – this publication is distributed free of charge to multiple venues in the province and has a large circulation – if you have ever ridden a BC Ferry you may have picked up a copy from the ship’s gift shop.
  • Join one professional organization. I chose the Alliance of Independent Authors. The annual membership paid for itself in knowledge and contacts almost immediately. Access to discussions on the members’ only Facebook page is priceless.
  • Enter one contest. After quite a bit of internet research, I chose the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award. An expensive gamble after entry fee, providing them with a copy of a real book, and mailing it to the US – but it was something I wanted to do.

That dreaded word – budget

I’m working from a limited marketing/promotion budget. We spent a good deal of it on the above items and purchasing books for local sales,which, by the way, are going exceptionally well. Bruce has turned out to be an enthusiastic promoter and salesman. I’m planning to attend a few local events where book selling will be my goal. I’ve got a couple of launch events in the works. I’m also working to have the book made available on a consignment basis through two local book stores.

Making community work for me

Vancouver Island loves its local artists, and I want to tap into that love. I’m working on a couple of different press releases – one for local papers and one for venues where my name would not be familiar, always emphasizing that I am a long-time Vancouver Island resident. Every little bit helps. I’ve recently put up posters on community bulletin boards and hope to get a few into the staff rooms and lunch areas at various places.

Using my academic connections to my advantage

I believe Disappearing in Plain Sight will have an appeal to mental health care workers (counselling themes, counsellor as a main character, youth who struggle with real-life issues). I have provided some key people with a copy of the book. I am hoping this can create buzz in what is often a tight-knit community and perhaps lead to an endorsement of the book for this group.

Social media

I’ve been promoting my Facebook author page. Feel free to click and check it out. I’m taking the advice of many who say that the author page had better be about more than me promoting my book in update after update. I put up links to my blog posts, intriguing quotes and pictures.

Book reviews

I’ve been quite fortunate on this front. In the first month that Disappearing in Plain Sight has been out, it has garnered six 5-star reviews on Amazon. A few of these reviews also appear on Goodreads, which in turn allows its reviews to be picked up by the Kobo Store. Huge thanks go out to all of these people for taking the time to read and review!

Best Advice to Date

I asked a question on the Alliance of Independent Authors Facebook page about how one goes about getting early reviews. I had read that the first days out on Amazon were crucial. A few experienced self-published authors were kind enough to respond at length. One spoke of how self-publishing is more of a marathon than a sprint. Building a loyal fan base is the goal. Focus on writing and producing a good sequel novel and the rest will fall into place.

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The journey continues . . . .

If you are a newly self-published author – any tips you would like to share are more than welcome. If you are considering or working toward self-publishing, is any of this helpful? Please let me know what you think.

14 comments on “Post Publication–One Month and Counting

  1. Congratulations, Francis! It sounds like you are doing what you need to be doing. I started your book a couple days ago. So far, I’m intrigued!

    Slow Stir

  2. This post, and previous posts on self publishing, are very helpful, and I’ve saved them in a file for future reference. I’m not quite at the stage of launching myself out into that world, but am pretty close, so I’m paying attention. Unfortunately I have nothing to add to what you’ve so generously shared, except to also accept and honor your own pace, and have faith in what you’ve written. Keep the stress down and the joy factor up, as much as possible!

  3. Louise Butcher says:

    I like your choice of pictures to accompany this post, Fran – so many books in a beautiful place … and the road that stretches before us. Congratulations on the amazing progress you have made to date. Cheers!

  4. mpskydog says:

    I very much like your closing advise there. Yes, we’ve found that self-publishing does have the pace of a marathon to it. Which is good, because we’re in it for the long run anyhow! Like you, I understand limited budgets. That’s why we’re going to be launching a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise the money for a large enough print run to support my wife’s book tour.

    • Good luck with that – I feel fortunate to have had a bit of $ put aside to move forward with my book, but certainly realize that is not always the case for people in this world where we often scramble to balance the books at the end of each month. Forget about the extras.

  5. This is a great post for aspirant writers like me. A few tricks like using the links of academic world is very helpful.

  6. Gemma Hawdon says:

    I have just downloaded your novel and will start reading by the end of the week – sorry just finishing off a dratted class assignment. Very excited though as it sounds great. I am a slow reader but all the more time to enjoy it! It sounds as though you have some great promotional tactics going. I’m just about to visit your Facebook page – I’ll make sure to give it a like. Well done!

    • Thanks for the support, Gemma. Loved your post today about slowing down, taking time to rejuvenate. Much needed. I hope you enjoy Disappearing in Plain Sight and I’d love to hear what you think of it.

  7. olivertidy says:

    Some very useful and thought-provoking information. Thanks. Started your book last night. Up to Chapter Four and it went quickly – in a good way. Looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

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