There is so much written about the importance of promotion, publicity and marketing with a new book that new authors often get caught up in it and forget that they are writers.
Here are my conclusions following the recent release of my latest novel.
WHAT I DIDN’T DO.
I did no pre-publication promotion. I did not send out media releases or media packages. I did not have a book launch. I did not do any subsequent book signings. I did not ask friends to buy my book. I have done no marketing.
Currently, I have NIL Reviews or Stars and only 1 ‘like’ registered on the Amazon book page – yet, after less than 2 weeks, my e-book is selling 6-10 copies a day on Amazon and, yesterday reached No 9 on Amazon’s eBook Fiction>Sea Stories list.
So why is my new book selling? And in a genre which is difficult to compete in (particularly for a female writer)?
WHAT I DID DO.
I finished my final edits to my manuscript on Thursday morning, 15th November (two weeks ago today). On the same afternoon, I published it as a paperback with LULU.com.
I ordered a single copy for myself and that night sat at home, opened a bottle of champagne and drank half (on my own) after toasting my achievement.
The same evening I sent the MSS to Custom-Book-Tique to be formatted for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Three days later – the book was published as an e-book on the Amazon Kindle website.
I created a page on Facebook dedicated to this new novel, I posted my release onto Facebook (twice) and on my blog. Then I sat back and within days was amazed.
The e-Book started to attract orders – 1,2,4,6 a day (90 books so far – not huge, but not bad in 2 weeks!
Remember – No pre-promotion. No who-ha. No costly mailings to libraries or news media. No printed promotional postcards or flyers. NO phone calls. (Yes, I have done it all in the past).
I did send out 6 review copies of the paperback to appropriate places, but so far have had no replies.
So, WHAT IS THE ANSWER? Why are people buying my book?
Firstly, and most importantly – sales are the result of Amazon’s unsolicited promotional tactic of adding the few short words on the book's page, namely “…Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
I understand this statement has a viral effect and I believe that sales grow exponentially from it.
Secondly, that this book was a sequel to an earlier book (also self-published as an e-book).
Other facts which are important but are not as significant here:
This is my sixth published novel, I am told I write well, and the book was professionally formatted (the sort of thing potential readers ‘look inside’ for when purchasing from Amazon).
In the past, I have spent hours on promotion and marketing on previous books and achieved very, very little. I have spent oodles of money on promotional material – in fact, in some cases, more than I ever received in Royalties from those early books from the traditional publisher.
Finish your novel – and if you are confident your work is polished and saleable, self-publish in paper and e-book.
Then ignore all the advice you get about promotion and marketing and START WRITING YOUR NEXT NOVEL.
The novel referred to here is THE TAINTED PRIZE by M.C. Muir