So, as it’s approaching six months since ‘Getting Some’ was self-published on Kindle, I think it’s as good a time as any to take stock of where I am with the book and its promotion.
As I mentioned in this post, learning about marketing and promotion after self-publishing has been more than a steep learning curve, it’s been more like trying to drive straight up a hill with an impossibly steep gradient while driving a 1984 Datsun, or trying to ride the Tour de France route in stilettos …. one month after getting onto a racer bike, or …. well, you get the idea!
In retrospect, there are so many things I’d probably do differently, although many of those things happen to be ones I also wouldn’t change for the world!
Anyway, nearly 6 months on, I’ve sold (many) more than the 100 books I’d set as an initial target ….. but less than enough to give me visibility in the top 1000 books on Kindle. I’ve had almost 3000 copies downloaded and managed to reach #1 on Kindle Free books in my categories for one blissful day ….. but haven’t made much progress towards the 100 reviews I’d hoped to snag on Amazon by this point. And the NY Times Bestsellers List remains farther in the future than I’d probably like to admit right now.
My spending has been rather modest (the most expensive thing I paid for was an expedited Kirkus review, a la Darcy Chan) and I’m wondering if this has something to do with it. Tyler Perry claims to have gone broke trying to promote his Madea plays in the early days, and bestsellers like John Locke have reportedly spent a pretty penny buying several reviews to generate book buzz.
I haven’t spent anything tangible on buying avertising space on book blogs or targetted websites, and this is something that legacy publishers do quite a bit of. When I think about it, it makes perfect sense – my book has to be visible in order to be bought, and visibility costs money!
So far I’ve been approaching my marketing like a toddler learning to negotiate a staircase – one (small) step at a time. I approached book reviewers ….. and I talked more about my book on social media …. and then I joined Triberr …. and then I made a book trailer …. and then I got on Goodreads ….. and then I put the trailer on a website etc. Today I’ll be reassessing my marketing plan to see whether I can afford to purchase some visibility in a few outlets I’m considering, all at once. A sharp, short, effective campaign might be way more effective in reinforcing to prospective readers that a copy of ‘Getting Some’ a worth a few bucks!
There is one thing that I’ll be changing with my next book, and that’s starting my marketing and promotion campaign sufficiently in advance of publication and then concentrating my promotion and advertising efforts on the first few months after publication.
See you on the bestsellers’ list!