The month in review…

The Secret Dead has now been published for a month, and I’m pretty pleased with its progress. I haven’t had huge sales — around 25 at last count — but for a book by an unknown author that’s had almost zero marketing, I don’t think that’s too bad. I have hardly told anyone IRL that the book is out, so at least 22 of those are genuine sales.

I have also been lucky enough to only have had positive reviews and feedback so far, which has been a godsend for my admittedly delicate ego.

The mailing list is now up and running, as is my website (thanks Jo!).

As far as marketing goes, I had an eBookSoda email go out earlier in the month, and I had a small increase in sales that was probably due to that. I also had a post in the Kboards Book Bazaar that’s had a good number of views, but it’s impossible to tell if any have resulted in sales.

I’ve mostly been concentrating on trying to gain reviews, and have submitted to a number of different review sites, as well as posting in Goodreads Reviewers Groups. This has gone surprisingly well. There’s such a tsunami of self-published stuff out there that I thought this would be an uphill battle, but I’ve had a lot of positive responses.

For any newbie writers out there, I have one tip regards review sites: Read and obey the review policy. Almost all the reviewers who came back with a positive response thanked me for following their review policy, and commented that almost no one did.

The only negative thing about the review thing is that I have been horrified by the number of dodgy review sites out there. I knew book reviews could be bought, and the whole thing can be pretty murky, but it’s been a real eye-opener. There are a lot more people behaving badly out there than I realised. (*naïve emoticon*).

Something peculiar about Goodreads was that at one point I had more people adding my book as ’currently reading’ than I actually had sales. Not an exceptional number, but enough that it was odd. I’ve since concluded that this might be down to it being distributed to Flipkart (for which Smashwords hasn’t yet reported to me), as this is big in India and a good proportion of my GR readers are Indian. Hopefully I’ll get some good news when the reporting comes in.

The biggest problem this month has been….

~avoiding checking the KDP sales report a zillion times a day

~avoiding checking Goodreads/Amazon/B&N for new reviews a zillion times a day

~the ever present distraction/awesomeness that is tumblr

Frustrating things:

~With the exception of two people who tweeted at me about it, someone on GR, and the three I know were friends and family, I have no idea how any of the buyers came across the book.

~Because KDP doesn’t report on samples, I have no idea if TSD is relatively invisible or everyone’s just downloading samples and hasn’t read it yet. (I have a bad habit of downloading dozens of samples, then purging the non-buys and buying the ones I want in one go. I suspect a lot of people may do that).

So what’s next?

~My Librarything giveaway attracted 76 readers. Hopefully, some of them will put reviews up during the next few weeks.

~FK Books and Tips will be featuring TSD on New Release Saturdays on the 17th.

~TSD will be on Jen Twimom’s site for the Sunday Snippet on the 19th (This will feature an excerpt not in the sample if you’re still on the fence)

Other than that, the focus will be on finishing my next book. So watch this space!



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