State of Sales Report

You get a twofer threefer today for the blog tour, as poor H.C. Palmquist had some nasty computer problems yesterday!  Sam, H.C.’s cat, interviews me here.  And I’m talking about my writing process with N.L. Gervasio who’s crossposted both at Unclouded Perspicacity (she gets major props for finding a place to actually use the word “perspicacity”) and Forever Nocturne (which seems to be having technical difficulties, so you’ll want to try UP first Fixed now!).  And the awesome C.J. Redwine is home from surgery and starting to feel BETTER! Woo! I’m talking about how writing a book is like baking bread over at her blog.

I am off work today as hubby has his follow up at the doctor and, frankly, I just needed a day off.  I have concluded that 7:15 is a way more reasonable time to rise during the week, as opposed to 5:40.  At least it is daylight.  I’d actually planned to sleep until 8, but Callie woke me up for potty and breakfast, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep.  C’est la vie. This way I have time for workout and tea before taking hub to doc.

So the tour hasn’t been having much effect in the way of sales.  I didn’t really think that sales were going to explode, but I did expect SOME upturn.  So far there’s been none.  I’ve sold 7 copies since the start of May, for a cumulative total of 48.  I’ve totally exhausted my “You’ll buy it because you love me” crowd.  Not a single sale since Friday, and NO response to my blog contest, which surprised me.  Granted, it is running through the month of May, so maybe more folks will check it out.  C’mon!  $10 Amazon gift card, people!  I keep hoping the people I know who have already read it will just take the time to pop over and review.  But maybe they didn’t like it and are being nice enough not to share that fact.  I suppose I’d rather get slower reviews than bad ones.

I think it is fair to revise my assessment of what I might achieve by this tour.  I might make it to 100 copies sold.  I might make it closer to getting 20 reviews.  I think the biggest thing that I can expect is that more people will have heard of me, and I’ll have expanded my internet foot print.  That was largely the point of the tour from a long run point of view.  Unless the blogs I visited go belly up, these posts are out there forever.  I feel like I’m doing a decent job of sounding amusing or erudite, which will hopefully make people wander over here or to Twitter or elsewhere to check me out.

In other promo news, I’m having more visits to the sample page and more downloads of the sample on Smashwords.  If those people are anything like me, they will download stuff and eventually get around to reading them, so maybe a few of those will turn into sales.

I also discovered Freado, which allowed me to make a nifty widget with everything under the sun about my book.  It’s got some nice autotweet features and a sample, reviews, summary, purchase points, etc.  So far it hasn’t resulted in any sales, but this is about visibility, right?  Being that wordpress doesn’t like javascript, it doesn’t show up right here.

Pot suggested I do some limited time only giveaways with 100% off coupons at Smashwords, so I might do that later today when I’m actually conscious at some peak Twitter hours.

I’m having to remind myself that this was NOT about sales.  It’s about building a readership, which I am very slowly doing.  The responses I have received have been overwhelmingly positive about the book itself and the world I’m creating, so I still feel like Forsaken By Shadow will gradually do what it was intended to do: get people interested enough to keep reading.

I just need to keep my focus on the next release.  I think my very realistic goal at this point is to have broken even on my copyright and cover costs for FBS by the time I release Revelation. That’s conservative and realistic.

10 thoughts on “State of Sales Report

  1. I’ll read it next– I promise! I have time before my next blog tour book, I just have to finish what I’m reading first. Could I email you a few questions after I read it? I promise they won’t be marathon questions:) I’ll post my review on Amazon too when I’m done, and Goodreads if that helps.

    On the length… really? I read the weirdest things in reviews sometimes. I didn’t know people had a preferred length. Hmmmm….odd. Hang in there:) You have a good plan, and you are doing what you need to do. It will all be good…

  2. When I first released Kept as a freebie the plan was that I would get a whole bunch of newsletter subscribers that way and I’d build my “list.” It was dismaying to discover what a low percentage of people who downloaded and ostensibly read the book… actually subscribed to the newsletter after.

    So it’s a lot of trial and error. And sometimes things don’t happen as fast as you expect or want. Like right now I’m about to flip out because my book under my other name isn’t selling super well on the kindle and I know it’s a good book. Best thing I’ve written and everybody who reads it agrees.

    Part of that is that it’s easy for me to forget that things start VERY slowly. And I had more of a platform as Zoe when I first released Kept and my other pen name is not nearly as vocal and “out there.”

    So that makes a difference too.

    1. You definitely have a wider platform than I do. You’re much more out there and vocal on a lot of big blogs. I generally…am not. I do well here and on Twitter, but I don’t have a lot of time to spend on the rest of the blogverse generally, so I’m not as well known in that way.

  3. Sorry the blog tour isn’t generating sales. That’s too bad, but your name is getting out there more. Unfortunately, I’m in the “going to buy this, just haven’t gotten to it” camp…so you will have another sale eventually, when I remember to do it. My apologies for taking so dang long. If it makes you feel any better, Zoe’s “Kept” is on the list too. I’ll buy them both from Smashwords. 😉

    I’m lazy – so I tend not to enter any contest that requires me to “do stuff” aside from leaving a comment to win. And I have to say, I don’t really like the idea of people being “bribed” to leave reviews with contest prizes. But that’s just me. I’ve been wanting to get in the habit of leaving good reviews on Amazon for books that I like, because I know it helps the author, so I’ll leave you a review once I read the novella (back to that “lazy” thing again). No prize necessary. 🙂

    Have you and Zoe thought about swapping excerpts to put in the back of each other’s works, ala Joe Konrath? Might be a way to help each other out, even with slowish sales…

    Good luck – here’s hoping sales pick up soon!

    1. Yep, that’s the plan with her next release.

      I wasn’t EXACTLY trying to bribe folks (I’m not demanding GOOD reviews :D), but just trying to give them some incentive to actually ACT. So many folks (myself included) always have good intentions but never actually get around to making the review. So I was hoping this would motivate.

  4. I apologize if you have addressed this already, and maybe it’s too obvious – but are you targeting online forums, etc. where fans of your genre hang out? If you’re not already – my advice is to go to your potential fans – don’t wait for them to find you.


    1. Oh yeah, I’ve targeted a number of them. But there’s only so much you can say and do on them without turning into one of those annoying self promo people who don’t ever participate for any other reason, and my time is limited.

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