Sixty days have passed since self-publishing my novel, Love, Lies & Clones. I posted about my lessons learned in the first 30 days HERE. I wanted to focus on the second 30 days with this post. They have been PAINFUL!
Remember my writing goal? All I want is for people to READ what I’ve wrote (and enjoy it.) Writing is completely a hobby so I’m not trying to make any money doing it, but I did want to share the economics during this journey. (I still say writing is not an expensive hobby. Try being a triathlon addict. One race can set you back a few thousand dollars…plus the equipment? Ouch.)
Here’s just a quick overview of the first 30 days (December 16 until January 15) as a reminder:
- Expenses: $389
- Net Income for first 30 days: $95
- Profit/Loss: $-294
For the first 30 days, I had my book priced at 99 cents with a goal of gaining readers (since I’m a new author.) Here’s my sales:
- 63 eBooks (Profit of $21)
- 18 paperbacks (remember, it’s for sale in my parent’s zoo.)
I decided that I wanted to try a kindle countdown deal and to do so, I needed to raise the price to $2.99 for 30 days. I knew that raising the price would decrease the number of sales. (In fact, I thought I wouldn’t get any!)
So, how did the next 30 days go?
I had already tested some advertising while my book was priced at 99 cents with minimal success, so I decided I wouldn’t do any paid advertising, except Amazon Marketing Service (AMS) Ads while it was priced at $2.99. I wanted to save my advertising dollars for a Kindle Countdown Deal. I’ll post about that next week.
So… With nothing more than my routine blogging, a facebook and twitter post or two, and the AMS Ads, here’s my sales:
- 13 eBooks (Profit of $26.52)
- 5 paperbacks (Profit of $13.95) My parent’s zoo is closed for the season.
Note how, despite selling 50 less books, I made more money. (Unfortunately, my main goal is to have people read the book, not make money. This is the part that has been painful. I’ll go a two or three or more days in a row without a single sale.)
Just this past weekend, a local book club decided to make Love, Lies & Clones their March book read. (Thank you) That accounted for 4 sales so far. (2 paperbacks and 2 ebooks)
My Expenses This Month: $4.63 on AMS Ads. (Plus, all the paid promos for my countdown deal, but those expense will be deferred until my next post.) So, my balance sheet:
- Expenses: $394
- Net Income for first 30 days: $135
- Profit/Loss: $-259
Lesson’s Learned This Month:
Mailing List: A mailing list is SO important. Not only does it help you reach out to your readers, it also qualifies you for some promotional opportunities that work (Newsletter swaps). BUT to participate, many of them require huge mailing lists. What I should have done is started building this list a year ago. Offered a freebie through instafreebies or My Book Cave way back then. I have yet to send a newsletter out and I may still change my mind on this.
Amazon Rank: You’re undiscovered unless you rank in the top 100 of your category. Preferably top 20. On my release, I should have thrown more money into advertising, even if I know it wouldn’t come back immediately. I’m spending about $200 on my Kindle Countdown. We’ll see if that is a good figure, or if it should be less…or more.
Author Interviews: These take time and at this stage in the game, I’ve seen very little (if any) success. I am doing a guest blog post this week and we’ll see if that has a little more impact.
Kindle Unlimited Page Reads: I thought the higher price would bring in Kindle Unlimited Page Reads — It didn’t.
Amazon Book Page: I continue to fine tune my page on Amazon. I’ve tweaked my blurb (using bold and adding in review comments), checked my reviews (I have 15 of them, averaging 4.8 out of 5 stars), and tried to figure out what is not making people click the purchase button. The only thing I can think to do to attract more readers is change the cover…but will that even help if they don’t find you in the first place?
Today starts my Kindle Countdown Deal, where Love, Lies & Clones is only 99 Cents. I have the following promotional sites booked. I’m not expecting to earn my investment back, but I hope half of it. I’ll talk about my reasoning when I post the outcome. Stay tuned for a recap of what worked, and what didn’t.
- 2/16 – Book Barbarian ($20) & My Book Cave-All Week Exposure ($20)
2/17 – eReader News Today ENT ($30) & Sweet Free Books ($7) & My Newsletter will go out.
2/18 – Book Sends / eReader IQ ($35)
2/19 – Guest blog for Mystery Thriller Week (I wrote an article about using medications as murder weapons) (Free), HeadTalker Campaign (Free), & a few Ask David Tweets ($2 – Maybe)
2/20 – eReader Cafe ($25) & a few more Ask David Tweets ($1 maybe)
2/21 – Free Kindle Books & Tips FKBT ($30)
2/22 – Bargain Booksy $50
Again, thanks for sharing this journey with me. Until next time.
Feel free to share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments.