MY JOURNEY INTO SELF PUBLISHING PART TEN: SETBACK

My Kindle Countdown Deal turned out to be what my dad would have called ‘a right poor do’.

It’s a promotional tool that allows authors to sell their books at a discount for a limited time. In the case of The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS The Green Bogey, bargain hunting readers had a week to shell out just 99 British pence for the eBook read of a lifetime.

Copies sold?

Two.

Unfortunately – or perhaps not, I can only take so much humiliation – the deal cannot be applied to the paperback version of the book. I reassure myself that, despite mobile devices being glued to youngsters’ hands, physical books are really what children still want. What’s more, there remains the central problem: my novel is like an undiscovered planet. Passing silently through cyberspace it is both there and not there.

On the bright side I have sold 82 copies and made over £100. My plan to reinvest in Kindle advertising has faltered because I am still debating whether or not to buy 10 books as review copies and mail them to appropriate outlets.

Efforts to raise its profile have been fun and not particularly time consuming. Posts on Instagram get Likes but of course it’s impossible to tell if any of them convert to sales.

One thing I have learnt – social media and significant dates have a tight relationship. If, for example, it’s Mother’s Day and you can make your book relevant to it, take advantage of the hashtags and try to get noticed within the conversation.

And another: marketing a self published book is a slow burn and relies on skills that have to be learned. This is true of most conventionally published authors, too, and just like the writing itself, you have to believe that you can do it well enough to make people engage.

Of course, when I am fiddling about designing I may be enjoying myself but I am not writing the sequel. One thing that is becoming clear is that a series of books would be helpful – if they are any good they will cross promote each other.

So now I have started to put time aside for The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. Santa Claws with a view to having it ready for Christmas shoppers. It’s a tall order. I do not regard myself as a rapid writer.

But at least I have a plot focusing on a Blackwater resident who becomes the mother of all evil Father Christmases; and I am looking forward to having child genius, Dinkesh, introduce Bumbling-Boy to his latest anti-crime invention: the BeeMX rocket powered bicycle.

BTW – here’s a tip. If you are very selective with the sales data presented on amazon you can often isolate encouraging numbers like these. When the desire to keep on writing fades they can be as meaningful as they are meaningless.

The book has only been on sale for a month. Things can only get better…

See how easily I have been given a boost?

To infinibee and beeyond!

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Author: Mark Gorton

I am a television producer making things for screens large and small. In my spare time I write, with a particular interest in fantastic fiction and sport non-fiction. It is an honour to host Samantha Kwok's local news site, the Blackwater Bugle. Blackwater never ceases to amaze.

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