Well, here we are: one week on from the launch of The Scarred God – that’s my first novel.
I asked a quick question of my twitter followers on whether they would be interested in me posting about my Indie publishing adventure so far and I was quite surprised at the interest level. It’s been a long time since I did any kind of writing posts as I felt a bit like I should leave that to more successful friends but it is very nice to have company on the journey.
Here are my top five takeaways from the first week:
- My social media presence really made a difference. 99% of my sales for all four of my indie launches have come from my social media or my email list and I picked up new sales from social media signal boosting from my network. Thank you. It’s evident that building this relationship with the audience is really beneficial – that’s what the better author newsletters do – and it’s also really rewarding. I hope to do more here.
- The US market is incredibly price sensitive. I had an initial flurry of sales, largely from signal boosting from friends (see above), but though the boosting continued, these slowed right down once the price went up. Meanwhile, if you have American friends who love fantasy…please tell them about my book**. 🙂
- Launches are hard work and time intensive. When I launched my short stories, I ran soft launches and I just wanted to have the stories out there where they could gain a bit of traction. I wanted to take a different approach with the novel and booked time off the dayjob to do this. I still managed to undercook the amount of effort.***This approach wasn’t feasible with the amount of manual effort and the other things I have going on so I am going to aggressively automate. Failing that, I will need to get help for launch week.
- Amazon Ads have some significant user challenges. I say this as someone who spent a long time as a digital marketer. It is problematic if you can’t even get ads to serve or that you cannot reliably win the auction based on bid alone or see if conversions in KU are being driven by the ads. The latter point seems particularly silly. If I have missed a way of doing this, please feel free to disabuse me of this notion.
- Indie print has an odd workflow. I couldn’t work out how to use my own ISBN successfully with a UK registration and so wound up using Amazon’s. The approval cycle is much longer and so this took a while. I won’t try to duel launch in both formats again until Amazon sorts this out. I was also surprised how many people have wanted a paperback copy. Thank you!
As things stand, this is my most successful launch by some margin but I’m more interested in if I can gain a steady set of sales long term and can make the launch process smoother.
I need to continue promote this book and finish the second draft of the next one. Busy, busy.
Bye for now.
*My newsletter sign-up is below. You can also gain access to an exclusive story set in the world of The Scarred God called The Lost Pilgrim. You’re welcome to sign on, download, and sign off, if you don’t want to be on the newsletter.
**The Scarred God is available from Amazon on this link: mybook.to/TheScarredGod
***There are psychological reasons why I released the book now rather than wait. I will explain these in a subsequent post.