Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Things I've Already Learned Self Publishing

Well, after Monday's huge, earth shattering premiere of my new kindle-only novelette I learned several things rather quickly.

* That "if you build it, they will come" thing might be true for baseball fields, but if it happens for ebooks it might take a bit longer than two days.

* Speaking of slow, my book description had a small typo, I quickly updated it and 48 hours later it still hasn't changed. Weird.

* I bought and read the story again. It's weird, what I put up was way more awesome than what I read. I think Amazon monkeyed with my file to make it more lame. It's the only explanation I could think of.

* That single sale, from myself, put me up to around #100,000 on the kindle sales chart. which could only mean there were nearly a million other books that sold nothing that day.

* I can't one hundred percent confirm this, but I'm pretty sure that Cindy Borgne was my first sale (Edit - as Mike pointed out in the comments below, he did purchase a copy as well, it is possible that he was the first person to purchase. It's only fair that I thank you both). Thanks Cindy, for throwing me that bone.

* I spent about 4 hours staring at my stats page, hitting refresh every 15 seconds or so. I could have cared less before I put the thing up, now, each hour that passes that I don't have a sale I take it personal. I need to just get over that. It was an unexpected feeling from me. I'm not used to feeling entitled to stuff.

* I'm glad I've got that under my belt. But I do have other commitments. I suppose I need to get to work on those.

Um, that's about it I suppose. I hope everyone is having a good week.


Tonja said...

I bet what you just said here is exactly what everyone feels when they do this the first time. I can't wait. :)) I think you should do ANYTHING except look at the stats.

Rogue Mutt said...

I check my stats every morning. If it's below 70,000 or so then I know I sold one recently. I get a bigger buzz when I see the paperback is at less than a million. At the time I'm typing this the eBook is at 47,000 and the paperback at 920,000. Yay, me!

Anyway, you have to keep plugging away on Twitter, Blogger, Facebook and so forth if you want to sell some. Also go to the Kindle message boards and announce it on a thread there--usually there are threads for people to pimp their books.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Send me the link and I'll plug it for you on Friday! Is it available for the iPad yet? I do have a Kindle app, but it's easier to buy direct from iTunes.
Yeah, not sure what happens between the time we make our last correction and the actual publication of the book...

Matthew MacNish said...

Hah! That would really suck if Amazon was sabotaging e-books.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Yeah, there are far too many variables to get into in a comment re traditional vs. self-publishing, but let it be said that, on the whole, traditional publishers devote almost zero dollars in the way of promoting new authors as well. Still, we tried self-publishing once, and gave it up. Unless you've got an established following, or a spare fortune to invest in marketing, making a living there is the longest of longshots. Nonetheless, good luck man.

Michael Offutt said...

Hey...I bought one too. And I'm reading it.

Rusty Webb said...

Tonja - well then, it's good to know I'm not alone.

Rogue - well congrats are in order. I'll try to stop checking my stats. I'll think I'm done with it for the day and the thought will occur to me, what if I just sold 200 copiessince the last time I checked? Maybe it's exploding into a phenom and I'm totally unaware? Wow. Maybe I need to go check my numbers again.

Alex - not on iTunes yet, will probably work on that through Smashwords this weekend. Amazon is a tougher transaction than the iBookstore, but their library is way better. I'll send a link this evening. Thanks.

Matthew - wouldn't it? I may have given myself a nightmare.

Beer - long time no see. Your right, I think the non
porn half of the Internet is now deeply mired in the debate. Borders disappearing is making things start
to look even tougher vIa the traditional route though. I'm just dipping my toes in to see how it feels.

Michael - sorry, I wrote that post early yesterday when my stats only showed the one (excluding my own) sale. It showed up right after Cindy commented to let me know she just purchased it. I'll try to amend that statement tonight to reflect the recent explosion of new sales, your purchase has now doubled my stats. Awesome.

mooderino said...


Moses Siregar III said...

Seriously though, congrats!

I remember when that happened to me a year ago after I released my novella. It took me a week or two to adjust. They say (and they are always right) the most important thing is to keep writing. I believe that.

Also find reviewers through Twitter, FB, and LibraryThing (though LibraryThing is a tougher crowd).

Did you get your description fixed yet? Make sure to use the same method you used before (either KDP or Author Central). It took me a long time to update mine once, because I didn't realize I needed to use Author Central to update it. But if all you did was use KDP, then you should be able to use that again.

Andrew said...

I swear I'm going to buy it as soon as I figure out about this kindle app for the PC. I just haven't had time, yet. I'd rather just buy a Kindle, but, well... that takes some money I don't have. Especially since we're going to have to be investing in a new fridge soon.

Rusty Webb said...

mooderino - thanks, I'll hang in there.

Moses - Wow. Thrilled you stopped by. I did get the description fixed. Turns out it was user error after all. Thanks for the tip. My author profile is screwed up of course, but I'm dealing with just one thing at a time right now.

Andrew - too funny. It's also sad that I've sold so few copies that I know exactly who all my customers are. I dream of a day when someone who has no idea who I am buys a copy.

Laila Knight said...

Way cool! You got a sale. I'll be that feels awesome...should have done it a while back, huh? :)

Andrew said...

You know, I know who bought almost every copy I've sold of House. When I do have an unaccounted for sale, I spend time wondering who in the world could have bought it. heh

Ellie Garratt said...

You had a sale on Sunday. I bought a copy! I've also given it a shout-out on my blog today.

Thanks for sharing your journey into the ebook universe with us.You had a sale on Sunday. I bought a copy! I've also given it a shout-out on my blog today.

Thanks for sharing your journey into the ebook universe with us.