Thursday, April 25, 2013

Noisome Beasts and Self Publishing: FAIL!

Noisome Beasts has been out on the Amazon store for two months. I made a real go of it. I put in some solid time promoting my book. But it didn't work out this go-round. I totally failed at self publishing. In two months, I sold eighteen copies of Noisome Beasts and gave away another four hundred.

That's not bad. But I would not classify it as a complete win.

A big part of it is that Noisome Beasts just isn't great. It isn't! It's the first thing I wrote that was both (A) longer than ten pages, and (B) not a college paper, and it's (C) not exactly... uh... you know. Tight. I still think it's funny, but funny is subjective.

Another part of it is that I may be the worst salesman in the world. Here are more things I'm not good at: social networking, small talk, and home repairs.

For any budding authors interested in Amazon KDP promotions, here are things that are Definitely Supposed to Generate Sales, but didn't for me:
  • Review requests. I contacted 30+ review sites and 30+ Amazon top Amazon reviewers and offered each of them a free copy. No luck!
  • Lots and Lots of Amazon Reviews. I've seen books with 25+ reviews and worse sales than Noisome Beasts. Reviews don't seem to guarantee sales.
  • KDP Free Day promotions. I'm SO glad that people downloaded the book; I want more readers! But I have this sinking suspicion that not many of the freebie downloaders will actually read the book. And, no, I got zero extra sales after both of my promotional periods.
At this point, I'm number six hundred thousand on the Amazon sales list. Five hundred and ninety nine thousand books have to be doing better than me; I bet some of those were self-published. I bet there's some sort of evil secret that I don't know.

If you know it, I'll trade you. I have a really good recipe for chocolate chip pecan cookies.

Happy news: I'm nearly done with the first draft of Psychopomp. I've been writing for five months now. I know that doesn't seem like a long time for a first draft, but balancing writing and working and toddler and cooking and all the little things that have to be done around the house...  my brain is worn out. It's time for a break.  So after I finish, I plan on taking a break for a couple of months (or until I can't NOT write.)

The plan was to self-publish The Dead Rise on the Kindle store; right now, I don't think I want to do that. I don't want it to disappear into the aether too. Back when I queried it, I had some strong interest from a couple of literary agents. I think that after I rework it, I'll try querying it again.

Which might work out as badly as it did the first time around! But we'll see; I can always change my mind later. But I really like The Dead Rise; I want to give it a fair chance.

Almost as much as I want chocolate chip pecan cookies.