I thought I’d post this up just to give some of my impressions of breaking in to the Independent publishing arena. I still have lots to learn and a long way to go but seeing how things are at the beginning of a process can give you deeper insight as to where you might be further down the road. So far, I’ve got two books on my bookshelf. Devil’s Gambit and Two Wheeled Maniac. Both are vastly different books. Devil’s Gambit is a thriller and Two Wheeled Maniac is a travelogue of the last eight years of my motorcycle riding in Canada and the US. I published Devil’s Gambit on December 16th 2014 and Two Wheeled Maniac followed on January 25th 2015. Of the two, TWM was the harder book to format because I’d included pictures, which led me to discover more of the brutal shortcomings of MS Word in its current incarnation. Other differences were; Devil’s Gambit was published on Smashwords and Amazon, TWM was published in Kindle Select, seeing as I had no presence to speak of, the pitfalls of KU were not a worry any reader is welcome at this stage.
In January, I commissioned two promotions for Devil’s Gambit, Twitter based. Interestingly enough my sales dropped to zero for the following week. Early days maybe but it did make my heart falter a little bit. Enough so I got Two Wheeled Maniac figured out and published it. Now DG was put out there in a pretty regular fashion, TWM however, I appraoched the leader of my V-Strom owner’s group and asked if I could mention the book’s publishing on the club page, to which he agreed. He also got on board and started to push my book on the group’s forum. This made a huge difference. I think what adds to that is that I’m active in my club and so I’m always on their feed which keeps the book out there as well. Right now, TWM is outselling Devil’s Gambit by about 1.5:1.
Do I think I’ve seen a return on my investment on the Twitter campaign? I don’t think so but it’s hard to tell. My numbers are steady and rising for DG but it could be just regular discovery and trying a new author at my price point. It’s probably a lot like direct mail where your return from distribution is about 2%. Would I do it again? Probably not but you live and learn and sometimes that costs you a bit of dough to find out.
Reviews though are hard to come by and what’s funny is, TWN is picking up good reviews on the bike forums but only two reviews on amazon (one of which, wasn’t pleased with my personal take on American foreign policy but even that has seemed to drive sales, so who knows?). So it would seem again that one of the real motivators for sales is getting your ass out there and meeting people, even if it is virtual.
So the rough breakdown goes like this.
I sell the most in the US Three times the sales of every other market. This is to be expected, they are after all a populous country. Next is Canada, followed almost neck and neck by the United Kingdom. I have one sale in Australia and to that person I’d like to say thank you.
A recent article said we should treat our sales like an annuity and I couldn’t agree more. A little falling into the pot every day still fills the pot and as you add more trickles to the stream, it all fills a little faster.
In other news, my producer is in LA this week with a bunch of meetings set up around one of my screenplays. It would seem that there’s a chance film is not yet done with me which leaves me with somewhat mixed feelings but I’ll give them credit, they do pay well and I am still at my core a bit of a whore.
Feel free to comment, I’m always interested in what everyone has to say.