Lessons Learned #7

What I learned this week is that as a writer, which can be a very lonely vocation, you still need a lot of friends.

As my first novel has disappeared into the Amazon abyss I was looking for ways to promote my book. I have several options.

KDP Select

The first, and most logical one, is to join KDP Select. This is a special group of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, where your book is managed by Amazon. Your book will enter the free online library and will get more exposure that way. You will also earn a greater percentage for every book bought in certain countries (Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico; countries I have not had a single sale in yet). You can have discount deals or free offers. The downfall of this is that you have no say in when or how long these free sales or deals are. Just the fact that you have no say at all over the price of your book doesn’t attract me. I know my book is pretty cheap, but I still like to be in control.

Promotion Websites

The other way to promote your book is to add your book to promotion websites. These websites will advertise your book and direct customers to wherever your book is for sale. Sounds great! Until you read the requirements. Manybooks asks for $25. This may seem like a small amount for a promotion. But if you take in that I already spent £150 to have the book proofread (which is rather a good deal I got, most of them ask for more than £700) and only earn £0.35 per individual sale, I really don’t want to spend a lot more money if I can get out of it. The Fussy Librarian asks for the following ratings before being eligible: 10 reviews and a 5.0 rating , 11 to 19 reviews and a 4.0 rating, or 20 reviews and a 3.5 rating. These can be across the various Amazon countries. So far (globally) I have three 5-star ratings and two 4-star ratings. So The Fussy Librarian is still a bit too fussy for me. Booksends asks for at least 5 reviews, with a high overall average, an attractive cover, and a planned sale price of less than $3 and at least 50% off full price. My dilemma with this one is that my book is already at the minimum price of £0.99. Amazon doesn’t let me make it any cheaper than that.

So, at the moment, I’m between a rock and a hard place. I want to promote my books to get more sales, but I need more sales (and hence reviews) to promote my books.

Friends

That’s when a writer needs friends! Usually the writer vocation is a very lonely one. You sit behind your computer, on your own, most of the time. It has its advantages, like sitting in your pj’s all day and picking your nose whenever you feel like it. But I wouldn’t be able to write all these weird and wonderful stories if I didn’t have any friends. I try not to put any live-experiences of my close friends and relatives in my stories, but over the years they have given me enough ‘subject matter’ to get my creative spirit going. And I am very grateful for that. Otherwise I have never asked them for much, I don’t like to ask for help. I just enjoy their companionship, which is, I hope, mutual. This last week I was brave, got all my courage together, and called for help though. I asked them all to buy my book and give a review. The sales didn’t sky-rocket, but I got a little boost. I now have reviews in the US, the UK, The Netherlands and AUS!

My dear friends, I am hoping that you are enjoying my book (and that you don’t forget to write the review afterwards)!

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