Friday, February 6, 2015

Around the self-publishing world in 60 days

It's been two months since the release of Rite of Rejection so it's time for another look at where I'm sitting with my goals.

First, a little housekeeping. I wanted to say thank you for all your kind words on Wednesday's post about paying with kindness. It was a little more touchy-feely than my usual posts, and I appreciate you all going there with me.

Second, I sent out my February newsletter this week and it had two exclusive bonus scenes inside. If you aren't on the mailing list yet, and don't want to miss out all the magic, be sure to sign up!

And now, on to the goals. Here's a quick refresher of my pre-publication goals:


1. Hit 50 Amazon reviews in first month (Goal achieved, woohoo!)
2. Make back my investment in three months
3. Sell 1,000 books in six month

We are now a month away from my second goal of recouping my initial investment. When I posted my expenses back in December, they totaled a little over $900. Since then I had additional expenses (as I expected) to cover the author copies I purchased and my blog tour prizes. My expenses now sit at just under $1200. This may increase again as I'm thinking about getting some bookmarks made, but I'm holding off on that for now.

At this point, I'm feeling pretty good about hitting this goal in the next month. I have a paid speaking gig next week and I'm counting that towards my book income since the book is the only reason I was invited. This is easy to attribute with only one book, but in the future I may have to figure out a different way to label this in my records.

With that speakers fee I will almost recoup my total expenses. So long as book sales don't fall off a cliff, I'm pretty confident I can hit this goal.

Goal number three is the one that has me a little nervous. To date, I've sold a little over 400 books. Don't get me wrong, I think this is fantastic. And if you do the math, it would be easy to think that hitting 1,000 with four more months to go should be easy. The problem is you can't use past performance to project future sales. It just doesn't work that way. I can hope that sales remain steady and do my part to keep them that way, but there's no crystal ball for this sort of thing.

Which brings me to marketing efforts. I really put this on hold after the holidays so I could focus some much needed energy on my agency clients and allow myself to unwind after the hustle of release month, traveling and the holidays. But now it's time to get back in the saddle.

I've been lining up some guest posts that should come out shortly and I'm hoping that will draw some new attention to the book. I am also anticipating a high profile review soon, though I don't have a firm date. I don't want to share more details on that just in case it doesn't come through, but I will let you guys know as soon as it's posted.

In my blog post on Netgalley, I mentioned reaching out to the reviewers on the site who indicated they would like to make contact. I've been working on getting them all into a spreadsheet (you know how I love spreadsheets) and coming up with an introductory email to send them. Hopefully, that will generate some guest posts/interviews/exposure.

For PR, I dropped the ball big time when it came to press releases. I let myself get behind and didn't send out a single press release when the book came out. No one's perfect, I'm far from it. So on the docket is getting press releases written up for all the schools I attended, organizations I've been a part of and several local media outlets.

So those are my big efforts at the moment. I'm trying not to plan for too much since I'm still trying to finish the first draft of the next book. Eventually, I'll need to start planning the marketing efforts behind that release. The fun never ends.

How are your writing goals going for the year? If you're hitting your goals, share some tips. If you're missing the mark, share some strategies for getting back on track. We all need a little helping hand to succeed.

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