It’s been such a busy time since the book launch party for my debut novel SLUR so I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the position to date and look at what direction I will be heading in next. First, a little bit about the launch party:
I have to be honest and say that if I was to look at the launch party solely in terms of financial gain, then I haven’t recouped the rewards for the efforts that I put in. However, for me it was about more than that. The launch party was a way of celebrating the culmination of many years of effort. It was a really fun couple of days and I want to extend a big thank you to all the people that took part including those that entered the competitions. I’d also like to thank the people that featured the launch on their blogs and helped to get the word out through social media.
Although a novel is the end product in terms of the creative process, it is only the beginning when it comes to promotion. I am therefore viewing the launch party as not only a celebration but also the first step in my promotional efforts for SLUR. This isn’t the first book that I have published but the non-fiction books cater to a different readership so in a way it is like publishing a first book. So at the moment SLUR has to stand alone until I follow it up with more fiction books.
Having said all that, SLUR has made a good start. I had hoped to reach the top 20 in each of the categories I had chosen so that the browsing public could spot my book, but I didn’t quite achieve that. However, at its peak SLUR reached around 11,500 for all paid books on Amazon UK (out of over 2.5 million) and number 76 in one of my chosen categories. So, with a few more sales I would have reached the top 20. I am planning to follow up the launch party with further promotional activities as follows:
Book Signing Event
I will be signing copies of SLUR at my local book shop on Saturday 11th October. The local press have promised to feature the book signing so hopefully this will boost sales.
SLUR is currently being featured as a Goodreads Giveaway where readers can win one of two signed print copies. Here is the link if you would like to enter: http://bit.ly/1vKnLvh. The closing date for entries is 22nd October 2014.
Reviews and Blogs
I haven’t submitted my novel to as many of these as I should but I find it a very time consuming process. I always check the blog or website first to see the type of thing they publish and then send them an email together with details of my book. This invariably takes up some time but unfortunately only about 50% of them reply. Of those that reply, many of them already have lengthy reading lists so they are unable to take on any more work. Therefore, when I am planning promotional activities I tend to find other things to do that are more productive in terms of the time expended. I wonder if anybody else has had this experience.
I’ve decided to run a free promotion on both of my parenting books. Whether this will have any impact on sales of SLUR remains to be seen as the readership is different (as mentioned above). I hope there may be some chance that readers downloading the free parenting books might also spot the novel but, if not, there’s nothing to lose by trying. The promotion applies to Kindle copies and is set to run from 23rd till 25th October.
I’ll be approaching libraries to stock my novel as I did with my parenting books. I don’t think that the appeal will be as nationwide for my novel as it was for the parenting books though. Libraries tend to go for anything regional and with the parenting books there is something for all regions. As my novel is based in Manchester I will concentrate on libraries based in the northwest. I think it is still worth doing because not only are there the initial sales to consider, but also public lending rights as well as getting my name out to a wider network of readers.
Promotion is very much an ongoing process but once I’ve completed the main thrust of activities I’m anxious to get back to some writing. Apart from writing articles and web copy for clients, I haven’t done any other writing for weeks. I’m hoping to publish a blog soon revealing my plans for my next book writing venture. Watch this space!