On April 17th I changed the status of my Nook digital book in order to be able to enroll in KDP Select. My book hadn't moved at all on the Nook, after all. It hadn't really moved on the Kindle either, after all my friends and relatives - or the ones who wanted - bought my book online, I had only had one sale (a nice man and author who replied to my post on the KPD forum.
Apart from that, my book was dead.
I confess my plan is not (nor has it ever been) to live off my books. It's a nice dream, that's for sure, but realistically, all I wanted was for people to read it and hopefully like it.
The fact that my fanbase is non-existent was not going to stop me from publishing more books. The fact that I get bad reviews, though discouraging, is not going to stop me from publishing more books. I love writing and I love my stories and there may be people out there that enjoy them just like I do.
My best friend, who obviously loves me, wanted me to keep my book available for sale for $2.99 until July (a total of 6 months), and then reduce the price to 99 cents, and then... free. I usually follow my best friend's advice because I know she wants what's best for me, but I came to realize that no one will spend $2.99 on an unknown author. I don't even have an author page yet! (I should get on that).
This is how, from April 26th to April 30th, my book was free on Kindle Select. Only five days... that's as much as they give you. My book now is 99 cents, but having it for free brought more people to click the download button. I'm sure than from those people only 10% will actually read the book, eventually, and I can only hope one of those readers will leave a review. What I wouldn't give for a review, even if it's a bad one - and I hope it's not.
I believe the free book must be on top of the list when it first become available for free. I can tell by the number of readers who downloaded it the first day versus the rest of the days.
Sure, it still isn't a lot of people, but once I start the next enrollment period in July, my book will become free once again for five days. At some point, someone will have to read it. Right?
It's been two months since I published my first book, the first part in my N.A.V.S.A. series (North American Vampire Secret Agency). So far, only one person I don't know has bought the book.
It is sad, but true... I bet there's many authors out there who publish their books and months after they had no sales.
My best friend suggested I start the book at $2.99 for at least 6 months, but what good is it to have it there for the world to buy if they don't know who I am or what's going on?
I finally yielded.
I took my book off Nook (which has given me even worse sales than Kindle = zero), and enrolled in KDP select.
At this point, I am willing to just give people my book for free. I need a following. Other people who like the supernatural the way I like it. My stories are fun, at least I know I love them. I read them over and over because I can't find these stories no where else! I know I'm an amateur and I do not have an editor, but that will come in time.
But people can't give me a chance if I make it so hard for them to try... so, I am starting on KPD Select. A few weeks from now, I'll offer my book for free.
We'll see how it goes.
As for my next published work. It's coming along. It's a collection of 5 short stories. I've revised 2 out of 5 in two months. I think it should be released at the end of the summer. Probably direct to KDP Select.
This is the first website I am trying in my attempt to market my book. The Indie Book Lounge.
It's free unless you want special advertising.
I created an account, filled basic information, like my name, my website, my facebook author page, twitter (although I don't have that) and something called LMUPG (which stands for Look Me Up On Google - a service to create an online presence... I don't have that either).
Then it asks for a profile picture and an author description.
When you're done with the basics it will ask you to start uploading book information.
Basically you just type the name and Kindle address, Nook address, paperback address, and other sales address.
You choose if your book is Free, costs less than one dollar (or just leave that part blank if it's over a dollar).
You will type a description of your book and upload a cover picture.
Then you mark it as "active" and your done.
If I look for my book title on the search field, it looks like this:
There you can see my book as a "Bargain" book because it costs $0.99. If it were free it would have that red "Free" symbol and if it has nothing then it means it is over a dollar.
This website also has a paid advertising plan.
It is vary basic, with $4 advertising for one day, $10 for three days and $20 for one week.
I think I will see how sales increase (or if they increase at all) before spending any money in ads. I know Kindle also has an advertising program and, if I am thinking about spending money on this, my first try would probably be amazon directly first.
We'll see how it works!
I will update this post when I have more information - If I ever do ;)
My second project in the works to be published is a collection of short stories. I am now revising the stories, since I've not looked at them in over a decade, before a final edit and then... publish!
I have finished revising the second short story - out of a total of five - in this collection.
The story's name is "Why Can't I Be Here?" and it's, like the others, a Fantasy tale.
This story was inspired by someone I know. I girl who has a childish voice, just like one of the characters of the story. It all started from there and then "Why Can't I Be Here?" came into existence.
I can't wait for everyone to read it!
While looking around the web for places I can advertise my book, I came across this wonderful blog post from James Calbraith. I am now in search for places to make myself know enough for people to take a chance with my book, and maybe... maybe even write a good review!
Take a look at this wonderful list compiled by Mr. Calbraith. I don't know him, but I know he must be an amazing person and fantasist! :)
After two months of being on the market, I can definitely say that I need marketing.
No stranger has bought my book.
One of the reasons I think this is, is because my book is expensive for an unknown author who may write trash.
So, my first step is to lower the price of my book.
Sure, friends and family encouraged me to sell it for more than $0.99, but let's get real. They are, after all, my friends and family. So, I have gone to Nook and Kindle and changed my price from $2.99 to $0.99.
This change will take a few hours (up to 72 hrs) to be displayed on the eStores, so in the meantime, I have at least uploaded a profile picture. You can now see it on my blog. Right there.
I am not photogenic or extroverted, and you can understand how this is a HUGE step for me. But I do want people to experience my books, so sacrifices must be made.
Next, I am researching forums and places I can announce my book.
Yes, just announce it.
After that, we'll go from there.
Stay tuned to see how it goes!
Once I read an article where they talked about Isaac Asimov, one of my favorite authors of all time.
One thing that caught my eye in this article was this:
"All creatives-be they entrepreneurs, writers, or artists-know the fear of giving shape to ideas. Once we bring something into the world, it's forever naked to the rejection and criticism by million of angry eyes.
Sometimes, after publishing an article, I am so afraid that I will actively avoid all comments and email correspondence...
This fear is the creative's greatest enemy. In "The Art of War", Steven Pressfield gives the fear a name.
He calls it "resistance"."
Then it goes to explain how Isaac Asimov felt this resistance, too.
All writers feel it, I suppose.
Your baby, your creation, exposed for the whole world to see. A part of you, of your soul there for people to judge and critique.
Not everyone will love what you write, but I do believe there has to be an audience for everything, just like there is someone out there for every one.
I am hopeful.
When I was in High School, I read the book "Nine Tomorrows" by Isaac Asimov. Back then the book was hard to get because it was out of print, but I managed to get my hands on it anyway. It was required reading, after all. I forget why.
Inside this book, there are nine short stories by Isaac Asimov. The first one is called "Profession" and it is one of my favorite stories of all time.
Ever since reading this collection of short stories I became an instant Isaac Asimov fan.
One thing that has always caught my attention when reading Isaac Asimov is that his writing is very simple. His vocabulary usage is not too complex and yet, his ideas are.
One thing that I have learned about Isaac Asimov is that, when writing, I shouldn't worry too much about which words I use or how complicated my sentences need to be. More than that, I should focus in telling my story. Of course that having a good enough vocabulary helps, but only because it lets you explain or describe what is going on, where your characters are and how they are feeling... or why they are doing what they are doing now and why they will change next.
If anything, Isaac Asimov showed me to do it! It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be a work of art. More than anything, it's just about a person with an idea wanting the rest of the world know about it because, to the author, it's an amazing thing to experience.
Today, I read this tweet by Rowling:
“Even if it isn’t the piece of work that finds an audience, it will teach you things you could have learned no other way. (And by the way, just because it didn’t find an audience, that doesn’t mean it’s bad work.)”
She was answering a tweet from a fan who didn't want to give up writing.
I would imagine J.K. Rowling is an inspiration to a lot of writers. Not all, of course. There's people for everything. But, at least she is one of mine.
I am a Harry Potter fan. I love to read about magic and amazing things and worlds. When I write, I write fantasy. In my case, I love exploring about vampires, werewolves, witches, mutants... I love them all! But, even when I love magic, that's not the only reason why I love Harry Potter. Part of it is the way the books are written. They invite you to want to read them. They are fun and interesting. The characters are people. The situations can be funny or smart or sad or unfair. This is, in part, why I love Harry Potter (and yes, the magic).
J.K. Rowling inspires me because she took an idea, made her wonderful and inspired others to read.
Now, I am not J.K. Rowling. Nor will I ever be. My stories, while about magic, will never have her magic. It doesn't matter. Just knowing that someone is able to do what she does makes me want to try.
I read this tweet today and I thought about my book. My one book that I have published. My one book no stranger had ever read. The only books I've sold are to people I know. I am a nobody. I am still a nobody. Partly, it is my fault. I don't advertise. I don't make an effort to meet communities who could be interested in my stories. I don't promote the book. I haven't spent a dime doing it, either.
Instead, I have a poor blog with barely any posts.
That doesn't mean I have given up. I will keep writing. I will keep publishing. J.K. Rowling is right! Not all books are for everybody. Maybe I do have a niche. A niche so small I haven't found it yet (nor have they found me). I am still young and I will keep writing and publishing and who knows... anything can happen.