So… Nightfall was published and ready to be loved.
The world was soon to be my oyster.
Getting the First Copy
The moment had arrived.
The moment I had waited for more than three years.
From the blank page and the flickering cursor of Word through the endless hours researching, writing and editing.
After all my work, it had finally happened. I finally had a copy of my book in my hands.
I was sitting in a coffee shop on my lunch break, and wifey handed me the package that had arrived that day. Luckily, wifey had resisted the urge to open it up, saving it for me (Yeah… she’s awesome).
Anyway, I digress.
I opened up the package, and there it was. The very first ‘proof’ copy I would receive.
It was a great moment (apart from the misprinted cover, which for some reason only had the front cover with a white spine and back). But, aside from that, it was ready.
In hindsight, I was nowhere near as thorough as I should have been with reviewing the proof, figuring I had proof read as much as I could over the past few years. Looking back, I should have done a full check, and I will with future works. But, as I’m sure you can imagine, the excitement was just too much.
So I sent the approval through, and I was on the way…
Within a few days… there it was - available to buy.
I was energised, but nervous. For now the entire world could finally discover their new favourite book (wink, wink).
On Kindle Direct Publishing (the Amazon page that lets you track your eBook sales), I was able to see how many people were buying the book.
The book launched at about 11:00am (West Australian Time), and I waited for the first sale. I could barely contain myself. But, as the hours ticked by, and no one had bought, I was a little sullen. Sure, I hadn’t done much promotion work, (save for a Facebook page), but surely it would be enough right?
Finally, after nearly seven hours, the little line that indicated a sale went up.
I had my first sale (thanks to wifey’s mum).
Then … over the next few days, more and more sales trickled in. It was only about one a day, but at least it was something. But the numbers we nowhere near where I wanted them to be.
So, I decided to take some action.
Marketing, marketing… and more marketing.
Probably the biggest lesson I’ll take away from this experience is that of marketing and promotion.
When a traditional publisher takes a risk on an author, they put their full weight behind them - organising book signings, printed copies, adverts, social media posts… the works. And from there, they sell books – lots of them.
The struggle for an independent writer such as myself is quite… let’s say… confronting. To sell books and get your ideas and stories into other people’s hands, you need to do everything mentioned above. And, even when you spend the money and do what traditional publishers do, it may not work.
And it was further hindered by the fact that I don’t really have any marketing training. So, I’ve been learning as I go.
Amazon has some great methods to advertise on the site, and there are any number of different Independent book promoters on the ‘net. So far, some have worked, where others were just a waste of time.
But, there’s also another aspect of the writing world that authors need to come to terms with – Selling Yourself.
Who is Peter B. Hoole?
That is probably the first question that most people ask when they see a book. Who is the author? And why should I spend my hard earned on what they want to say rather than someone else. Now you're here, you can find out some details on this site.
It’s a good question, and the right question to ask.
So, the next step on my journey is to answer that for people.
As mentioned before, about four months before Nightfall was published, I opened up a Facebook page. I invited my family and friends, and a lot of them shared / liked the page, and over the first few months I picked up about eighty or so 'Likes'.
But remember, ‘Likes’ don’t equate to ‘sales’, and as most were family or living with others, those of my Facebook followers may only purchase one copy per household.
I also managed to sell a few through work, and a few to extended family.
But, I only know so many people, and therefore, I know I need to expand my fandom.
Building a Fan-base.
This is what I’m currently in the process of doing - building enough of a follower-base that recognise my name and work. This involves doing more than just writing Ascension (the tentative title of Nightfall’s sequel).
If you’re reading this, you can probably tell I’ve started a blog… and a website. I’ve also recently gone on Twitter, and have updated my Facebook page. And I’ve sorted out a logo.
While there have been no direct sales (though I imagine a few freebies have been picked up), there is some small forward momentum.
Small things. Small steps. But, the beauty of writing is that, once your work is there, its there for ever.
I’m lucky. I have no time limit, no deadline (no agent breathing down my neck for Ascension).
This allows me to work on my book AND spend time with those I love – wifey and the POD).
But, the goal remains the same. Get my work in front of as many people as I can.
Coming up Next Time
Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far.