My Evolution - Lessons Learned in Self-Publishing

June 30, 2017

At the time of writing this, Nightfall has been available for around 270 days (not that I’m counting).

 

Over the past nine months or so, I have learned some valuable lessons:

 

Likes / Follows don’t equal sales

As I mentioned previously, likes and follows do not translate into sales. Right now, I have about 95 likes on my Facebook page and around 600 followers on Twitter.

 

How many of these clicks have equated to sales? To be honest, I have no idea.

 

While I can say that many of the Facebook "Likes" have gone on to buy books and eBooks, there is little to no indication that the "Shares" or similar have had much affect.

 

And the same with Twitter. I have never really been much of a tweeter, but I’ve been able to accumulate more than 600 followers in just over a month. As with Facebook, it's hard to discern what, if any, impact the number of followers has actually had.

 

But, this is not a sprint… it is a marathon.

 

I now know that I need to build up my online and public profile, something I wish I had started a long time ago. But still, the more people that know me, and know about Nightfall, the more people will want to read it.

 

Simple.

 

Choose your editor wisely

As I’ve mentioned before, I am less than satisfied with the editor I chose.

 

I used two different professional editors - one to iron out the first fifty pages (and she was great) and a different on to do the rest (not as great).

 

The second editor really didn't do as good a job as I had hoped, and the final manuscript was not what I wanted it to be. I asked her to proof read, and clean up any grammatical and spelling mistakes. Unfortunately, while they captured a lot, they didn't get it all.

 

Still, I've hopefully ironed out a lot of what the editor missed.

 

But, importantly, I learned that while people skills and a nice personality goes a long way, I wish I had been a bit more instructive and diligent in my requests of the editor, and not accepted what they had provided as the 'end' product.

 

But, suffice to say I will not be using their services again. So, if you are an editor (or you know someone) please contact me through here.

 

New cover

“I don’t really like sci-fi”.

 

Those were the words from one of my friends that got to me.

 

Nightfall is a thriller / action-adventure with a dash of sci-fi, and all the publicity I had done had lead described it as such. But, what my friend was referring to was the cover. She had not read the book, and just based on the cover, she probably didn’t intend to.

 

So, I had a rethink, and got rid of the much loved design I had chosen. So, I went back to the drawing board (not literally though) and had more of a look at the options.

 

But, the first thing I did was look at colours. The black and greeny-blue, while I found aesthetically pleasing, didn't look great on Amazon searches. So, I decided to go for a bolder colour, and the colour that I found drew a lot of attention was red.

 

So, I went back to thebookcoverdesigner.com, and found the new cover:

 

 

 

It really drew me in, and represented everything the first cover had, and more. Hopefully it does the trick.

 

Reviews

So, after more than 270 days, and about 700 social media contacts... how many reviews do I have?

 

Six.

 

That's not a typo.

 

Not that I haven't received feedback (people really seem to be enjoying the book), but I only have six official reviews, of which, four are ratings that just gave a star-rating rather than any critique.

 

A review is like gold, and while there are many sites that provide "honest reviews for a price", I'm not sure I'm quite ready to pay for them.

 

So, if you've read Nightfall, and you'd like to leave a review... please leave one on Amazon, Goodreads or even my Facebook page.

 

 

What’s next for the Blog

In future blog's, I'll start to branch out a bit. In the next blog, I'll be discussing some of Nightfall's themes, and how I came to be writing about them.

 

Stay tuned...

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