Thursday, December 9, 2010

After the Starting Gun

Hmm, one definite piece of advice:

Finish the manuscript for the forthcoming book before your first book comes out and you need to pimp it online like a madman.

I have a personal blog for promoting my own work. Letting it go completely silent the month after my first book goes out because I’m frantically trying to get a third manuscript finished in time for next Halloween is not what you’d call ideal marketing strategy. Self promotion—not my strong point.

Anyway, let’s pretend it’s actually really November 17th, my usual blogging spot, and I’ll continue with my thoughts and experiences on finally getting my first book out there.

For me this is huge. It’s something I’ve wanted to achieve all my life. Then one morning you wake up and your book is available for the world (well, lots of) to buy on Amazon.

I remember some very useful advice from one of eXcessica's experienced authors to another first time author in a similar position to me. “Expect it to be anti-climactic.”

I’d also add: “Be prepared for the silence.”

That’s the scary part, tossing something you’ve laboured lovingly over for the past few months out into the great black void of the internet and then waiting in vain for something, anything, to come back.

This is where Amazon’s little ranking stat is both a curse and a godsend. Watching that value spiral down into the millions doesn’t exactly do wonders for the ego, but that’s balanced out by the nice little ding! I feel every time the number jumps back up and I know that someone somewhere bought a copy of my book.

Obviously, it would be better if the ranking was high enough so that I couldn’t see each sale as it came in, but I’m realistic enough to know it’ll take time and probably a great dollop of good luck before I get there, if at all. In the meantime I’ll smile over my breadcrumbs and keep working on building up the backlist.

M.E. Hydra


  1. Juggling publicity, writing and all the other things on our plates is an art form and I can understand the nuttiness of it. I ended up having my first two releases in the same month - and I did this again in November.

    I found that doing this left me little time to monitor stats because I was blogging like a fiend.

    In the beginning I looked at the Amazon ranking but at this point, I ignore it. I'm more interested in getting people to post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and Barnes & Noble.

    Getting them to do it is a whole other challenge. I have to admit - the experiment that the authors of The Draculas did was interesting to watch.

    Makes you wonder how to go about repeating such an event.

    Good luck on creating your backlist - that's just as important as building a following!

  2. Thanks JET! I think it was your comment to Mia on keeping realistic expectations now I remember. :)

    I was also impressed by the Draculas experiment. I was naive when it came to reviews. I assumed they just happened. I've picked up a couple on blogs, but none on Amazon, etc., yet.

    The reviews are also a double-edged sword. The early one or two star unflattering review feels like it could be the kiss of death to any indie ebook.