Where did June go?

I mean the month of June, of course. Apart from the plunge in temperature in Melbourne, a lot’s happened. My book of short stories, Out of Nowhere was published. My webpage had a makeover. I held my first radio interview. My book was officially launched and I’ve made a further dent into my current novel. Whew!

Publishing a book means getting it out there to let readers know. I shot off a bunch of emails to libraries, distributors, and book stores. The two book stores who have my first book happily agreed to stock my second. Goodreads held a giveaway for five copies and 853 people from around the world entered; 300 put it on their book shelf to read. I did a couple of ads on Facebook with mixed results but overall got some good exposure. How that translates into sales is too early to say.

The radio interview was done a few weeks ago on 3SER 97.7 Casey community radio on a show called Viewpoints. I chose to pre-record it and was surprised how easy it was to talk about my work. Of course the host, Henry Grossek was the consummate professional and made it very easy by asking all the right questions.

Soon after I held my book launch on June 24th at the Wheelers Hill library with a good crowd in attendance. Book sales helped to defray the costs of publication. Award winning YA author, Nicole Hayes launched my collection with a wonderful speech. The support and encouragement I received from everyone was nothing short of phenomenal and the reviews so far have been very complimentary.

Amongst this feverish activity, I finally worked out the ending of my next novel, A Perfect Stone. Now on to finish my second draft then constant rework for the next few months.
Yes, it’s been busy.

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My book is out. Now what?

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You’re probably wondering what I’ve been doing since the book launch.

I mean it’s all done, published and out in the marketplace. Right?

Not at all. It’s only the middle of the process. Just because friends and family have been enthusiastic and kind enough to buy my book, this doesn’t translate into sales across the world. Although I do recommend a book launch as family and friends can and will spread the word for you too. A lot of writers think that all you have to do is release it and hey presto your book is found.

With a quagmire of books out there and thousands of new releases every day around the world, my one and only book is barely a spec in the world for readers. When I look for it online it doesn’t exactly come up screaming its name out from the many retailers out there.

I have no brand, public relations and marketing team behind me to work on selling my book. It’s just me and it is quite daunting. Part of me wants to stay obscure and another part wants to see how far I can go.

This is what I’ve done so far.

1.       I’ve expanded distribution beyond Amazon and have been working with Ingram Spark. So my book is for sale online to forty-nine other eBook retailers such as KOBO, Booktopia and Barnes and Noble. Bookstores will shortly be able to order paperback format via Lightning Spark. This last process has taken at least six weeks so the learning for me is to allow for a longer lead time next time.

2.       I’ve used social media such as Facebook, GoodReads, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I haven’t inundated this and I probably should as I have achieved a good reach.

3.       An email address list has been put together to provide updates.

This is what I still have left to do:

1.       Get my book into bookstores and libraries particularly in my city.

2.       Encourage more reviews

3.       Check out cost/benefits of promotional advertising online

4.       Seek out a reputable book distributor

5.       Explore interested media outlets eg local newspapers and community radio stations.

6.       And blog!

Somewhere in all this is writing the second book which is well under way.