Friday, December 02, 2011

Finally Home - 1 week stats

Finally Home was officially released last Thursday (Thanksgiving day) morning as both a print and ebook. It is available on smashwords, kindle and nook as well as on and createspace in print. As of 12/01/2011 the following stats are what I've seen: Smashwords' views = 24, sales = 0; Nook views = ?, sales = 2; ranking = 247,000 (not exact but I don't remember what the number was); kindle views = ?, sales = 0; no ranking on amazon as I've not had any sales and no sales from any source showing on my createspace account. This is disheartening to say the least since I've been posting for quite a while now that Finally Home would be released soon and I've spent the last two months (maybe a few more than that) talking about this book.

So I'm thinking I need to follow suit with Sybil Nelson (aka Leslie Dubois, author of YA novels with a dark edge to them), Author of the Priscilla the Great series, in her posting from either 11/30 or 12/01 and that is "take the McDonald's approach" to marketing. Sybil states in her posting (you can view the full article here), and I'm paraphrasing here, that everywhere you go you can see McDonald's ads, billboards or even McDonald's themselves. So why not as an author take the same approach? Obviously McDonald's is a billion or trillion dollar company and can afford to place ads everywhere (and those 30-second spots aren't cheap nor are the billboard placements) to make sure their name is out there, so some of the marketing approach for authors wouldn't be cost-effective or even feesible since we are in general poor and need other jobs to supplement our writing, but why not do some marketing that gets your name out there.

It isn't enough to just blog every once in a while or update a website every once in a while but we as authors have to stay in the limelight so to speak; we need to place "ads" everywhere to get known.

Within the next 2 weeks or so, I will be re-releasing three more stories that have been previously published and have placed in various contests, winning small monetary awards and other prizes. I've decided that after the first of the year, once I can get back on track with my state series (for more on the JGDS series, please visit the JGDS blog or the JGDS website) that I'm going to do a major marketing campaign.

I've done a few Skype visits with classes other than Mr. Hughes' to help with some writing aspects (one in Indiana for the Lunchtime Writers' Club and one in Washington state during NaNoWriMo) but that isn't enough. Hopefully, my marketing campaign will help some other writers as well.

I need to start seeing my books taking a turn because my job is getting frustrating and I would love to start traveling to all the states within the next couple of years or so (before I get too old to really enjoy the travels). I had set a goal to have my state stories supporting me by 2013 but that doesn't look like it is going to happen. I may have to move that goal to 2015 and by then I should have at least half of the states published along with my five other stories, oops - six (forgot about a children's story I will probably ebook publish too).

I'd like to know what some other authors out there are doing marketing wise. I also would like to see half the followings of some of my fellow authors (I still only have less than 100 folks following this blog with only a handful, less than a dozen, actually subscribing to receive the blog notices in their emails. I have half the number of followers on my JGDS site as I do on this site, which means I'm not reaching the audiences like I need to, so any suggestions from my fellow friends and authors on how to reach more people would be greatly appreciated.

I follow over 1000 blogs but don't read all of them on a daily basis and I comment on blogs that I've signed up for the email postings a good bit of time; I leave my links in my signatures on most places (some of them won't accept the comment with hyperlinks so I have to just hope that folks are stopping by my websites on those blogs) and yet I hardly see any traffic on my blogs or websites. I wonder how many of those 1000 blogs I follow actually take time to read their comments and respond back to the commenters or even check out the blogs or websites of the persons who leave comments on their blogs. I wonder how many folks who comment on blogs take the time to actually look at other commenters' blogs and websites. The answer is probably less than a dozen or so.

Vici Howard is running her 1-year marketing plan here. Of course, you can always follow Sybil's postings here. If you know of any other authors who have a marketing campaign going on and would like to share, please leave a comment with the link to that person's blog or website.

I definitely would love to hear from you all and hope you will spread the word to your friends. Let them know about some upcoming authors who are trying to get their name out there. E :)


Black Dunder said...

Don't get discouraged by poor sales to start with. My first book was Ain't No Sunshine and it sold exactly 0 copies the first two months. Now I have over 1600 sales and it is my best seller. I think what really skyrocketed my sales was letting the book go free for a while. This technique only works if you have several books out though. When I let Ain't No Sunshine go free, I sold 600 copies of Guardian of Eden that month. I also garnered 100 reviews that month. Now that it's back to paid, it still outsells all of my other books.

I am the worst about blogging. I find it so time consuming. I have an awesome blog set up for Priscilla and yet I don't have time to post. That's one of my major goals for 2012. I want to visit other blogs and post articles on both my blogs regularly.

Here's another tip. When you do school visits, take a sheet of paper and have the kids sign up for your newsletter. I got a big boost in newsletter recipients that way. I used to send out newsletters monthly with prizes and updates. That's another thing I have to get back into for 2012.

elysabeth said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Sybil. I want to have sales like you do - heck I'd be happy for half the sales you get a month. Your book, Ain't No Sunshine, is awesome. I highly recommend it to others. Truly twisted and unexpected ending, and I can't imagine it not selling any copies the first couple of months out. I will probably run a half price sale for kindle and nook for Christmas on the Finally Home - I'm thinking the week before - see how sales go.

The thing is I have other books out and have been published for 3 years and even my state stories aren't doing well; almost all (okay all that I know of, since the first three were published by a publisher and I've recently re-released the first one and have tracking ability on that now) have been personal sales at book events and such. And as many homeschool conferences, teachers' conferences and book events as I do, there have been many with 0 sales. I like telling people about my series and the comments are always the same - "Wow, that's a great idea" and "Wish someone had done that when I was in school" and teachers love the concept but none of them buy books (I probably have sold less than 10 copies of all the copies sold directly to teachers or schools).

I had been doing a newsletter originally when I first was published but that fell by the wayside as it was time consuming and I didn't have many folks sign up for the newsletter. Maybe I'll subscribe to one of those newsletter sites and start that up again. The biggest problem with me is funds - I don't have the funds to really pay for a newsletter site.

Blogging? - hahaha - as you can see from my blog I don't post every day like some folks do, but I do try to post something at least once or twice a month and depending on what is going on with me, more often.

I did receive one of your newsletters and entered the little contest; not sure if I won or anything but it was fun participating.

I am looking forward to the SC school librarians' conference in March where hopefully we will all do well. - thanks for stopping by and commenting - E :)

Black Dunder said...

Mail chimp is free and makes excellent looking newsletters. Not sure why your books aren't selling or what else you can do. You're definitely targeting your market. I think we both need to figure out how to get in on those scholastic book fair things. My daughter brought home one of those catalogs when they had the fair at her school and I couldn't help but wish my book was on there.

elysabeth said...

Sybil, when you find the secret to getting listed with Scholastic as a book fair book, let me know so I can also jump on that bandwagon - lol. I think that is a capital idea and one that needs a little exploring. I may get with the 6th grade teacher I work with online to see if he knows how one goes about getting with Scholastic as he's written some articles for them before and he does the Scholastic things every month.

Thanks for giving me another road to try to take advantage of - E :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Are you doing guest posts on other blogs? Great way to get your name out there and meet new people.

Do you do any of the blog hops? I did a Christmas one last year and it was a lot of fun. Great way to get new followers.

Maybe run a contest where you give away a free ebook or some swag. Stipulate that participants must be a blog follower to be entered in the contest. Give extra entries to anyone who posts the giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. More chances for new people to hear about you and your books.

Are you doing virtual book tours? I hear that some of these can be quite successful. I enjoy hosting authors/their books on my blog for the tours.

Blog at least once a week so that you keep your blog updated. A regular schedule will keep people coming back and may help add new followers.

Best wishes with your book promotions!

elysabeth said...

All great suggestions, Susanne. I was on a virtual tour blog when Writers on the Move was actually doing that. We've changed our format so that now each person contributes to the main blog once a month. I'm open to guest posting on other people's blogs as well as hosting other folks here. I do need to run a contest so maybe in the next couple of weeks I can drum something up. Thanks for giving us some new avenues to explore - E :)