About a month ago, I uploaded my first book, The Blood Moon, to the retailers for preorder. I wasn’t expecting much from it since it’s my first book and nobody really knows me. Plus, I can’t justify spending money on advertising for one book that is only a preorder. I’ll wait to spend my advertising money when I have at least three books in the series out.
The first retailer I uploaded to was Amazon, obviously. I tweeted once about it and told my friends and family as I saw them, but I didn’t make a big stink about it. Still, it was cool to see my book and my name on Amazon. I also uploaded to iTunes and Kobo that day. It took me a while to settle my financial information (verifying the bank), so I didn’t upload to any other retailers for the next few days. Later, I uploaded to Smashwords and Google Play. Evidently, after trying for weeks to figure out Nook’s formatting, I discovered that you can’t put a book up for preorder on Nook. At least, self-publishers can’t.
Like I said, I didn’t promote this terribly. I posted on KBoards, tweeted, sent an email to my mailing list, did two author interviews and a guest post on other people’s blogs and…got a whopping six preorders. All on Amazon. Two of which, I know for certain are friends of mine. Two more might possibly be. One is a relative and one is a real, true preorder from a stranger.
Let me break this down a bit:
– KBoards – I added the book to my signature and started a new topic about how my first book is up for preorder. I mostly just got a lot of “Congratulations!” This is where I think the “stranger” preorder is from. Granted, if I posted more often in KBoards, I might get a few people who pick it up just because of the cover. I got a lot of praise for the cover.
– Tweeting – I tweeted when it was available on each retailer, but I didn’t want to saturate my posts with buy links. So I did them separately and slowly. Also, because I couldn’t honestly advertise that they were “available on all major retailers” because I still don’t have it up on Barnes and Noble. Besides, I’ll do full promotional pushes like that once I have the print book out too. You can’t do preorders for print books, which is a shame.
– Mailing List – My mailing list had five people on it. One of them was me. That’s not much, but it’s something. (I’m up to six people now, but one of them is my best friend, so he doesn’t really count.) I sent an email saying that it was available on Amazon. I didn’t mention any retailers at first because it wasn’t available on the other retailers. A second email with links to all the retailers and the story behind the book didn’t result in any other preorders either, but I think that’s more because of the size of my mailing list. (Hey, if you want to sign up for my mailing list, do that here…)
– Be My Guest – I opted for the author interviews because nobody knows who I am. I can only post my book blurb so much, so I decided to tell people about me. I mentioned my book as much as I could in each interview, but I don’t think these interviews resulted in any preorders. Neither did the guest post. Honestly, the thing that really matters, and is totally out of your hands, is how well the poster presents the information about your book’s preorder with your post. When I had guests on this blog, I added their book cover prominently at the top of the post to catch people’s eyes and include it in the featured image for the post. I created a link through the cover to their book’s page on Amazon and also included a link, with a shout-out to their latest release at the bottom to reinforce readers to buy their books. The blogs I was featured on didn’t do this. But again, as a newbie author, I don’t think it would’ve made much of a difference.
In the end, I am very happy with the results. Sure, I got mostly friends to buy my book, but what did I expect from a three month preorder period when nobody knows who I am? What I think is going to help, is that The Blood Moon will have extra visibility prerelease where it wouldn’t have gotten that if it wasn’t up for preorder. The fact that I got a stranger from the UK to preorder my book is incredible. That alone makes me want to keep publishing and I can’t wait until my next book comes out and I can see how that release pushes sales on this one. More to come on that later.