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After two months, Kingdom of Rage racked up 68 sales. I'm excited about this but I've gotten no love from bloggers. Sales plummeted the last two weeks. Some have said that most debut novels rarely make it over the 100 mark, but I'm determined as ever to get the momentum rolling again-without sacrificing profits.

I ran two major marketing campaigns to promote the book. My next step is to approach local retailers for doing book signings. Another author in my genre said that he had success with advertising on Kindle Nation. I've looked into it but I can't figure out a way to cover the cost.

What advertising has worked for you? Should I sit back and plot the sequel or go full-speed at promoting what I've got?
 

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Josh Handrich said:
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What advertising has worked for you? Should I sit back and plot the sequel or go full-speed at promoting what I've got?
Nothing.

I'd put out something else in the same or adjacent genre before you consider writing a sequel for that one, because 68 is not promising enough. If sales pick up, it's win-win.

(Says the gal with 3 series that are each 2-books wide)
 

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Josh Handrich said:
And how you got 28,000 sales is beyond comprehension. I'd be happy with 10% of that number.
I have a lot of titles across various genres and I'm always seeing what works or what doesn't. I have not had one single "hit" yet, so those sales all came the hard way, a dribble at a time. (A lot of them are 99centers too.)

I just put something up two days ago and have had 7 sales on the title. This is under a brand new pen name. That's better than I did my first six months self-published.
 

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Over the hundred mark?  Bah, an e-book doesn't have an expiration date.  You could walk away now and it will eventually sell 100+ units.

Advertising... oh boy.  I could write a whole novel on my experiences over the last two years on advertising e-books.  Problem is that things change in a heartbeat.  Right now, my advice for advertising, if you have money set aside is this:  Whatever you do, make sure your advertising puts your work in the hands of customers.  So if you have $100 to buy a Google or Facebook ad, skip it.  Buy $100 worth of your book and do a give away.  Spend $20 and buy a thousand business cards with your book on them and stand at the mall and hand them out to people at the food court.  Buy a booth at a fair or swap meet and give stuff away or do an ad-hock book signing.  Get a tee shirt made up with your book's cover on it and wear it 24/7.  Even those car door magnets are pretty cheap to get.  

Just remember, writing is art.  Publishing is business.
 

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It's a success if you enjoyed writing it and are proud of it: it is no small accomplishment to have written a 400-page novel, or a good book.

68 sales is not bad in an overcrowded market loaded with freebies.

Good wishes for your work and career.
 

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Hi, Josh

I'll echo what everybody else said.  This whole ebook/indie author thing is kind of a brave new world, and we can't expect a successful debut novel's trajectory to look the same as it looks from traditional publishing, where it may have a big publicity push or other assists that we don't have.

A little over a year ago I self-published one of my books on Kindle just to see what happened.  It's a good book; I was confident in that.  I gave it away for free for a month on Goodreads and other than that, I ignored it and just let it do its thing.  After about nine months it was earning me around $400/month, and when it was close to the one-year mark it hit a Top 100 list and stayed on it for a few months.  At that point it started selling between 800 and 1200 copies per month fairly steadily, earned me more per month than I make at my day job, and convinced me to stop pursuing a traditional publisher with my other books, and self-publish everything instead.

You have to expect a slower growth with indie books.  You sell based on earnest word-of-mouth recommendations from one reader to another.  That takes some time to build, and while there may be some things that can help, I haven't heard of any advertising or promotional strategy that works as well for anybody as just writing a good book, then writing more good books, and being patient.  Eventually, if you're a good writer, you'll get there.  :)

 

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Genre is a big factor.

My first book The Voice has moved around 50 copies in its first year. I wasn't expecting much as it's the first book in a series.

My followup was a zombie novella. Over 700 copies sold and still climbing.

The key as everyone says is keep writing. The more that is out there with your name on it, the more opportunity for added sales on the backlist.
 

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Richardcrasta said:
It's a success if you enjoyed writing it and are proud of it: it is no small accomplishment to have written a 400-page novel, or a good book.
I cannot agree with this more.

Dude. Think about what you have done. It's like... like building a personal pyramid. A private Great Wall of China.

And better still, you got 68 people to slip into a world you made already. I'm not saying it's some sort of god-complex thing, but, I mean, think how much love and care and time and obsession went into that. And you are sharing it, and people are drinking from the fountain.

More importantly, you are on the journey. I won't bother with the cliches about journey vs. destination. But I will say, in echo of everyone else, keep writing. In the end, like literally the end, as in when you are all old and jacked up and about to croak, you will know that you had the spine to pursue your dreams. 68 copies or 68,000,000. Doesn't matter. You dove in. Most people stay on the beach and talk about it. So, rock on. And you never know. You know?

Keep writing and good luck. Just keep going forward.
 

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I totally understand the sentiments behind the "You wrote a novel...that's a success!" stuff, but for so many of us, the end goal is to write full-time.  That first success of finishing a novel is just the first stepping stone in getting there.  It is not the end goal, and it doesn't feel like success until you've reached the end goal.  :D
 

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Man, I'd love to write full time! Two of my books are doing well and it seems possible, in time.

However, I'm such a mouse that when I look at the incredible changes happening in the book publishing industry, both trad and digital, I cannot imagine getting to the point where I'd be willing to let go of that steady pay-cheque and take the gamble.

I keep thinking that it could all go away tomorrow and then where'd I be?
 

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Quiss said:
Man, I'd love to write full time! Two of my books are doing well and it seems possible, in time.

However, I'm such a mouse that when I look at the incredible changes happening in the book publishing industry, both trad and digital, I cannot imagine getting to the point where I'd be willing to let go of that steady pay-cheque and take the gamble.

I keep thinking that it could all go away tomorrow and then where'd I be?
This! (But maybe it's a Canadian thing. Think?) :-[
 

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Quiss said:
Man, I'd love to write full time! Two of my books are doing well and it seems possible, in time.

However, I'm such a mouse that when I look at the incredible changes happening in the book publishing industry, both trad and digital, I cannot imagine getting to the point where I'd be willing to let go of that steady pay-cheque and take the gamble.

I keep thinking that it could all go away tomorrow and then where'd I be?
You can't approach your dreams from a position of timidity. Even a lion knows the ibex might gore him, but that doesn't change the fervor of his charge. And sometimes that little bastard runs like a son-of-a-b#tch, and the lion has to run farther than he planned. But, it's like, do you want to be a lion or a stupid ibex. Hell, I don't even know if I spelled ibex right, but I know I got lion right. So, in the big picture, we can see who won that, at least philosophically and in terms of marketing.

Whatever. Just do it. (Yeah, Nike stole that from all of us, but it's still true. Just f-ing go!).
 

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Terrence OBrien said:
Success is whatever you say it is.
^^ Yep.

And you'll change that definition as your career continues and grows. My first goal was to sell a single book to a stranger who liked it. My next goal was to sell to 100 of them. Now I want a best seller in a main category. A girl can dream!

You NEED to write a sequel if you have lovers of book 1. It's a guaranteed sale. Readers love sequels. But if book 1 wasn't so great, then write a different book 1. :)
 

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It is scary to contemplate letting go of a day job in the face of all the crazy changes in the publishing industry, but some of the BEST day jobs I've ever had were the throw-away kind I picked up because I needed something to hold me over between "real" jobs.  I say, if you're making enough from the books to justify it, write full-time now.  If the bottom ever falls out of ebooks (unlikely, I think, but anything is possible) you never know what kind of awesome day job it might lead to.  :)
 
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