I debated back and forth whether or not to post actual sales numbers (or lack of them) as part of my self-publishing series. Some people might consider it ill-advised, or even down-right tacky. I think it could be outright embarrassing. “All this noise and work and you only sold 10 copies?”
See what I mean?
But I know that several people have faithfully followed this blog because of an interest in self-publishing. I also think writers often approach self-publishing with unrealistic expectations. That’s one thing I heard loud and clear in the WD Successful Self-Publishing workshop I took. I just don’t think it’s fair to have dragged everybody through this with me so far and not be willing to share the results.
I also know that how successful a self-publishing author is depends on many factors, including how willing and energetic they are at promoting the book. I probably will fall on the low end of that spectrum.
My plan at this point (subject to change if it just gets too darn depressing) is to give you monthly updates on the Dancing in Heaven sales. I already posted about how much money I need to make to break even. I think the chances of that happening are pretty low. But that was never my original objective.
Dancing in Heaven went on sale in October. I focused my promotion efforts on my inner circle of family, friends, and blogging friends. I also ordered 50 books and have given away 38 of them to family, close friends, people who were in the book (including John Kerry), and a few reviewers.
It’s nothing to write home about, but if you count the 38 books I gave away (and assume everyone has read it, or will), then I reached 71 people with Annie’s story. I feel good about that. Also, readers are sharing the book with others, so I will never know how many people read it. My mom gave one to Sr. Audrey, one of the nuns that lives down the street, to read and share with the other sisters. Two readers have told me they’ve given the book to their mother to read.
I hope to post my promotion plan soon (once I have one.) As always, I am open to, and appreciate, your suggestions.
The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.