Day 11 – Learning to Market My Book

There was a particular scene in the Disney movie Mulan that I really liked. All of the trainees are tripping over each other and causing all sorts of havoc and they land at the feet of the auditor who is now in charge of their training. He looks down his nose at them and writes on his parchment with an imperious, “Daaaaaay 1.”

Being an indie author is sorta like that. There’s a lot of tripping and falling and havoc and at the end of the day you can take a look at how many copies of your book you’ve sold and sigh. Of course there’s always tomorrow.

Ahvarra has been available for 11 days, and I’ve sold 11 copies. The glass half full version of that is “hey, that’s one per day!” We’ll go with that. There’s a lot of works involved in selling 11 copies, regardless of how many went to friends, family, etc. Some have gone to people I don’t know, and that’s exciting and terrifying. I don’t have a review yet, but I’m anxiously F5’ing Amazon awaiting word.

I realize I shouldn’t be nervous. A lot of people have read this book, or at least a prior version of it. An entire writing group’s worth of people, more than a dozen, gave me line edits, character consistency comments, story/plot feedback, etc. It’s gone from a 180K+ word draft to a crisp 120K+ word novel. It’s a novel. And at least from the feedback of the writing group, a good one.

Which leads me to the marketing. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t a flock of people just waiting for my book to hit Amazon. And so the marketing has begun. A Facebook author page (with the obligatory “Like me here: https://www.facebook.com/ahvarra), signing up for free advertising from eBook sites, looking into things that might or might not be legitimate, and finally learning how to tweet. 

I’ve followed a lot of people on Twitter over the past 11 days. Some of them likely think I’m stalking them, and I’ve undoubtedly made a social media faux pas or two already. I’ve horned in on conversations (are they really private if they’re on Twitter?), I’ve started a fight over whether dark or milk chocolate is superior (dark) and had actually had a brief discussion with two of my favorite authors about single malt scotch. And in the process, I’ve gained followers, and maybe one or two sales, along the way. 

But it’s a scratch and bite business. There’s no doubt that seeing my Amazon rank in the thousands early on was exciting, and seeing it dip to 300,000 was… not. Meanwhile, I’ve got a full time job, boys who need help with homework and to continue plugging away on the second book. Which reminds me, I need to get the writing group back together again.

But you know what? I wouldn’t change it. I’m a published author. Bring on Day 12.

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