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Oh, the places we’ll go (in our heads) when we’re launching a first novel. Where did I go? Nowhere nice, friends. But I did learn a few things worth passing on.
What have I learned?
First of all, since this is my first novel, it’s hard to know whether my results might have been better if I’d done a better job on the cover or the book description — or on the writing of the novel itself. I had a difficult time nailing down the genre, which means my cover’s design might not appeal to those most likely to enjoy the novel. .
The closest thing I came up with was “Catholic (or Christian) speculative,” but Amazon doesn’t have a category for that. I’m hoping my cover doesn’t make people think it’s a thriller (which it isn’t) or a horror story (which it definitely isn’t).
So, while I’m tempted to blame my lackluster launch on my choice of book promotions, I can’t say for certain that they’re even mostly at fault. By the end of Day 1, I was thinking, “Fiverr is dead to me.” But now I’m not so sure I can blame those gigs for my book’s depressing download stats.
That said, these were my take aways on Day 3 (the last of the free days):
- It was a mistake to substitute KD ROI and a couple Fiverr gigs for my usual BMT (speedy book submission tool) and the James Mayfield promo. Crow has been eaten (it goes down easier with chips and something with alcohol).
- If it ain’t broke — and it doesn’t cost an organ and two minor appendages — I should probably keep it.
- I’m considering changing my name to “Cautionary Tale” — or maybe just changing my blog’s name to “WhatNotToDo.com”
- If anyone needed any more evidence that I am NOT an expert at book-launching, I have been VERY generous this month!
So, what do I plan to do next?
- Prepare for the 99 cent days and my second giveaway of The Lazarus Door
- Learn what it means to relaunch a novel (and yes, I’m already thinking of Chris Fox’s book, Relaunch Your Novel — Hello, business expense!) and plan accordingly.
What am I doing to distract myself from the agony of this launch?
- Creating a new journal (with ruled and unruled pages) titled Daily Jots Journal and designing at least three cover design options for it (i.e., I went to my happy place and made pretty things).
- Working on blog posts like this one (and others that might be more useful)
- Working on my script for a 60-second video (of myself — yikes) and actually recording myself reading said script.
- Beta-reading a novel (which I finished this morning because I could NOT put it down!)
Plus, I’ve been journaling — under the (subtle) influence (of wine). So, yeah …. those words will never see the light of day.
I look forward to filling the first printed proof of one of my new journals with inspired nonsense and other things that have no place in polite conversation. I invite you all to do the same — but with actual printed journals (mine or the journals of your choice).
Until then, have a great rest of your week, and may your book launches not suck as much as my first novel launch did.
All is not lost. I have a cunning plan! Or I will, anyway.
Blogger’s Note: I very craftily worked in some affiliate links for the books in this post. You’re welcome.