This Week in Self-Publishing: This Week in Self-Promotion
Which is never just “self” promotion; I did not make this awesome event art on my own.
Money earned (total): $7,696.76
Money spent (total): $4,115.13
Book sales (June): $304.65
Money spent (this week): $175.27 (20 books sent in consignment to a bookstore, and a Bargain Booksy promotion)
So I heard back from a publicist—a company, not an individual—that was interested in working with me but had rates far beyond what I could afford.
And yes, it’s hard to turn something like that down. There’s a path in my mind where I said yes, and the publicist made my book popular enough that book sales more than covered the cost of their services.
But let’s look at what I got done this week “on my own.” I’m putting “on my own” in quotes because I didn’t do any of this just by myself; interviewers reached out to me, websites and bookstores said yes to me, my friend Kayla knew a designer whom we could hire to make a poster, etc. etc etc. It’s never just a solo act.
Still, here’s the list:
- I rewrote my book description with more “feelings words” and sales ticked up IMMEDIATELY.
- I did an interview that should appear on a Major Book Website, although I know that there are no guarantees until I actually see it go live.
- I booked a guest post on a Major Self-Publishing Website, which I need to write this weekend.
- I wrote a guest post that will appear on a book reviewer’s blog.
- I sponsored the Seattle Review of Books again, and although I don’t have actual sales data yet, this was my Amazon ranking at the peak of the promotion:
- I paid $35 to be listed on Bargain Booksy and included in the daily email that will be sent to 93,000 readers interested in literary fiction. (The email with my book in it will go out on Sunday, so let’s see how many people actually open it and buy the book.)
- I paid $140.27 to send 20 books “on consignment” to Portland’s Another Read Through, the indie bookstore that’s hosting my reading on Friday, August 4. (“Consignment” means that I’m fronting the cost of the books, and the bookstore and I will both earn a little profit when they sell.)
- We got art for our Missoula event on Friday, August 11. It’s so great. Thanks, Lindsay Goldner Creative! ❤ ❤ ❤
Between the Seattle Review of Books promo, the Bargain Booksy promo, the event at Another Read Through, the event at Missoula’s Fact & Fiction (also featuring author Kayla Cagan and musicians Marian Call and Seth Boyer), and the interviews and guest posts, I should keep my sales up at least through the end of August.
And I still have a whole list of publicity-related items left to do before the end of July.
So I’m not doing badly. In fact, Pronoun sent me an email on Monday to let me know how well I was doing:
And everyone who has read the book is still telling me how much they loved it, and how much they’re looking forward to the next one.
So yeah, there’s a path I didn’t take where I would have spent a pile of money I couldn’t afford and maybe achieved FAME and FORTUNE or at least MEDIA COVERAGE and BREAKING EVEN.
And maybe my goal is to save up a pile of money for Volume 2, so I can hire someone to help me with the publicity end.
But good gracious, I haven’t done badly on my own—or “on my own”—and that’s just looking at what I did this week.
This is the part where I realize I haven’t dropped any links to my book, so… if you’re new to This Week in Self-Publishing, here’s where you can learn about my debut novel: The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000.