It’s been two whole weeks now since ‘Traitors of Sol’ was released worldwide in ebook and paperback, and it’s given me time to reflect on the overall. The dust has settled, the fevered excitement of launching my first novel has died down. It’s time to sit back and take stock.
Now, I went into this launch knowing that I wasn’t going to be using any paid advertising at all. That means no paid retweet ‘promo’ accounts, no Amazon ads, nothing. I thought long and hard about this, and I decided it wasn’t the right time to do it.
I’ve seen from numerous sources, that ad campaigns work best when you have a number of books out – especially in a series such as ‘Traitors of Sol’. Even though this isn’t your standard mega-series (it will consist of two volumes to complete the story), there is still more of the tale to come.
With this in mind, I’ve put the money aside for the ad campaigns until the second book, ‘Hope of Sol’, is released. The reasoning is that you get more bang for your buck. If you have one book out, that click will only generate one potential sale; if you have two books however, you are looking at selling potentially two books from that one click – if the reader enjoys the first, of course.
There were a number of ‘free’ promotion routes I went:
I ran a Goodreads giveaway for the month leading up to launch. It was easy to set up, as long as you have an author account with them, and it was easy to edit and monitor. There were numerous tips on how to get a good response, mainly revolving around number of copies to giveaway, and offering them signed too.
I settled for ten copies in total, as it seemed like a good number and affordable (hence the ‘free’, as you need to purchase copies of your book and pay postage), and I offered them as signed too. In total, 1,057 people entered the giveaway, with no effort on my part. Of those, a further 400-odd added the book to their ‘Want to read’ list. Although that doesn’t guarantee a sale, it does keep your name out there as a reminder.
I also garnered 7 ‘followers’ on Goodreads as well, when I had none before. For the price of buying a few of your own books, I recommend it.
Twitter is my main habitat online. I didn’t do too much special here. I posted the occasional reminder that the book was out at the end of the month, and also held a pinned tweet about it too.
I also offered 5 paperbacks in a competition for any shares or likes. This didn’t work quite as well as Goodreads, but as an unknown author with 800-ish followers, it didn’t work too badly.
I posted the book up on Reddit, in r/wroteabook. Whether this garnered any response I don’t know – however it is there, with a link to the book and information about the blurb and pricing.
It’s been an emotional journey. I can still remember getting halfway through the first draft, then coming to a realisation that Carl and Hawke should be swapped with how they viewed the chapters, and the feeling of dread knowing that I was going to have to rewrite the entire book. It paid off in the end.
The launch was more successful than I imagined considering my limited advertising. I seem to have a consistent KDP flowing in of 300-400 per day, although solid sales have been less enthusiastic. As I said before, I went in with expectation of 1 or 2 sales, so I’ll take this as a win.
When ‘Hope of Sol’ comes to land, I’ll be hitting the ground running months before with paid advertising. By then I should have garnered some reviews on ‘Traitors of Sol’, and it will offer readers an entire and finished series.
No doubt I’ll write an updated report on it then, until then I’d better get cracking on my edits.