OK, time for the first month’s report. This was always going to be the most exciting one, because the first always is. So let’s see first what it says; second what happened this month; and third what that means.
1. The stats
(I’m going to break these down day by day because they tell a tale:
My website: 2
Year Zero Website: 1
Direct from Lulu: 3
My orders from Lulu: 25
Sold through bookshops: 1
Direct sold by me: 5
Ordered online from me: 1
2. The calendar (what I’ve done, where I got a mention)
Sep 1 – Farm Lane Books gave me a mention and announced she’d bought a copy from Lulu
Both Jaffe and Neale in Chipping Norton and Albion Beatnik in Oxford agree to stock the book
Sep 2 – One in Four magazine are going to run an ad for Year Zero
Emprise magazine offer to do an interview about Year Zero
Sep 4 Barnes & Noble deal announced by Smashwords
Sep 9 into stock at Albion Beatnik, and a date (29 October) fixed for a reading
Sep 10 3 copies sold to conference participants
Sep 14 invited to guest blog on the Aspiring Mangaka and Writers Club website (and the book will be featured there on 6 October)
Sep 16 listing on Finding Free e-fiction
Sep 21 e-mails form two media figures interested in review copies (names omitted until reviews published, if published)
Camden Lock Books, in Old St Station, stocks the book
Sep 22 ebooks Just Published lists the book
I take part in Operation ebook drop
Benny Platonov is offered free, meaning all 3 Year Zero titles are free ebooks, and we can begin presenting a unified platform
Sep 27 My college alumni office offer me a promotional opportunity (more if/when it happens)
Sep 28 Smashwords is down for about 12 hours
Sep 29 I receive requests to guest blog on 2 writing sites about Year Zero
Smashwords announces a deal with Sony.
Downloads: The smashwords stats tell some interesting stories. I didn’t think there would be such apparently obvious correlations between downloads and events, but there are. Viz:
- The figures jumped from single figures (before Sep they were also 3-10 in general) to regular double figures ON THE DAY the deal to list with Barnes & Noble went live
- Listings on the web fiction guide and novels online did not meaningfully affect figures (it seems). The listings on Finding Free Efiction and Ebooks Just Published most definitely did – AND had a residual effect.
- When smashwords went down for most of the day, there was – unsurprisingly – a big effect on downloads
Books: These are lower than predicted. I can offer the following analysis.
- I predicted a spike from friends and family sales – largely because this is what “established wisdom” tells us happens with self-published books. This hasn’t happened. With family the reason has been “we’re waiting till we do our Christmas shopping”. Friends – well, I try not to “sell” to friends because it’s distasteful, and most of them haven’t gone and ordered the book anyway.
- Things move slowly. I have had progress in terms of getting agreements to do reviews, but they take a long time coming. The first will be out this weekend.
- I’ve managed to arrange some great book readings. I’ll be at the Book Club Boutique on October 5th, and will have a music and wine and reading night in Oxford on 29th. In other words – these are all in the future.
- I haven’t mentioned above because it has been ongoing, but there have been serious issues with my ISBN and subsequent Amazon listing (several people citing “I’m waiting till it’s on Amazon”). I purchased a “Published by You” package with Lulu, which comes with 10 ISBNs. This was in July. Then, at the start of August, Lulu changed their offer without informing people who’d already bought it that it was no longer available. Customer service refused to answer e-mails. There was no help on the forums. FINALLY this month I found a post on the Lulu blog. I had an e-mail and a refund within 48 hours. Impressive, and worth remembering for people – go to the blog not the usual help channels, BUT leaving me still without an ISBN
Downloads: I will struggle to match this month’s because I’ve had the initial spike from listing on the main efiction sites, and I don’t think enough time has elapsed for people to have read what they’ve downloaded and start spreading word of mouth. I’m saying 300
Books: I am hopeful of 25, based on bookshop sales.
OK, SO NOW GRILL ME WITH QUESTIONS!