I figured that after the first time, self-publishing a book would be a piece of cake. I was wrong. It is just as stressful, still just as time-consuming and nerve-wracking, and most of all, it is just as frustrating.
I had no idea what I was doing when I self-published my first two novellas. I just did it. And when one of them got to number #25 on the Western List, I was thrilled. (And I was dumbfounded as to why that certain book made the list when it only had one review and not many sales, opposed to the other, more popular book.) Also, I had no idea about marketing. I didn’t have custom cover art, beta readers/editors, or even a following for my blog yet. As a result, I didn’t get many sales.
So, I had a plan for my next book. I’d do more marketing. I’d do Twitter. I’d do Goodreads. I’d do Pinterest and Facebook (my personal page and the other two pages I manage). I got beta readers. I even got a cover artist. I posted a release date. I posted excerpts. I revealed the cover art (several times!). And then, to my joy, I had four book sales the first day (on Amazon.com). I was so happy! I thought I’d figured out the system. I ranked at #88,970 in paid sales. But that was the only List I made it to. Since then, the ranking has steadily declined, and now I’m to #393,082 (it was #220,546 day before yesterday). I’ve sold one eBook on Smashwords and two paperbacks through CreateSpace. And that’s it.
I’m not sure how/why that happened. I thought I’d done everything correctly, and surly, this time, I’d have made it on to the Hot New release List or back onto the Western List. And I had no doubts that the book sales would have been better.
Where did I mess up? Do you ever really figure out the self-publishing system, or are you just throwing your book out to the wolves and hoping for the best? I welcome any and all advice. Though, I will warn you. I’m cheap. Marketing sites have to have options under $10 ($5 would be better, but I know I’m pushing my luck).
Or maybe it is just me. Maybe it is the genre I’m writing. After all, I don’t know if there is a big demand for YA Western books.