Radio silence the last month here, not on account of falling into a pit of despair or having secretly jacked in the self-pub project but because, er … last month I decided to space out my posts more and forgot to mention!
Lately, the focus of this blog has been author interviews and the London Book Fair so this time I’m playing catch-up by reporting on what has (or hasn’t?) been going on
For the most part, my time has gone to the ‘day job’ and little has gone on marketing/ PR. No surprise then that sales slumped from the March high of 66 to April’s 7 and May’s all-time low of 3. Oops. So the grand total of books sold since launch is 310. Not exactly best-seller levels but four events are coming up in June so that figure is set to improve before, presumably, a major tank over July and August.
As threatened, tinkering has been going on with the book jacket. Pointless effort bearing in mind the (small) number of sales and ‘reach’? Maybe. But I’ve felt seriously bugged by having lost sight of the blurb layout when the very first (aborted) design went off track. Also, at sales, people often seem to look at the back of the book then turn to me and ask what the book is about … hmmm … am hoping the NEW, IMPROVED version does better. This is the back cover (though not for copies sold through Amazon):
And the slightly altered front, with new tag-line (again, not for the Amazon version):
Apart from writing to quite a lot of people to get into those school fairs, I also had the very good news that Waterstones Piccadilly are stocking my book, and will “consider” rolling it out depending on how sales go. This is a highlight of the whole journey so far. Waterstones being willing to stock UMA & IMP is the reason why I’ve tried so hard to get the ‘look’ right … The bad news is that they’ve only got ONE copy, so not much shelf space! Hard to see how anyone will notice the poor book! Still, as well as changing the jacket, the new copies are also printed on slightly bulkier paper, which makes for a bigger spine. Maybe those extra two millimetres will help!
The first 2016 World Book Day school workshop is booked for next year (one of more, hopefully). And another school is due to schedule a visit in the autumn term.
So overall, the theme is very much: Plodding On.
Things I haven’t done:
– Encouraged more people to review UMA & IMP. A couple of kind souls have done it without encouragement (thank you, thank you!) but well … it could do with a push from my part, something that doesn’t seem to come easily. Could be something to get on top of over the quieter summer months.
– Developed my social media strategy. In fact, I’ve well and truly gone the other way and embraced the quiet side. It just isn’t ‘my thing’ or where I want to put my energy.
– A million other things.
I AM still plugging away on book 2. And the most awesome thing is that so many of the kids that have read the first book are keen to read what happens next. Their enthusiasm keeps me going! That and the fact that, although there is slim hope of “success”, I am really enjoying the journey. Not that I would recommend self publishing – no!! Getting traditionally published must be way more fun, but as I’m here … I’ll just keep on plodding!!
Until next month – thanks for reading,