The e-book of the three short novels came out towards the end of May, and the paperback in early June. As many readers of this blog will know, I did a big push using my networks (email, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) in mid/late June. I find the promotion interesting to do, though I wouldn’t want to do the distribution, and am happy to leave that to Amazon! By the end of August we’d sold 140+ books, and I have 20 positive Amazon ratings and about a dozen encouraging Amazon reviews. (Thank you…)
I’ve also had some lovely conversations throughout the summer with people who have read the novels – it’s always interesting to see which they liked (and that varies). I know publishing the three together (and they are quite different from each other) would mean that some might not enjoy all three. But at £5 for the Kindle copy, and £9.90 for the paperback, I’m hoping they won’t feel short-changed if that’s the case! I have relished the feedback I’ve been getting, from so many quarters, and I certainly feel the writing, and the publishing, have been well worth doing.
I do realise that just about all of the books sold so far have been bought by people who know me – in many cases just to support me! If sales are to be sustained then I need those people to:
- Read the books! Then…
- Enjoy at least one of them enough to…
- Share them with/recommend them to others, who then read them, and enjoy at least one of them enough to… etc.
You get the picture!
We’ll just have to see what happens. I’m continuing to promote them wherever I can. I’ve talked about them in two webinars (thanks Helen Wright and Mary Myatt) and a podcast (thanks Susan Pallister) so far, have written blogs about them (see here) and am appearing online on a World Book Day event in March (thanks Hannah Wilson). I’ll do another big push as we come up to October half term and then Christmas, and Mothers’ Day. (These really are the kind of books I think your mother might enjoy…)
I would like to record audio versions at some stage – I enjoyed recording the audio book of ‘Making the Leap – Moving from Deputy to Head’ with Kevin Mulryne earlier this year. But that took two days, and each of the three short novels is longer than ‘Making the Leap’ so I realise that will take some time and cost us money. We’ve spent nothing on the process so far (Kindle Direct Publishing is free), but I am really keen that the books should be as accessible as possible, including to those who, for whatever reason, prefer to, or need to, listen rather than to read. This may be something for the spring.
If the sales do continue I may also write something else in the winter (and I’ll aim for 80,000+ words next time), but I do recognise that the sales may fizzle out and die in time. As I say above, we have spent no money on the venture, but we have given a considerable amount of time to it: first writing, then producing the e-book and paperback, and now on promotion. And we are receiving royalties – but it was never about the money! It was about proving to myself that I could produce something others might enjoy reading, and getting it out there. I wanted to know whether I could write a novel. It was important to me that if I did produce something it should be well-written, thoughtfully structured, and with sufficiently interesting content to be something book clubs would perhaps consider reading and discussing. And I know I have done that.
Many thanks for your support so far! It is very much appreciated.