In answer to Dianne’s question I shall try to explain from my point of view. To start with I don’t have any other novel sale records to compare my sales of Stone Angels with as it is my first published novel. Personally, I’m not happy with my sales so far, but this could be because as a new author you compare yourself to the best selling authors like J.K. Rowling, and expect your first book to be an overnight success. In the cold light of reality, I don’t have her marketing force behind me, and even she started with only a few sales. According to Wikipedia, J.K.’s first print run was a thousand copies of which five hundred were distributed to libraries.
When Stone Angels was first launched last August the prelaunch sale were about fifty ebooks copies sold. I had bought twenty paperbacks which I then sold to family, friends and people locally. I did two free-weekends in which I gave away over three thousands copies of my novels in the hope of receiving reviews. At the moment, I have 54 reviews which come from mainly America and British readers. Also the free-weekends are suppose to create payments via pages turned. (click on link for details) These I haven’t received many payments from as I feel readers will snap up a free book to read later, which might be years later. If like myself, readers will hoard books for later. I have several piles beside my bed, and yet I still buy more.
That’s where the problem lies. If a reader is looking around for a new book to read then if they make the choice for themselves they are more than likely to start reading the book straightaway. If it’s a free book, I’m sure the reader will download several books they quite fancy in one go to read at a later date. If you check out Goodreads. See screenshot below. These are all the readers that have Stone Angels on their currently-reading books list.
As you can see some of them may take awhile to read Stone Angels. There are two ways of look at this 1) they bought the book, thus I’ve already received payment from them, so it is up to them when they read my book or not. 2) If they downloaded it as a freebie, when they get round to reading it they maybe pleasantly surprised, and enjoy the book thus they may seek out another book by me. This time they might be happy to buy one. (fingers-crossed)
I think it is far too easy to get caught up in the romance of being a writer and not look beyond the hard work involved. Writer don’t just sit and write. Today we wear several different publishing employee’s hats as we work. Even with the big six publishers still expect their writers to be able to edit their work to a high standard before submitting it, and wear a marketing hat to promote their work.
My expectations in reality were not to be a best seller with my first novel, though I did hope I would generate the money to market my next book. At the moment this isn’t happening. Over the last few months I’ve sold eleven more copies of Stone Angels. Though, I don’t know whether my marketing with Readfree.ly has generated any new sales this weekend. All I can do is hope I’ll earn the money back at some point in the future.
The feedback I’ve received since having Stone Angels published has boost my confidence though I’m now nervous about my new novel. I’ve decided to focus on getting my next novel written, and to see Stone Angels as example of my writing style for readers to experience. This in my mind doesn’t please me as I feel I’m undervaluing my hard work. In no other business would you work for free, or give away your product without expecting some sort of payment.
I guess what I’m saying is I’m hoping that at some point I will write a best seller, but then all writers wish that for themselves too.
I hope I’ve answered your question, Dianne. Thank you so much for following my writing journey.