I meant to get a thank-you and a recap out earlier, but I got super busy. It’s now exactly seven days since the Grinder’s Keeper release, so I’m gonna pretend I had it scheduled that way all along. Here’s a recap of random thoughts.
Thank you. First order of business is to thank everybody who bought the book and passed the word. When you’re just starting out, your promotional budget will usually hover somewhere around zero dollars. The go-to technique in that case is word of mouth, and every little bit helps. Fortunately, social media is a force multiplier on that front, and my friends are great about talking me up. If you want to help an indie author, click like, share FB posts, comment on their blogs, rate them on Goodreads, retweet, click the Google +1 button…anything to get the word out to someone that might like the book. It all matters.
People love free stuff. The zero dollar promotional budget isn’t just an advertising thing. It means the only incentive you have to offer is the work itself. I think they’re good, but I have to get you to read it before you’ll believe me. Since the work is all I had that’s what I offered. I put up the first Caine book, West of Dead, for free for one day only. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. It downloaded 439 times. I’m new at this but that seemed like a lot. At the very least it’s 439 people reading today that weren’t yesterday.
I’m kind of a big deal in the UK. West of Dead sold two copies in Great Britain last month. During the free download period twenty people grabbed it. How cool is it to sell overseas? There are 22 people somewhere in England reading my story! If I ever stop thinking that’s cool I’ll probably stop writing.
Don’t forget the Germans. 5 downloads in Germany. Danke.
Get reviews. This is just a hunch but I think the free promo went well because WoD had a bunch of reviews. It’s okay to ask friends and it’s okay for them to be honest. In fact it’s better if they are honest. You’re probably better off with ten 4 star reviews than one 5 star review. Again I base this off of nothing but feeling, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Get to work. When the free promos started going crazy I was taken aback. I spent most of the day watching the numbers and tweeting the milestones. That’s fine but I shook it off the next morning and got back to work. I started the process of making a print version of Grinder’s Keeper available. I started getting it out to other digital outlets (it’s live on Kobo now). And most importantly I…
…Keep writing. As much as you have to worry about marketing and networking and all that other good stuff, it’s still about content. So I’m busily typing away on the next novel. It is another Caine story. I have ideas for other work, including one for another series, but right now I’m putting a lot of effort into building Nathaniel Caine and his weird west world.
This is fun. As much work as this is, and sometimes it feels like a metric shit ton of work, it’s still a helluva lot of fun. I’m lucky enough to be doing this full time which puts me square in the ‘follow your passion’ group. That’s a good place to be.