Today marks my first full week as a self-published author! I originally decided to post Talented directly to Barnes and Noble so that it would be available immediately for sale, and thus far that decision has been advantageous. Why? For several reason: 1) I have changed the synopsis three times since posting, and the book has been updated almost instantly, 2) I have changed the cover art three times, and while the changes took a little longer to implement, they too were made within a few days, 3) The sales data is available within hours of the sale.
In order to sell Talented for the Kindle, IPAD, Sony E-reader, and several other readers, I decided to use Book Baby. While I have been very happy with Book Baby, I was a little hasty in my original submission and making changes to the synopsis and cover art is taking time to make. Additionally, the sales data won't be available for a while so by the time I release Caged next month I won't know whether the money I paid for the aggregator service was worth it. Will I use Book Baby again for Caged? Yes. But this time I will also submit directly to Amazon so that I can better track what the sales and appeal of the books.
What have I learned? Well, I've learned, what should have been obvious the first time around, MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS EXACTLY HOW I WANT IT BEFORE I SUBMIT. Ha ha ha, I know rookie mistake. This time I will run the synopsis by several of my trusted advisors (friends) and possibly some harsher critics. The cover art for Caged is already in the works, unlike last time where I waited until the last minute! So, I am confident that I will be able to see several drafts before making a final decision.
My marketing team (close friends) has a lot of ideas for giveaways and promotions for Talented in the coming weeks, SO STAY TUNED!!! Currently, for just 1000 points on Book Buzzr, you can win TALENTED! So far we have had one winner, but there are plenty more copies available before the giveaway ends!
So, what else have I learned? Sales take time, overnight success is rare. The first sale was a very exciting day for me (January 10, 2012 will forever be marked on my calendar), but every sale since has been (almost) as exciting!
Finally, I have learned that without my bestfriends this wouldn't be possible. They have worked almost as hard as I have to help me with everything from minute story details to massive overhauls in the plot to marketing strategies and cover art ideas. They have endured late night phone calls and frantic emails in order to make Talented and the subsequent books possible. So, for their continued help/advice/aggravation, I thank them - AGAIN.