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Over 100 Copies of my Book! Thanks Lulu!

I launched in June and sales have been up and down since then, but every few days I get another one. Granted I bought 15 and sent them out to places and people I thought might pay off. So I'm not saying 100 sold, but at least one hundred are out there in the world! That's 100 more books than I ever thought would exist when I started writing. Thanks for this opportunity Lulu.
Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure

Comments

  • WooHoo! Good on you!
  • edited October 11
    that is great! I do love lulu!! 
  • oncewasoncewas Librarian
    Well done!
  • Well done! Did you market it yourself or did you pay for someone to do it for you? 
  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    Thanks for asking, I've done it myself. I made a FB page for it and sent all my friends and family to Lulu. I'm certain the first 50 or more are all people I know. I purchased 15 and sent some to magazines and newspapers, others to small stores and one to my library. The best I can tell, so far this got me a mention and one review in  local papers. I'm still working on the stores, and  I think the library threw it out. 
    My book is aimed at a few distinct subcultures, so I thought I could post threads in forums for those subcultures and then just stand back and watch the magic... but that didn't happen. I was met with indifference at best and hostility at worst, forums are pretty awful, and they seem to only like certain forms of self promotion. 
    Then the weird sales started happening, like 8 books on Ingram. I didn't even know what that was, I certainly hadn't mentioned it to anyone. Then a lulu UK sale? It's funny but Amazon sales are sort of disappointing because of the huge pay cut. Now friends of friends trickle to the FB page and every few days something new happens. 
    But I'm not done! I'm gearing up for a big guerrilla style marketing campaign over the winter, I'll let you know how that goes.
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Did a skiing magazine not also give you a good review? That must have helped also. See if you can work out how many sales you had after that review.
  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    6 print and 2 ebooks since that review in mid Sept. Certainly not a real avalanche of sales. Another magazine said they would put a review in the Oct issue, but it wasn't there, I'm still hoping it makes the Nov issue. I have a lot of other magazines and newspapers I can think of, but with each attempt comes the cost of print+shipping, that may not pay off at all. I have a pro skier  and a traditionally published author who are reading it. I'd like to add blurbs from them to the back cover, but I also don't want to pester them.
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • wildwindwildwind Publisher
    Seamus

    Books are strange creatures. Almost nothing will do it for a book that isn't going to fly, no matter how much time, money and effort are thrown into promoting it. Conversely, if people are talking about a book almost nothing will stand in its way; it won't matter how much the critics hate the book, people will continue to buy it.

    We live in strange times where we've been led to believe that everyone deserves fans and followers simply for being on social media, and that to sell a book you have to promote it on social media. But it is what is in the book that gives it legs. If you have got the basics right, and you are lucky, then your book will sell. There are millions of competently written books out there so luck, unfortunately, plays a big part in whether a book sells or not.

    You have already had more success than most self published authors do with a work of fiction so fingers crossed that it will continue. I hope that you have started working on another book because having more than one book available for sale also helps.


  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    Thanks wildwind,you make a lot of sense. It's sort of a balancing act with the self pub since there is no one promoting our work. Everything I read in preparation told me you can't just create a book then sit back and wait for it to explode. But also I can't be annoying the same people on FB every week with new updates. So that's why I tried multiple angles.
    And it seems like social media gets played out pretty quickly. It sort of broke down like: I told 200 people about it:- 100 people liked the page-50 people bought books.
    I am excited to write more, oddly I had convinced myself I can't start the next one until I finish promoting this one. But I'm sure I can do both. Do you ever even stop promoting a book?  Are you guys still promoting on some level, books you wrote years ago?
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    6 print and 2 ebooks since that review in mid Sept. Certainly not a real avalanche of sales.

    Interesting. What is the circulation of the magazine? According to the masters of marketing, The Readers Digest, only around 1.3% of people who view an offer (or perhaps even a review!) will actually buy it.

     Another magazine said they would put a review in the Oct issue, but it wasn't there, I'm still hoping it makes the Nov issue. I have a lot of other magazines and newspapers I can think of, but with each attempt comes the cost of print+shipping, that may not pay off at all.

    Although this goes off at a bit of a tangent, a mate of mine (this would be around 25 years ago) would place a full page advert, costing £10,000 a pop in newspapers with around 3,500,000 Sunday circulation, but hardly made any money from it directly. But with each order he also sent out his catalogue, resulting in orders for others of his products, it also gave him a 'hot' mailing list that he would occasionally mail out, resulting in more sales. By the end of the year the advert had made him a good profit. Often it's not the initial effort that pays off.

     I have a pro skier  and a traditionally published author who are reading it. I'd like to add blurbs from them to the back cover, but I also don't want to pester them.

    How about when you contact magazines for a review, you alo offer them a book or books they can use in a competition?

  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    The Summit Daily News has a circulation between 6,000 and 15,000.
    The Premier ski mag POWDER told me they don't review books, but I should put some effort into contacting some of the others. 
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    8 sales are not that bad then.
  • Seamus, your success is extremely encouraging to me, and congratulations!
    You said you have felt the need to promote your book before writing more and that is probably a much better approach than mine. Obviously, it is working!

    I have very much neglected doing much in the way of promotion feeling the other way, and that is that I need to get more written and published to establish legitimacy as a creator before advertising my wares. I have a number of (what I feel are) worthy projects in the works which could be completed fairly quickly but a major opus (more than three years into it - perhaps 600 pages) needs completion and I can't bring myself to work on the lesser items until it is completed. This is probably a poor choice on my part.

    The small promotional work for my first Lulu effort has been to leave copies of my book in public places where they can fall into the hands of the reading public. One of my favorite targets have been the "Little Free Libraries" you may see around town. I also gave away many copies to attendees at a large Renaissance festival to grateful recipients as this first work is a verse-novel with a sort of medieval theme. This resulted in a small number of copies being spread to other states.

    One thing I have noticed which is also encouraging to me: of the 30-or-so copies I have left in the Little Free Libraries (6 over time in one of them), I have never seen a single copy return to the little library once it disappeared. This tells me that those who read it want to keep it. (The large local public library, as you have found, is a wasteland.)

    Perhaps I should amend my ways...   ;)


  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    I've had over 200 downloads, from all over the world, of my ebook "Stolen". Mind you it's free. Still like you say it's thanks to Lulu our books are out there.  WELL DONE Seamus.
  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    That's great! I didn't know you could track locations of downloads. How exciting, did you do different language versions?
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Good going, Seamus and Burbette!
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  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
     Thanks Seamus and Ron. No Seamus I don't write in different languages, I just make an English version. Lulu tells you from which country and how many have been downloaded. It's a bit tedious counting the downloads, but I love to know my books are out there. I only make free the novels that have a message. 
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