It’s been three months since I launched my novel, The Library of Lost Books, on Kindle. So, how has it done? Pretty good, I think, to judge by the numbers. I want to present them here so that other writers out there can get some idea of what to expect when they e-publish their debut novel.
Here’s a little background to put this all in context. Before Library I had not published anything, anywhere except for one short story (The Truck Stop) which I published in December of last year (2011) on Kindle and Nook. I sold about 20 copies of that story at the time, mostly to friends.
I released “Library” only on Amazon Kindle’s KDP Select program and these are the promotional tools I used:
- A group email to friends.
- Simple pop-ups ads on Goodreads. My budget was small, much less than $100 per month.
- 1 author event. A Q and A session on the Readers and Writers group at Goodreads. (Thanks, A.F.!).
That being said, these are the results of my first three months for Library. Total books Sold, Borrowed and Given-away are over 1,000. I was very happy with that!
[If anyone wants me to verify these numbers, I will send along the Excel files from Amazon.]
This all brings us to one thing…make that two…Garth Brooks and honky-tonks.
Now, I know that not everyone out there likes country music, but there is something about a guy that can pack Central Park and get “close to a million” New Yorkers to sing a country song along with him. Anyway, he had this to say about his “honky-tonk” years before he started packing stadiums.
“For me, there’s something more important than the numbers,” he stresses, “and that’s the level of passion with which people follow you. If there’s going to be a fight breaking out at the Thanksgiving table about what was the best concert anybody ever went to, you want your name mentioned. That’s what you want, and that’s the most important thing to me—how passionate people are about who’ll they believe and follow.”
Well put, Garth. (Have you ever considered writing, by the way?). In that spirit, I have to say that the most amazing things than have happened so far are the reviews I’ve received from total strangers. Here’s a review from Amazon that really blew me away.
I love this book, October 9, 2012
This review is from: The Library of Lost Books (Kindle Edition)
“I don’t want to wait until I finish it to write this review, and I certainly don’t want to rush through it. I grabbed this while it was free, but it’s well worth the price otherwise. It’s an amazing read, and one that will enchant anyone who’s ever found they’ve lost an hour or two browsing in the stacks of a library, as well as anyone who loves books and reading.
Every page has phrases and sentences that I want to read out loud. There’s just so much to this book: philosophy, history, adventure. This book is one of hundreds waiting for me on my Kindle Fire, but the gentleman on the cover kept catching my eye, and I decided to start it the other day. I’m glad I did.”
They haven’t all been that way, but that was the first really positive one that came through. And it’s just the sort of thing that can kick a writer in the ass, motivate him and get him to keep pouring all he’s got into his writing. So thanks, Magnus, and thanks to all of you who bought it, downloaded it and borrowed it. In a strange way, I couldn’t have done it without you.
PS. As a parting gift, here’s Garth: