Tonight around 11 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time I will begin the brief process of uploading my crime novel Pwned to Kindle Direct Publishing. Within 12 hours (usually only an hour or two) it will be available to purchase on Amazon.com. Why am I not bouncing off the walls? Because I learned a few things the last time around–which was just this past November.
1. The internet is not going to explode with excitement.
2. I am not going to sell 100,000 copies on Day One.
3. It will take time for people to read and review it.
4. Most readers won’t bother to review it.
5. Many people who say they ‘can’t wait’ for it to come out won’t even read it–heck most of my own family won’t read it!
6. 90% of ‘review copies’ will go nowhere.
It looks a bit sobering, doesn’t it? It’s actually not. I’m still enchanted with Lexy Cooper and am 4 chapters into Book 3. I’m also planning a holiday-themed short story (a.k.a. shenanigans at the Xenon Xmas party–criminal and otherwise). This time around I only gave review copies to media outlets that reviewed the first book. I gave away dozens of review copies of Schooled to people who were really just too cheap to pay 7 bucks, and felt angry and resentful when they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Not this time.
Other than that, the only thing that’s changed are my expectations, and my sense of entitlement. Just because someone says they want to read it doesn’t mean they will. Mentioning someone in the book is no guarantee they’ll even re-tweet your announcement that it’s available. I have accepted that people owe me nothing, and will or will not read, review, or support my books at their own whim. And that’s okay. I finished writing Pwned back in February, so it’s been a long wait to introduce readers to Lexy’s second adventure in sex, murder, and video games.
That reminds me…I need to go write the description!
I think if you do give away a free review copy though they do owe you a review, but, of course, that’s the ideal and not what will actually happen. I’ve got about 50+ reviewers lined up, only because I know a lot will fall off the face of the earth. But I also have 20+ book review blogs I plan to contact (or have my contract manager do because I’d rather just worry about the writing and have her do the publicity since that’s her job).
I think there’s a big gap in perceived value. People think authors just throw a bunch of words in a document and don’t think about the cost–especially since it’s just bits of digital information. When I think about the value I’m factoring in my costs. I’m not even talking about my time and energy, I mean the costs of having a cover designed and having it professionally edited and proofread. But people are reluctant to spend less than the price of a movie ticket for something that will give them several hours of entertainment.
I AM SO EXCITED! So excited that I already reviewed it. woo hoo! Even though I have read it as you wrote it I STILL can’t wait to purchase the final version.
Well, it s good to be realistic, but you should also enjoy it. It’s not every day you release a book!
It’s tough getting reviews, i hear, but now that you have a second book out in the series, your visibility should increase, and you never know, it may result in some reviews.
Congrats and best of luck!