Go ahead and ask “How did launch day go, Zoe?” Badly. All things considered, it went very badly. It’s ironic that I gave two days as the release date. Despite putting the files on Kobo’s server on the 28th (their time) and giving it a publishing date of the 30th, the book is still not up on the servers. Last week when I realized I’d forgotten to upload The Life and Death of a Sex Doll to Kobo, the book was online roughly seven hours later. This is now well past 72. Still no book, and no clue of when it will come out. Yep, that’s a problem beyond my control. Well…poop.
Maybe their server had a momentary nervous breakdown. Maybe they had a sudden surge of books to take in from many publishers, and I’m in a really long queue. But whatever the reason, Roll the Bones was not on Kobo on either of the launch days.
Before I go on, I want to say, there were 19 copies that went out to people who “pre-ordered” through the indiegogo campaign. So based on preorders, this has actually been one of my better launches.
But, despite having the files up on Amazon (Thank you Amazon; you were right on time) and my blog bookstore for both the launch dates, there was only one sale from the US. Well, and one more purchase of the first book, bringing it up to five total sales for the month. (Not bad when taken in with the other books that also sold. Got 20 July sales on Amazon worldwide, and then there was that one nice fan who requested copies of all my books, and who added a tip to his payment.)
On my blog bookstore, I’m able to see page views for the store links, and both the 3-book combo zip and the epub version of Roll the Bones have a LOT of traffic, but no sales. The traffic, I’m attributing to the number of people who’ve already shared links on Twitter. If anything, I have a good network of people willing to share my stuff when they see it. I’ve improved my visibility a lot lately, but still have yet to find a way to break into any new reader markets.
Finally, on Kobo, I’ve had two sales, and I think two people have tried my free stories. (There may be more, but there’s no way to tell when free stories are taken on Kobo. I only know about these two because they said they had on Twitter.) I have a three-star rating on one freebie, a five on another freebie, and a five-star rating on Confessions of a Zombie Lover. Kobo has a map that shows where books were sold to, and I had one sale in the US and one in Canada. (And thank y’all for buying copies, and for rating them. That was mighty awesome of y’all to do that.)
So, as you can see, it wasn’t exactly a bad month for me, and when you add in the fact that I did an editing job for 10 days at a rate of 70 euros a day (56 after taxes, but I ain’t complainin’ about paying my share) this month has been extremely good for me.)
Conversely, I was good to other people, and I used some of my cash to hire another cover artist for a book that isn’t even done yet. I bought a number of books, ebook and print, and both pro and indie. I got a few music CDs, again, pro and indie. I’ve even bought a CD from an indie band in Austin, and I’m having to wait on international shipping. (Which should take about two months) But boy I’ll bet my MP3 player’s “Smart” DJ will be stumped. “I don’t…who are these guys? I’m sorry, I can’t make a playlist with this.”
When I’m given cash in August, I’ll be able to pay my editor to cover the last bit of what should be a fair rate for her services on Roll the Bones. I already paid $50 while the Indiegogo campaign was in progress, but not on the site. So I figure another $150 should get her up to the $555 she was asking for. This way, when she goes to work on Thicker Than Blood, she will be suitably motivated to want to finish it and turn in corrections. =^D
So, you can see I’m trying to put a positive spin on everything else, but man, what an ugly book launch. I’m not saying it woulda gone better if Kobo had published the file on time. At best, I might have expected one more sale. There were no lines of people waiting for that book to come out. The were people willing to visit the store and browse the basics. Just not many buyers…okay, any buyers.
Um…hrmm. Oh, right, the other stat that interesting to mention to end this on a positive note, is a nice number from Wattpad. For a couple days, Sandy Morrison and the Pack of Pussies shot up the rankings to join the top 100 paranormal stories. For a day it hovered at 87, and then it dipped to 57. Then it went back up and I think it’s 158th now. It’s had 1,400 readers and still counting, so I have at least accomplished that much and got some new readers.
So in conclusion, July wasn’t a bad month. But man, those last two days sucked a bit. Better luck next month, I hope.