First-time indie author here. Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story by Michele Sabad is one year old this week, in terms of publication date stamped inside the cover. Publication in Amazon, Kobo, the printing : all these took place before Christmas last year, in time for family and friends to get their copies. The real first book year didn’t start until January, 2018. I summarize that year with one word : Marketing.
Again, first-time author here. I realize now that I should have started Marketing before publication date, not after. The first months were spent revving the engine : emails and visits to bookstores, to online magazines, to friends with connections, to other authors, all in the hopes of some exposure and publicity for my book. This could have been done months before publication, as the book was on its way to birthing date by then. But to make the year-long story short : it worked. Camp Follower has had 3 printings of 200 copies (most of them sales although the first printing included innumerable giveaways), and enough online sales to generate royalty payments. All my indie-author costs have been recovered this first year, and even a rewarding bunch more – nothing that could pay the grocery bills, but as a retired IT consultant living with my retired military spouse, enough for a few extra dinners out!
My Marketing Year (January – November). Breakdown by the Numbers.
Book Signing sales and/or appearances:
- Indigo, Coles, Chapters : 18
- Private bookstores : 6
- Events : 9
Non-sales invited appearances : 4 (including TV)
Non-sales invited articles : 1
Plus: Weekly blog articles, writer’s club meetings, author coffee meetings, 2 contests entered, sales to social circles (eg. condo residents, curling club members, random restaurant and motel staff.) Wow, even I now realize how much time was spent this year on Marketing! No wonder my next novel is fighting for attention. Well, I’m about to switch gears.
I’m using some profit to finally buy a marketing promotion from Kindle for the month of November (more details due soon.) A few more appearances also scheduled for November, and then, December off! New writing to resume. (Yes, I’ve started the next book – it is fiction, that’s all I’m giving away for now;) Keep following, I look forward to 2019. The future is here.