Karen Patrick author of Scaling The Dragon’s Back
Congratulations You Are Now A Published Author…
Taking a call from my e-book publisher back in December 2013 which informed me I was ‘published’ made me feel an enormous sense of achievement I had fulfilled a lifelong ambition of writing a book and having it published. Just as important I would continue to raise funds for my chosen charity through the sales of my book. Or so I thought.
I had considered the self-publishing option but lacked the technical knowledge and confidence to do so. Having found a publisher who gave me feedback that there was a market for the subject matter of the book helped my confidence enormously.
My book is a travelogue of my experiences when trekking part of The Great Wall and describes my observations of visiting China and thoughts on seeing The Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Terracotta Warriors. The trip was life changing for me.
I undertook the Trek to support the work of Dementia UK, Admiral Nurses. My fundraising had been successful and I hoped the e-book would be a way of continuing to raise funds. Fifteen months later I have sold just 15 copies of my e-book titled ‘Scaling The Dragon’s Back’, that is 1 copy for each month of its publication.
As at October last year having sold only 13 copies I decided to have a marketing push, promoting the book with a 50% price reduction in the run up to the Christmas festive period. I hoped perhaps people would have more time to read over the holiday period and be searching for an e-book to purchase for the i-pad or tablet they had received as a Christmas present.
A Consultant helped me to draw up a marketing plan. A big part of my marketing strategy was a concentrated promotional campaign on Twitter. In a three week period in the lead up to Christmas I posted 4 relevant tweets a day. Mike Smith, Beezeebooks, and ASMSG members were very helpful in retweeting many of my Tweets. Additionally, Dementia UK and other dementia related organisations retweeted at least once. The sale was also promoted on my Facebook page. I had hoped all of this activity would generate a few sales, and sure enough it did generate a few sales; 2! Imagine my disappointment 2 e-book sales from all of my and others efforts.
The few reviews of the book posted on Amazon and other e-book sites had been good; four or five stars. And feedback was that my book was an enjoyable read, and informative.
I am left to wonder whether I chose the right format for the book as it includes many illustrative photographs, perhaps it would have better sold as a coffee table printed book for readers to browse at their leisure reading small chunks. Most of all I am disappointed for my chosen Charity who supported my book all the way.
So what am I to take from this learning experience? Is my experience typical of unknown e-book authors? Would it have been better to go for the traditional printed format? Does social media have any impact on sales? I really would be genuinely interested to hear of the experiences of other writers.
See Karen Patrick