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View Full Version : Here we go! Rebecca McKeown's self-publishing diary



RLMcKeown
05-10-2013, 04:40 AM
Hello, all! I've mainly been a lurker up until now, though I have posted a few times. I've been enjoying reading through everyone's self-publishing threads. Seeing the numbers has been quite motivating!

I'm in the process of self-publishing a short collection of my poetry called Bless the Bitter Night: Poems about Failed Love in the Modern World. Since it's poetry, and only a short collection, I don't have any grand ideas of selling millions of copies. I'm sure it will mainly be friends who buy it. I just think self-publishing is a good way to get my work out there, plus I've always liked the "do-it-yourself" lifestyle, so it's a good fit for me! I'm in the middle of writing a fantasy novel. I'm not sure if I'll self-publish that. Right now, I'm just focusing on this poetry book. I figured I'd document how things go here, as it might help others who want to self-publish poetry.

Right now, the ebook is up on Amazon and Smashwords for $0.99. It just got accepted into the Smashwords' premium catalog, so it will be a while before it's uploaded to Kobo, Apple, and the rest. I'm also in the process of uploading directly to Barnes and Noble, but my vendor account isn't verified yet, so I haven't published there as of right now.

The book will also be in print. My proof copy from Createspace should arrive tomorrow. If everything looks good, I'll hit "publish." I'm not sure how long it takes after that to get it up on Amazon. I did pay the $25 for Createspace's expanded distribution, which may end up a waste of money, but I figure $25 isn't terrible.

Once the print copy is up on Amazon, I'll "officially" release it, which basically means I'll promote it on Facebook and Twitter and my website, as well as send out an email to my mailing list (which has one person as of right now haha.)

Sooo... that's it. I'll keep you all posted!

merrihiatt
05-10-2013, 05:10 AM
Welcome, Rebecca. I look forward to reading your thread.

It only takes four or five days for the paperback book to be live at Amazon once you approve the proof. Longer for it to appear on other sales channels.

RLMcKeown
05-10-2013, 05:35 AM
Welcome, Rebecca. I look forward to reading your thread.

It only takes four or five days for the paperback book to be live at Amazon once you approve the proof. Longer for it to appear on other sales channels.

Good to know! Thank you, Merri!

FionnJameson
05-10-2013, 06:43 AM
Good luck! You're going to love it here. Everyone is uber supportive and we help each other out a lot.

RLMcKeown
05-10-2013, 04:32 PM
Good luck! You're going to love it here. Everyone is uber supportive and we help each other out a lot.

It sure seems like it! Good to know I can turn to you all for advice.

Undercover
05-10-2013, 04:41 PM
Welcome and good luck to you!!!

Celeste Carrara
05-10-2013, 06:39 PM
Good luck Rebecca :-)

FYI, you can do a giveaway on Goodreads of your printed copy. That could help get your name out there. Also, you can do one on Library Thing too and on there you can do an ebook giveaway.

RLMcKeown
05-10-2013, 07:20 PM
Good luck Rebecca :-)

FYI, you can do a giveaway on Goodreads of your printed copy. That could help get your name out there. Also, you can do one on Library Thing too and on there you can do an ebook giveaway.

I haven't heard of Library Thing, but I'll keep it in mind. Thanks! I'm planning to do a Goodreads giveaway once I see the proof and get the print copy up on Amazon. I'm at work until later this afternoon, so I have no idea if the proof is here yet, but I hope it will be waiting for me.

Man, it's exciting to see myself on an Amazon author page! Same for Goodreads! Ahh!

Ann Joyce
05-10-2013, 07:43 PM
Hi Rebecca, :welcome: I haven't yet done an author page or Goodreads, but it sure is exciting to get your work out there. I wish you much success! Looking forward to following your journey.

Tezzirax
05-10-2013, 09:21 PM
Good luck, Rebecca. CreateSpace puts together a nice looking product, and it is awesome to hold your book in your hands. Be sure to proof it front to back and back to front.

I order a couple proofs of my books so that my wife and I can mark them up in final proofreading runs--I spot more errors in the printed version than the electronic version because I am seeing my words a whole new way. Attack it with a red pen and a pad of post-it notes, even if you think it's pure as driven snow.

Judy Koot
05-10-2013, 09:33 PM
Man, it's exciting to see myself on an Amazon author page! Same for Goodreads! Ahh!

Hi Rebecca, sounds exciting indeed...
Welcome to the forum (am a newbie here myself, and will also be self e-publishing for the first time this year) and good luck!

RLMcKeown
05-10-2013, 10:09 PM
Thanks, everyone!


Good luck, Rebecca. CreateSpace puts together a nice looking product, and it is awesome to hold your book in your hands. Be sure to proof it front to back and back to front.

I order a couple proofs of my books so that my wife and I can mark them up in final proofreading runs--I spot more errors in the printed version than the electronic version because I am seeing my words a whole new way. Attack it with a red pen and a pad of post-it notes, even if you think it's pure as driven snow.

Good advice. I plan to go over my book several times. Since it's so short, that won't be an issue. I know I caught quite a few spacing/layout errors in the digital proof. Hopefully there won't be any more!

Also, the proof hasn't arrived yet (drat!) even though I paid for it to arrive today. Does anyone know if Createspace ships via UPS or FedEx, or if they go with USPS? My mail already arrived today, but usually UPS and FedEx deliver later in the day where I live.

Katallina
05-11-2013, 12:48 AM
Welcome! :) Looking forward to reading how things go for you. Good luck! :)

vagough
05-11-2013, 01:34 AM
Good luck Rebecca :-)

FYI, you can do a giveaway on Goodreads of your printed copy. That could help get your name out there. Also, you can do one on Library Thing too and on there you can do an ebook giveaway.

Second the suggestion about the LibraryThing giveaway (haven't tried Goodreads yet but will have to do that, too). It generated a respectable amount of interest in my book when it first came out.

I also used CreateSpace for the cover and was very pleased by how it turned out.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Tienci
05-11-2013, 03:14 AM
Welcome and good luck! :)

LBlankenship
05-11-2013, 05:51 PM
More hellos, good lucks, and a proofreading tip for when you've looked at something a million times already: read it backwards! It helps you keep that mental distance.

RLMcKeown
05-11-2013, 07:44 PM
More hellos, good lucks, and a proofreading tip for when you've looked at something a million times already: read it backwards! It helps you keep that mental distance.

Yes! That's a great tip. I first learned it in journalism school, and use it quite frequently now.

Thanks, everyone! I'm at a friend's house, but I hope my proof is on my doorstep when I get home later. I'm excited to see it!

RLMcKeown
05-11-2013, 11:19 PM
The proof was, in fact, waiting for me when I got home. I looked it over briefly, but it looks great! Tempted to hit "publish," but I'm going to make myself wait until I look it over several more times.

RLMcKeown
05-13-2013, 03:49 AM
Just a little update. Even though the book hasn't been publicized as "released" yet, I sold one ebook on Amazon. Woo! I'm pretty sure it's from YouTube since I posted a trailer on my author channel that linked to my Amazon page. I'd mentioned my author channel earlier on my personal channel, so one of those subscribers must have hopped on over.

Norman D Gutter
05-13-2013, 06:51 AM
Good luck, Rebecca. May you have many sales.

NDG

MmeGuillotine
05-13-2013, 02:20 PM
Good luck and I hope you get many more sales! :D

RLMcKeown
05-13-2013, 10:32 PM
Thank you, Mme!

I'm getting a bit nervous because my paperback book showed up on Amazon yesterday when I searched my book title, but now only the Kindle version shows up. When I click on my author page, only the Kindle version shows, too. Though, I don't think the paperback appeared there last night, either. I'd bookmarked the paperback's page and it looks fine when I go to it there... Does anyone know if this is happening because Amazon is merging the Kindle and paperback listings into one, or is there a glitch or something I should be worried about?

merrihiatt
05-14-2013, 12:01 AM
Give it a couple more days to sync up. If it doesn't, contact Amazon KDP directly. Do you have an author page set up? It allows you to claim your books and you can link to it so only your books show up.

RLMcKeown
05-14-2013, 12:26 AM
Give it a couple more days to sync up. If it doesn't, contact Amazon KDP directly. Do you have an author page set up? It allows you to claim your books and you can link to it so only your books show up.

Thanks, Merri. I hope it sorts out soon. I do have an author page set up. Right now it only shows the Kindle version (which I uploaded first) and not the paperback, but when I search the paperback to add it to my page, it says it's already added. I'm assuming this is going on because Amazon is merging the two, but I'm not sure. Has anyone else experienced this?

merrihiatt
05-14-2013, 05:52 AM
Can you see the book on your author page, from author central, I mean? Amazon KDP asks you to wait 24 hours, but after that you can contact them. It might speed things up.

RLMcKeown
05-14-2013, 06:56 AM
Can you see the book on your author page, from author central, I mean? Amazon KDP asks you to wait 24 hours, but after that you can contact them. It might speed things up.

Only the Kindle edition shows up when I go to my books in Author Central. I've even tried to add the paperback through there, but it says it's already added--it just doesn't show up anywhere unless I use the link I bookmarked. Since it showed up first on the site yesterday, I figure I'll see if it shows up again tomorrow and contact them if it doesn't.

RLMcKeown
05-14-2013, 09:35 PM
Though I "officially" release my book tomorrow, I got another Kindle sale today! That makes my total sales so far 3. OK, technically only 2 sales, since one was me making sure it looked OK on my Kindle and Kindle Fire straight from Amazon. :P

So far, no sales on B&N, Smashwords, or Kobo, but that's OK.

Judy Koot
05-15-2013, 02:36 AM
Pre-congrats on your book release, Rebecca!
I noticed that, in the sample, there's only the cover and table of contents, and no poem(s). Is this on purpose?
I always like to see text samples, and I think other customers would like that too (it may help with sales).

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 03:17 AM
Pre-congrats on your book release, Rebecca!
I noticed that, in the sample, there's only the cover and table of contents, and no poem(s). Is this on purpose?
I always like to see text samples, and I think other customers would like that too (it may help with sales).

The paperback shows much more, but for some reason, the Kindle version doesn't, which is one of the many reasons I want the listings to link up ASAP so people can at least look inside the paperback version before they buy the Kindle version. Does anyone know if there's a way to have Amazon show more of a book's Kindle version? I know Smashwords lets you pick the percentage, but as far as I know, Amazon does not.

EDIT: Forgot to say thanks for the kind words! haha

Ann Joyce
05-15-2013, 04:29 AM
Yes, Rebecca. You could put your TOC in the back of the book, then your sample would show some actual content, instead of the TOC. I put mine in the back of the novel just because I find them unattractive. It's just as easy for the reader to access there. Hope that's helpful.

Celeste Carrara
05-15-2013, 04:42 AM
The paperback shows much more, but for some reason, the Kindle version doesn't, which is one of the many reasons I want the listings to link up ASAP so people can at least look inside the paperback version before they buy the Kindle version. Does anyone know if there's a way to have Amazon show more of a book's Kindle version? I know Smashwords lets you pick the percentage, but as far as I know, Amazon does not.

EDIT: Forgot to say thanks for the kind words! haha

I believe there is a way to select the percentage of the kindle preview on Amazon. Now if i can just remember how to do that...
Sorry I can't be of more help.

Congrats on the 3 sales!!

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 04:54 AM
I believe there is a way to select the percentage of the kindle preview on Amazon. Now if i can just remember how to do that...
Sorry I can't be of more help.

Congrats on the 3 sales!!

Thank you! If you remember, please let me know! I've tried Googling it, but haven't found anything.


Yes, Rebecca. You could put your TOC in the back of the book, then your sample would show some actual content, instead of the TOC. I put mine in the back of the novel just because I find them unattractive. It's just as easy for the reader to access there. Hope that's helpful.

Hmmm... that could work, though I feel like having a TOC in the back would be kind of weird for my book since the TOC lists the different poems and is clickable, which would make more sense in the front. I suppose I can always re-upload a version with it in the back if it really seems to be hindering sales, though. Thanks for the tip!

Ann Joyce
05-15-2013, 05:13 AM
Hmmm... that could work, though I feel like having a TOC in the back would be kind of weird for my book since the TOC lists the different poems and is clickable, which would make more sense in the front. I suppose I can always re-upload a version with it in the back if it really seems to be hindering sales, though. Thanks for the tip!

My TOC in the back is just as interactive (clickable) as one in the front would be. On the Kindle, there is a 'Go To...', which takes you to the menu, where Table of Contents is one of the choices. The reader can easily access your Toc from there. Just a suggestion, but if you're uncomfortable with it... I don't know any other option to get more content in the front of your book. Maybe someone else has another idea. Good luck with it!

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 05:25 AM
My TOC in the back is just as interactive (clickable) as one in the front would be. On the Kindle, there is a 'Go To...', which takes you to the menu, where Table of Contents is one of the choices. The reader can easily access your Toc from there. Just a suggestion, but if you're uncomfortable with it... I don't know any other option to get more content in the front of your book. Maybe someone else has another idea. Good luck with it!

Ahhh, I see. I've never used that function on my Kindle, but that makes more sense.

merrihiatt
05-15-2013, 05:30 AM
Adding more back matter (information about other books, author info., insights about your poetry, links to your website and author page) will help. Amazon makes 10% of a title viewable. For a 100-page book, you will be able to view the first 10 pages (50 pages, first 5 pages will be vewable). If your cover, copyright page, dedication and table of contents take up that 10%, that's all your readers will see.

You might want to place one of your shorter poems in the book description area. You can do this easily through author central.

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 05:39 AM
Adding more back matter (information about other books, author info., insights about your poetry, links to your website and author page) will help. Amazon makes 10% of a title viewable. For a 100-page book, you will be able to view the first 10 pages (50 pages, first 5 pages will be vewable). If your cover, copyright page, dedication and table of contents take up that 10%, that's all your readers will see.

You might want to place one of your shorter poems in the book description area. You can do this easily through author central.

I may do just that, Merri. Thanks for the suggestion! I also may take Ann's advice and move the TOC, or add more back matter like you suggest, later. But since the book is officially being released tomorrow, I don't want to mess with uploading a new file tonight. For the future, is replacing the ebook with a new version/edition (like adding more back matter and moving the TOC) a rather seamless process, or will my book be off the site entirely for a bit?

Ann Joyce
05-15-2013, 06:04 AM
For the future, is replacing the ebook with a new version/edition (like adding more back matter and moving the TOC) a rather seamless process, or will my book be off the site entirely for a bit?

I know this question was addressed to Merri, but if you don't mind my two cents, whenever I change something, I wait to hit publish until before I go to bed. Then, in the morning, at least so far, it's back up with the changes I made. I'm only published with KDP so far.

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 06:38 AM
I know this question was addressed to Merri, but if you don't mind my two cents, whenever I change something, I wait to hit publish until before I go to bed. Then, in the morning, at least so far, it's back up with the changes I made. I'm only published with KDP so far.

No worries, Ann--it was a question for anyone! I appreciate everyone's insight and tips since I'm a newbie. I can use all the advice I can get :D Making changes before bed seems to be a good approach. I'll try to do some more digging, but it does seem like the "old" version stays up until the new version shows up.

merrihiatt
05-15-2013, 07:52 AM
Yes, the old version stays up, so no worries about someone trying to download it and finding it unavailable. You may want to put a note on the copyright page. Something so you will know the modified version is live. This could be as simple as an asterisk below the copyright info. or typing Rev. 5/14/13. I've done both, but prefer the asterisk.

ETA: You cannot make other changes while the title is in review, though. So, no changing prices or revising the description (unless you do it through author central).

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 08:26 AM
Yes, the old version stays up, so no worries about someone trying to download it and finding it unavailable. You may want to put a note on the copyright page. Something so you will know the modified version is live. This could be as simple as an asterisk below the copyright info. or typing Rev. 5/14/13. I've done both, but prefer the asterisk.

ETA: You cannot make other changes while the title is in review, though. So, no changing prices or revising the description (unless you do it through author central).

Good to know! And good tip about the asterisk, Merri.

General update: I contacted Amazon about my paperback not showing up in search/merging with the Kindle edition yet and apparently the paperback wasn't added to my account. I have no idea how that happened since it would tell me it WAS added when I tried to add it, but it seems to be taken care of now. Pheeww!

Judy Koot
05-15-2013, 01:19 PM
Ooh, learning a lot from this thread, very useful tips here.
Thanks everyone!
And Rebecca: great your problem is solved now.
Good luck with sales!

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 07:28 PM
Ooh, learning a lot from this thread, very useful tips here.
Thanks everyone!
And Rebecca: great your problem is solved now.
Good luck with sales!

It's been quite a learning experience for me, too! But it's also been fun, so it's OK. :D

Thank you! It seems it's doing the same thing on Amazon UK, but I think I'll just wait for a bit and if it doesn't clear up, I'll contact them again.

I just officially "released" the book on my site and social media, so we'll see how that goes. Next on my "to-do" list is running a Goodreads giveaway.

Celeste Carrara
05-15-2013, 08:38 PM
Congrats on the official release! Good Luck!

Did you Tweet about it? If so, I'll retweet it. Every little bit helps! I'm willing to help you out any way I can!

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 08:53 PM
Congrats on the official release! Good Luck!

Did you Tweet about it? If so, I'll retweet it. Every little bit helps! I'm willing to help you out any way I can!

Yup, I put a tweet out this morning. And thank you so much! You are wonderful!

Celeste Carrara
05-15-2013, 08:56 PM
Yup, I put a tweet out this morning. And thank you so much! You are wonderful!

You are very welcome & I just retweeted it now! I really wish you much success!!

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 09:19 PM
You are very welcome & I just retweeted it now! I really wish you much success!!

Thank you! I retweeted the link to your new book, too. I don't have quite as many followers (OK, not even close), but I hope it helps!

Celeste Carrara
05-15-2013, 11:22 PM
Thank you! I retweeted the link to your new book, too. I don't have quite as many followers (OK, not even close), but I hope it helps!

Thank you! Even if just one person sees it, that's one more person that might buy my book so I am very grateful for the retweet reguardless of how many followers you have!

RLMcKeown
05-15-2013, 11:57 PM
Thank you! Even if just one person sees it, that's one more person that might buy my book so I am very grateful for the retweet reguardless of how many followers you have!

You're right! I love how supportive everyone is here!

Another quick update (you guys are going to get sick of me haha): I posted a video on my crafting/personal YouTube channel letting people know my book was out and one of my subscribers commented that she bought a copy for her Nook! It hasn't shown up in my NookPress sales page yet, but I'm betting there's a delay like on Amazon. The ebook is $0.99, so I won't be making a ton of money from each sale, but still. Money is great, but having people read and enjoy my poems is the main goal. Poetry was never much of a money-maker :P

HistorySleuth
05-16-2013, 08:57 AM
I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca tonight at our local writer's group. Imagine my surprise to find she was a fellow AWer! She brought her book with her and I think it came out lovely.

Spell-it-out
05-16-2013, 02:24 PM
Congrats on the official release Rebecca!

RLMcKeown
05-16-2013, 05:39 PM
I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca tonight at our local writer's group. Imagine my surprise to find she was a fellow AWer! She brought her book with her and I think it came out lovely.

Thank you! It was wonderful to meet you and to find you here, too! Looking at the cover in your signature, I actually have seen you around here before. (The cover is quite striking--I remember loving it the first time I saw it. Can't remember which thread that was in, though.)


Congrats on the official release Rebecca!

Thank you so much!

I'll do a quick sales update tonight. I plan to do some more marketing this afternoon, so we'll see if it pays off!

HistorySleuth
05-17-2013, 12:52 AM
I'm getting the book version so I can snag your autograph on it at the next meeting. :D

RLMcKeown
05-17-2013, 12:56 AM
I'm getting the book version so I can snag your autograph on it at the next meeting. :D

Thank you so much! You guys were great--I can't wait for the next meeting.

RLMcKeown
05-17-2013, 05:55 AM
OK, here are my sales numbers for my newly released book!

Amazon KDP: 4 (I'm not including the copy I bought to test on my Kindles haha)
Barnes and Noble NookPress: 1
No paperbacks or Smashwords sales so far, which is pretty much what I expected. We'll see if Smashwords picks up pace at all.

Overall, I'm pretty happy. It's better than selling none! I figure a couple more sales from friends who know about it will trickle in over the next few days. Other than that, I may not sell much more than this, but I'll try!

My Goodreads giveaway for one signed copy started today and runs until June 6. So far 40 people have entered and 13 people added the book, which I think is pretty decent for a short collection of poetry by an unknown poet.

OH! I got my first bit of "fan mail" on my Facebook page yesterday. A girl I don't know, but who has been interacting with my page for a while now, sent me a message saying she bought the ebook and loved it. Then she gave me a 5-star review on Amazon! I'm quite happy that my first review is from a stranger.

That's it for now. Hope everyone is doing well!

robertbevan
05-17-2013, 06:40 AM
hi rebecca. i've been following this thread for the past couple of days, but today is the first day i've had the time to write and congratulate you.

welcome to the club, and congratulations on your first few sales, and especially your first fan mail from a stranger. that always feels great. i wish you good luck and continued success. :)

RLMcKeown
05-17-2013, 07:10 AM
hi rebecca. i've been following this thread for the past couple of days, but today is the first day i've had the time to write and congratulate you.

welcome to the club, and congratulations on your first few sales, and especially your first fan mail from a stranger. that always feels great. i wish you good luck and continued success. :)

Thank you! I saw you just updated your thread, so I'll hop over there in a second to see how you're doing. I'm getting addicted to reading everyone's updates :D

I felt like dancing around the room when I received her message, and I'm especially pleased she took the time to write a review. Those can be hard to get.

Judy Koot
05-17-2013, 11:48 AM
Congrats on your first review.
It must be great to hear someone you don't know appreciates your work!

Judy Koot
05-20-2013, 08:07 PM
I've noticed the Kindle sample now does show a couple of your poems.
Just wanted to let you know, in case you didn't do this yourself.
Or if you did, how did you do it? By putting more backmatter in the book?

Katallina
05-20-2013, 09:49 PM
Sounds like your off to a great start. :) Congrats on the fan mail & review. :)

Ann Joyce
05-20-2013, 10:32 PM
Hi Rebecca. I wanted to offer my congratulations on your very nice first review. I checked out your book, too, to see what was showing in the 'look inside' feature. You must have added back matter because I see your ToC is still intact in the front the way you wanted it to be. Makes sense in a book of poetry, I think.

I was a bit surprised though, to see 4 poems showing out of 18. That seemed like a lot in such a small book. Anyway, I'm glad you got it all worked out. Congrats on the sales - I wish you continued success!

Celeste Carrara
05-20-2013, 10:38 PM
Such great news! Congrats on the review & fan mail! It's so exciting!!

RLMcKeown
05-21-2013, 12:47 AM
Thanks, everyone!


Hi Rebecca. I wanted to offer my congratulations on your very nice first review. I checked out your book, too, to see what was showing in the 'look inside' feature. You must have added back matter because I see your ToC is still intact in the front the way you wanted it to be. Makes sense in a book of poetry, I think.

I was a bit surprised though, to see 4 poems showing out of 18. That seemed like a lot in such a small book. Anyway, I'm glad you got it all worked out. Congrats on the sales - I wish you continued success!


I've noticed the Kindle sample now does show a couple of your poems.
Just wanted to let you know, in case you didn't do this yourself.
Or if you did, how did you do it? By putting more backmatter in the book?

It's odd because I didn't do a thing! When I contacted Amazon about merging my Kindle and paperback versions, I did mention that I'd like more to show in the sample, if possible. They didn't address that in their response, but I guess they must have done something.

RLMcKeown
05-27-2013, 05:52 AM
Okay, time for a sales update!

Amazon KDP: 6
Barnes and Noble NookPress: 1
Createspace: 1
Smashwords: 8 sample downloads, but no sales

I've been slacking on promotion lately as I've been swamped with work and family things, so I do need to kick that up a bit.

AgathaChristieFan
05-31-2013, 03:09 AM
Congrats on your first sales! May many more come :)

RLMcKeown
05-31-2013, 04:41 AM
Congrats on your first sales! May many more come :)

Thanks and same to you!

MmeGuillotine
06-01-2013, 01:48 AM
Awesomeness. Good luck with June - hope you sell loads of books! :D

RLMcKeown
06-01-2013, 03:38 AM
Awesomeness. Good luck with June - hope you sell loads of books! :D

Thank you!

merrihiatt
06-01-2013, 04:41 AM
Continue on. We'll be here supporting you.

Norman D Gutter
06-01-2013, 05:35 AM
Good work, and best of luck & success to you.

NDG

RLMcKeown
06-01-2013, 06:43 AM
Continue on. We'll be here supporting you.


Good work, and best of luck & success to you.

NDG

Thank you both! I'm going to browse some of the AW promotion threads and SP diaries to get some new marketing ideas, too. Even though I work in the marking/PR field, it seems like a different world when it comes to promoting my own book!

Tienci
06-01-2013, 09:42 AM
Thanks for the update, and good luck with the upcoming months !

RLMcKeown
06-07-2013, 08:00 PM
Just a quick little update about promotional stuff. I'll post updated total sales on Sunday... if I remember.

My Goodreads giveaway ended yesterday and I sent the signed paperback off to the winner today. Here's hoping she leaves a review! (A good one, while I'm hoping.) 342 people entered to win a copy and 146 people added it to their "to-read" shelf. We'll see if it ups sales any.

I did make a mystery Kindle sale this week and I think it might be because of Tumblr, though I'm not sure. I posted a photo of one of the poems in my book and put it on my author Tumblr, made the photo link to my site's book page where all the sales links are, and made sure to tag the photo well. I'm talking "unrequited love poems," "breakups," "breaking up," and every other tag I could think of that would appeal to folks looking for some poems about failed love haha. One great thing about Tumblr is that lots of users like and will reblog poetry. And lots of users are angst-filled teenagers who go through breakups a lot.

As of right now, the post has 39 notes, which include likes and reblogs. Not too shabby. Again, I'm not sure if that's where the Kindle sale came from, but it may have.

My other Kindle sale this week came from a kid I went to HS with. My HS English teacher bought a copy a while back and shared it on Facebook, so that must be how he found out about it, since I haven't announced anything about the book on my personal Facebook. It was kind of weird when he messaged me about the book because while we were friendly in school, we were never super close. But he's a musician and said he was happy someone from school was still making art, so maybe that's why he bought it. Who knows. It was nice of him and I was glad to hear he liked the poems.

That's it for right now! Hope everyone's doing well.

Ann Joyce
06-07-2013, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the update. All sounds very upbeat. Very good to see you making headway.

Maybe you can answer a question I have regarding giveaways. People talk about them on AW frequently, but I've never seen a post or thread on how to set one up or how the winner is selected. Any instruction on this would be appreciated. Or do you think it would be better for me to start a thread with this question?

RLMcKeown
06-07-2013, 10:41 PM
Hmmm... I'm not sure. I have no problem with answering it here to the best of my knowledge, but if the mods want you to start a new thread, that's fine, too!

The Goodreads giveaway I ran was really easy. I just followed the guide here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/how_to. They choose the winner and you send out the book when it's over. I'm not sure how LibraryThing works.

If you want to do a giveaway on Facebook or a blog, you can use Rafflecopter. https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/ I used it for my lit mag, and it was pretty easy, though some people got confused by some of the entry tasks, so I'd keep it simple.

merrihiatt
06-07-2013, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the update.

WriterBN
06-07-2013, 11:44 PM
Good luck with your ongoing efforts. I'd be especially interested in hearing about your giveaway results. I did two GR giveaways that had no discernible effect on sales, but I did get one very well-written review.

RLMcKeown
06-08-2013, 01:59 AM
Good luck with your ongoing efforts. I'd be especially interested in hearing about your giveaway results. I did two GR giveaways that had no discernible effect on sales, but I did get one very well-written review.

I'll be sure to update on it! I'm not sure it will result in sales directly, but I'm really hoping the girl who won will leave a review, which may sway people to buy it. We'll see! I got five copies of my book for free and only had to pay for shipping them to me and then shipping one to her, which wasn't much money, so even if the giveaway doesn't help sales, I didn't lose much on it.

RLMcKeown
06-10-2013, 04:58 AM
OK! Here are my total sales as of today.

Amazon KDP: 8 (2 sales this week)
Barnes and Noble NookPress: 1
Createspace: 1
Smashwords: 8 sample downloads, but no sales

So nothing much changed except two people bought Kindle copies this week.

Ann Joyce
06-10-2013, 06:20 AM
Congrats on the 2 new sales! And thanks for answering my question. I just noticed that you had done that. Had an out of town graduation party yesterday, and was working on my novella Friday.

AgathaChristieFan
06-11-2013, 10:36 PM
Congrats on your 2 sales! Every sale counts :) And thank you for liking me on Smashwords.

RLMcKeown
06-12-2013, 01:26 AM
Congrats on the 2 new sales! And thanks for answering my question. I just noticed that you had done that. Had an out of town graduation party yesterday, and was working on my novella Friday.

Thank you! I hope my answer helped a bit.


Congrats on your 2 sales! Every sale counts :) And thank you for liking me on Smashwords.

No problem! Thanks for liking me back :D

Celeste Carrara
06-12-2013, 05:48 PM
2 sales is better than none! ;) Congrats!

RLMcKeown
06-25-2013, 06:08 PM
Time for an update! (I really just do these randomly, don't I?)

I sold two books since I last updated. One was an ebook purchased by a very nice AWer. The other was a print version bought during a poetry reading. A local poets group does readings every month and the poet scheduled for last Sunday had to cancel, so I was called in at the last minute. Not too many people showed up, but it was nice just the same.

I had to get some business cards hastily printed at WalMart since I only had three books available and I wanted people to know where they could buy it just in case they sold out (hahaha). To print 16 cards, it cost me a bit over $7. My books sells for $7 flat when I sell it in person, now add the cost of gas, and the meal I had after, and I actually lost money on the whole thing :P That's OK, though. Right now, I'm not attempting to live off of this book.

Oh! For those of you who read my other thread where I mentioned joining AmeriCorps VISTA and not being able to make any income outside of my stipend, I checked with the head honchos, and they said I was fine to keep selling the book because it was published before I signed up for VISTA. Phew! I would have just taken it out of print/put the ebook up for free if I had to, but I like this much better. To be honest, I might not even meet the payment threshold by the time I'm done serving anyway haha.

Hope everyone's doing well!

RLMcKeown
06-28-2013, 10:41 PM
Just a quick update: I got two copies of my book into a local bookshop. We'll see how they do!

RLMcKeown
06-29-2013, 02:30 AM
2 sales is better than none! ;) Congrats!

Just saw this! Ooops! Thanks, Celeste. You're right--I'll take 2 over 0 any day :D

Sunwords
06-29-2013, 11:47 AM
Wish you best of luck with this book. I noticed it in your signature - I love the cover.

RLMcKeown
06-29-2013, 07:41 PM
Wish you best of luck with this book. I noticed it in your signature - I love the cover.

Thanks! I used Createspace's cover creator, which really isn't the best and I'd probably do it myself/hire someone for the next book I self-pub, but I was worried about getting the dimensions right, and I figured since I'd just be using a simple photo I took anyway, the cover creator would work fine. And it did.

RLMcKeown
07-20-2013, 05:52 AM
Update time! I've been busy getting ready to move on Saturday, so I haven't been too active on here. Sorry!

Here are my updated sales figures:

Nook- 1 sale: $0.40
Kindle US- 10 sales: $3.85
Kindle UK- 1 sale: 0.26
Createspace- 2 sales: $3.32
In person- 1 sale: $7.00

Hope you're all doing well!

RLMcKeown
07-20-2013, 06:52 AM
Good luck with your ongoing efforts. I'd be especially interested in hearing about your giveaway results. I did two GR giveaways that had no discernible effect on sales, but I did get one very well-written review.

The results are in! The person who won left me a very sweet 5-star review on Goodreads saying she'd read it "over and over again." I also just made a paperback sale, too. I'm not sure if it's related to the review, though.

Spell-it-out
07-20-2013, 04:06 PM
Hi Rebecca, I've just read both reviews on Goodreads, congrats on that!

RLMcKeown
07-20-2013, 07:11 PM
Hi Rebecca, I've just read both reviews on Goodreads, congrats on that!

Thank you!

Ann Joyce
07-21-2013, 08:21 AM
High five on your new review. I know how wonderful that feels.

RLMcKeown
07-22-2013, 06:22 AM
Thank you, Ann! It always makes me happy to hear others like my work.

AgathaChristieFan
07-22-2013, 07:03 PM
Congrats on your sales so far and your reviews!!! It's always a good feeling, isn't it :) ?

RLMcKeown
07-23-2013, 12:48 AM
Congrats on your sales so far and your reviews!!! It's always a good feeling, isn't it :) ?

Thank you! It definitely is. Reviews are so hard to get, too.

RLMcKeown
09-02-2013, 04:19 AM
Wow! It's been a while, hasn't it? I'm all moved in at my new place and I've started my new job, so now I can breath a bit. At the AmeriCorps orientation, I talked to one of the people in charge about my book just to be sure I could still sell it. I can, but I'm not supposed to do huge amounts of promotion. Soooo, it's time for a little experiment of sorts. We've all heard the idea that hard sells don't work and it's more effective to interact with readers via social media without mentioning your book. So that's what I'll be doing. I may mention my book here and there if I get a new review or something, but for the most part, I'm just going to use social media as a way to interact with readers.

I'm also planning to post free short stories on my blog. So far, I have two up. One of those I JUST posted. I may combine them into an ebook to put up for free on Smashwords in the future, too.

I'll keep everyone posted! Since my last update, I've had one ebook sale and I'm pretty sure it was because of one of my free short stories, though I'm not positive.

Hope you're all well! (Please forgive any typos. I'm wicked tired.)

Ann Joyce
09-02-2013, 06:24 AM
Thanks for the update, RLMcKeown. So glad you don't have to unpublish. Blessings on this next season in your life. I'll be watching for your posts.

RLMcKeown
09-02-2013, 06:33 AM
Thanks, Ann!

swvaughn
09-02-2013, 06:37 PM
Congratulations on your sales so far! :)

And very awesome that you're doing AmeriCorps! I did it for a year after I graduated high school -- it was an amazing time. I'd do it again if I could afford to live on the stipend. :)

RLMcKeown
09-02-2013, 11:59 PM
Congratulations on your sales so far! :)

And very awesome that you're doing AmeriCorps! I did it for a year after I graduated high school -- it was an amazing time. I'd do it again if I could afford to live on the stipend. :)

Thanks! I love it so far, but living off the stipend is definitely going to be difficult.

Norman D Gutter
09-03-2013, 08:15 AM
One sale is better than none. Here's hoping that will increase in the months ahead.

Judy Koot
09-03-2013, 11:31 AM
One sale is still one sale and if it makes someone happy... Nice!
Good luck with the short stories and with your job at AmeriCorps (since I'm not American, I totally had to look that up; it sounds great).

RLMcKeown
09-04-2013, 02:54 AM
Thanks, all!

Judy- I'm terrible at explaining it to my non-American friends. I usually bumble through an explanation and suggest they look it up haha

Judy Koot
09-04-2013, 05:44 AM
:D

RLMcKeown
10-05-2013, 04:44 PM
Hello, hello! I had to dig this thread up from the forum abyss, but I'm back with an update!

I've been trying to post on social media frequently. I've been doing well with Facebook, but not as good with Twitter and Tumblr. I'm not sure if my social media presence has helped all that much, but it's nice to interact with the few fans I have on there. The thing I'm still kind of giddy about is a Tumblr post I made a while back. I posted a photo of one of my book's poems (http://rebeccamckeownwrites.tumblr.com/post/52150076229) on there, and it now has 75 notes (reblogs and likes)! It's no where near what some posts on Tumblr have, but it's pretty good to me! The picture links directly to my site's book page, which links to all my sales channels. I do think I've obtained a couple sales from the Tumblr post. I'm debating whether to do another one.

Also, I've started a fantasy story on my blog. I plan to post a new short part to the story every week. Some posts will be more "day in the life" stuff, while others will be more exciting. I think of it as a webcomic without the comic part since I'm an awful artist :p I just posted part 2 yesterday. I have no idea if this is because of the story, but I did get a Kindle sale this month from the UK. Kindle still manages to be my best marketplace, with Createspace in 2nd.

Hope everyone's doing well!

merrihiatt
10-06-2013, 01:23 AM
Great to read an update.

RLMcKeown
10-06-2013, 06:42 AM
Great to read an update.

Thanks, Merri! I need to catch up on everyone's threads. I've been slacking!

RLMcKeown
05-28-2014, 10:05 PM
Hello, everyone! I don't have much to report as far as sales. Since I last posted, I've sold a few books. I don't have my data handy, but they aren't huge numbers, I assure you.

I do have news, though! Once my AmeriCorps service wraps up in early August, I'll be able to make money outside of my stipend again. (For those who are just tuning in, AmeriCorps VISTA members cannot make money outside of their monthly stipend. I was able to keep selling my book because it was published before I joined VISTA.) What will I do, you ask? Write another poetry collection, of course! I'm not sure when the book will come out as I've only just started the process of writing new poems and going through what I already have, but I'll keep you all posted.

Hope you're all doing well!

HistorySleuth
05-29-2014, 09:00 AM
Good for you!

AgathaChristieFan
05-29-2014, 05:55 PM
That's great, RL! It's cool that you're getting the hang of Tumblr; I still haven't LOL.

Good luck with your next poetry collection. Have you already written it? Or is it still in the planning stages?

Judy Koot
05-29-2014, 09:20 PM
Welcome back to the world of the (poetry) writing!

RLMcKeown
05-29-2014, 11:52 PM
HistorySleuth- Thanks!

AgathaChristieFan- Thank you! I haven't written it yet. I'm currently planning, going through finished poems, and writing new ones.

Athena Solomon- Thank you! It's good to be back!