Thursday, January 31, 2013

Little things

Units sold: 17
Amazon Sales Rank: #623,437 in Books

I didn't even check the official sales log, I can tell from the ranking no books were sold.  I have convinced myself that the book is not going to magically disappear, so I am beginning to process the "long run" nature of promotion.  I am continuing to reach out to people I know and have gone from asking them for a purchase to seeing if I can send them copies to give out.  I also lost access to Hotmail in a workplace security enhancement, and emailing through my phone is a pain, so correspondence is going to have to shift to night time.

Through discussions with Angie, my sister-in-law, I have made progress towards a better publicity release which includes a couple of quotes from people who already have the book.  These I think are sound endorsements. 

“I’m cracking up. From "Will You?" to "I Do." is so funny. I should probably stop reading it though; I am always complaining about how buried I am at work. Shoot. I want to go hide somewhere and read this.”  - Dominique R. 

“67 pages in, it's embarrassing how many times I laughed out loud.  From "Will You?" to "I Do." is a definite gift for one of my buddies getting married this year.” – Todd N. 

Aren't you convinced?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Book A Day

Units sold: 17
Amazon Sales Rank: #313,386 in Books

The first tweet recommendation went out by a friend (solid Todd).  Plus, one additional copy sold. 

I read that Bowker, a book-industry-focused market-research firm, estimated 250K self-published titles were released in 2011, and the number is growing.  A lot appear to be titles such as "The Cowboy Who Loved Me," which I imagine involves a man's intimate relation with his horse, told from the horse's perspective.  To be the cream of the self-published pack I need to get to and maintain a 5-figure rank based on these numbers.

Because I believe I have written something good enough to be recommended, I am going to try and giveaway a book a day to either a stranger or acquaintance with a "tell a friend and post a review if you like it" clause.  That is the game plan.

I also learned that I can request that the Cincinnati Public Library purchase it through a website form.  Trying to decide when that should be submitted.  And will be mailing a copy to one of my high school English teachers, Mr. Hays.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Publicity Release

Units sold: 16
Amazon Sales Rank: #597,526 in Books

Sold one copy since Jan 23rd.  Not looking good.  The task for this week is to create a publicity release.  My understanding is that this is a "News Flash" for people who make news flashes so they don't have to work as hard making a news flash about your "News Flash."  You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to pass on your vital info in a one to many situation.

I am networking to try and get some help on my "News Flash."  I need my "News Flash" to
1) Submit to Midwest Book Review in hopes of scoring a review
2) Neatly package with promotional copies of my book to media outlets

In terms of media outlets, The Knot is my most desired national media target.  I believe I have a shot with them giving the subject matter, and they featured portions of the book when I posted them as blog entries there a long while back.  Locally, Cincinnati Weddings magazine is HQ'ed in my building and it appears like a good match that I can "visit" easily.

All of this is based on getting a book in their hands and the quality of the writing and humor winning them over.  As it is abundantly clear I am going to need help in reaching any goals containing at least 3-digits.  ONLY 84 TO GO!

I did deliver 15 signed copies to my mom this weekend, so the true circulation is going to surpass 30 soon, depending on her plans.

Sent another gentle bribe to my friends to get the first Amazon review.  I hope my gentle bribes are entertaining enough not to annoy them.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Charting a Path to Succes

Units sold: 15
Amazon Sales Rank: #252,067 in Books

One of my friends picked up the book on the 23rd.  I assume that was the reason for the bump in sales rank of roughly 60,000.  Or maybe 60,000 other books managed to sell negative copies and dropped.  Maybe it is net of returns, but I wouldn't think there would be that many returns of books only selling single copies.  I am going to give Amazon some credit on its analytics and figure that it involves more than just daily sale tallies.  But it won't stop me from trying to creating to terribly non-comprehensive model if it. 

5 books got me to 80k something.  1 book got me an improvement of 60k to 250k.  Crack open Excel.  Create basic table.  Create plot and curve fit with an exponential series.  Solve for y = 1 as equal to Sales Rank #1000, round to get: Answer = 243.  That is not as intimidating as I thought, but still 16x more than I have sold to date.  And when I think of that as a daily rate, it will be a miracle to achieve it. 

Check that R-squared though, you know its true at .9988.  Almost like guessing last week's lottery numbers.     

Units Sold Sales Rank
0 311
1 250
5 83

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Status Report

I am trying do something each day that will help make progress toward selling 1,000,000 copies.  In addition, I need to track that progress. 

Metric #1: Units sold
Source: Createspace account
As of today: 15

If your goal is selling a certain number of units, then tracking units sold, very well could be the most direct way to measure that.  In fact, I am so confident that tracking units sold is the best way to measure yourself against a goal of units sold, that I am not going to devote any time researching an alternative.

Metric #2: Amazon Sales Rank
Source: Amazon book page
As of today: #311,804 in Books

I am going to use this as a momentum indicator.  My best day was Jan 16, 2013 with five copies sold.  I did not record the Sales Rank, but I recall it as being 80 thousand something.  To sell 1,000,000 copies at 5 a day will take 200,000 days, which is just under 548 years, so clearly this metric needs to get to sub-1000 at least.  And I am glad they specify "in Books."  I am probably #345,735 in Books and Refrigerators, but that does imply there are at least 33,931 refrigerator models available and selling better than my book.  I feel that might be a little high, so I am probably more like #328,872 in Books and Refrigerators.  Yes!  I just jumped 16,863 by make believe fact-checking a made up number.

Others to consider:
Metric #3: Amazon # of Reviews
Metric #4: Amazon Average Review (# of stars)

My initial goal is to get a review, and hope that it is 4 stars or better.  And follow that up with one that is from someone I don't know.

Report format:
Units sold: 15
Amazon Sales Rank: #311,804 in Books

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway

In researching what options are out there for self-published authors, I found the Goodreads website.  I signed up, reviewed some books and then registered myself as an author.  As an author I could register to giveaway copies of my book.  In this case 14 signed copies.  The contest runs until Feb 24, 2013.

Goodreads claims that ~60% of giveaways winners review the book they won.  So to avoid having to request a statistical distribution of their results, I opted for 14 giveaways, estimating that would give me about a 90% chance of getting at least 5 reviews.  Hopefully what is below is a link to that giveaway.

The good news is that 24 people have already requested it, so I am relieved of the initial embarrassment of not being able to giveaway the book.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

From "Will You?" to "I Do." by Drew Lloyd

From "Will You?" to "I Do."

by Drew Lloyd

Giveaway ends February 24, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

In the Beginning

Roughly nine years ago, I got engaged, decided to move back to the Midwest, didn't get a job for several months, became the default wedding planning assistant, and typed some of the planning episodes into a word doc that grew to 70,000 words.  Tried sending it to a couple literary agents to no avail. 

In the summer of 2012, I finally committed to taking this word document, which was as long as a book and make it into a real book.  I engaged Createspace to formalize this process.  Another round of editing and then layouts and cover design.  Finally, on January 9, 2013 I had created an actual book.

I am going to use this blog to track my progress on selling 1,000,000 copies.  Yes that is a stretch goal, but I figure that would be enough to not have to write another book.

On January 23, 2013, I stand at 14 copies sold.  This is the impact of notifying friends and family and puts me at 0.0014% of my target.  I will make notes of my progress and what I am trying to do to get readership and mentions, etc.  I have taken a few steps already and will try and note those so you can follow along at home.

Accomplishments:  Typed "Drew Lloyd" into Amazon search enough times to get it to the top of the results.  That may be on my computer only, so someone may need to verify.

Short-term Goal: Get one of my dearest 14 friends and family to review the book on Amazon.