It’s hard to believe that one week ago I was a ball of nerves as my debut novel, The Memories We Hide, hit the shelves. I woke to an email that pre-orders had been sent and that my book was now live. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t internally squeal with excitement.
So, how did the week pan out? And how do I feel one week on? So glad you asked.
The day of publication was quite surreal. I didn’t expect so many messages, tweets, Facebook shares, Insta photos, and emails! Frankly, it was overwhelming – but in a good way.
To see my book out there and so many people sharing in the excitement with me was amazing. I’ve said before how the writing community is supportive and it showed three-fold over the past week. I tried (and succeeded I think!) to comment, share and thank everyone. Hopefully, I didn’t miss anyone. If I did, it wasn’t intentional!
I didn’t check my sales figures during the first day of publication. I did know how many pre-orders were out, but as for sales on the day, it wasn’t until the following day where I checked.
I was thrilled to see at one point I was ranked #39 in Women’s Fiction (Amazon AU). Which was fleeting, but a cool moment for an unknown, debut author.
The week continued on and the reviews began to fliter through.
I’d already had reviews from advanced reader copies that had been sent out, and the feedback was mainly positive. There was a 2-star review from an advance reader which did get me down for a while, but it’s good for balance. After all, not everyone will like my book, and that’s okay.
I am pleased to say, as I write this, I have 21 reviews/ratings on Goodreads with an average of 4.05 stars out of 5. To say I’m chuffed is an understatement. I also have one 5 star, and one 4 star review on Amazon, and a 4 star review on Kobo which I didn’t realise until today!
I’m pleased with the sales figures to date. They’re nothing to write home about or put me on any ‘best-seller’ lists, but my expectations weren’t that high. I’m a realist. Maybe even tending on the side of a pessimist. I’m ahead of where I predicted, so that’s a good thing. And that’s without knowing full the sales figures from my print distribution. From what I can gather, those sales have been good too.
But the debut novel – for an indie-author at least – isn’t about hitting the big time.
Unlike traditional publishers with the push and reach of a publicist behind them, debut indie authors like me, understand it’s the long-game that’s important. This is the beginning of my author career. I don’t expect to draw a profit until at least my fourth book. And that’s all things going to plan.
So right now, it’s not necessarily about sales figures, it’s about my book being out there.
I have some more promotion planned in the form of a blog tour, podcast interviews, and some minimal spend advertising. I also have my book launch coming up in a few weeks and I plan to do some local library and bookshop visits. It’s about the long game now and hoping The Memories We Hide pot keeps simmering so to speak.
Also in the works in an audiobook. Audiobooks have seen a jump in popularity over the past twelve months and while they’re not cheap to produce, they are part of a smart marketing plan for authors. I’m auditioning narrators right now which is exciting!
So what’s next?
As I said, it’s about the long game. The Memories We Hide is out there now, and I’ll support it with my marketing and promotional plan which will hopefully keep it plugging along in the background.
What’s most important now, after all the excitement, is to get back to writing.
I must admit, I haven’t done much writing on my current work in progress over the last week. But that needs to change. I need to get this manuscript pulled together and off to my editor, and begin working on the next one. As they say, there’s no rest for the wicked! Especially in indie publishing.
To wrap it up, I couldn’t be happier with how my publication/launch week has gone. To realise a dream of publishing a book is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. Four years ago, my book, was a messy first draft that underwent so many changes and, at one stage, almost didn’t make it.
And now it’s out there! It’s definitely a pinch-me moment. I’m a published author!