Friday, September 14, 2012

The Raw Truth of Book Sales


As Indie authors, we sometimes live in a bubble. We interact with our own on social media, we get excited each time a copy of our book is sold, and we read the hype by other Indies of the thousands of books they sell and believe it can happen to us all.

This is the blog where I just feel like spilling it.

Five months ago, my 2nd novel was released (right around the same time I won the children’s book contest). Patchwork of Me has won numerous awards during the five months it has been out. I went on a book tour and blog tour over the summer. Several that have read it say it is better than my first novel. (But that's apples & oranges.)

Yet of all of my four books published, it is the poorest selling book. And I mean by a third lower from the first novel and even my children’s book. (Yes, I know it is less time out than the 1st, but I can compare first months to both.) If it were traditionally published, it would have been yanked from the stores by now and tossed back to the "lost forever" pile.

I’ve attempted to dissect what could be the reason behind this. I don’t write in one genre – so finding an audience is more difficult. I’m a man that has written a female protagonist in first person POV (and yet female reviewers have said I’ve completely captured this woman). Perhaps spring/summer wasn’t the best time to release this kind of book. It came too quickly after the 1st and those friends that bought my first novel to be supportive wonderful friends may have thought “how many books of Greg’s do we have to buy?”

Whatever the reason, it is a truth I wanted to share as an indie author with my blog readers. Not everything we write is going to be read by the masses. No matter how many accolades it may receive.

We have to stay true to ourselves, but we also want people to find and read our work. Patchwork has a sequel brewing in my brain, but I’m not certain it will see the paper if the first one is such a flop.

I know I want to continue in this realm of writing about adversity and diversity from different standpoints and still plan to release my next book about a biracial woman in the south during the 60s. But that book may only be released as an eBook. (Print copies of Patchwork sold were really - REALLY low.)  

To end on a positive note: Since winning the Intrigue Category in the Reader’s Favorite 2012 Awards, Patchwork's September sales have already surpassed August sales (and we’re only mid-month). So maybe this book that does take us on a journey through fall/winter might do well during the upcoming season.

And lastly: I’m planning a kindle FREE Promotion on Sept 20/21/22. Not with Patchwork of Me – but with my first novel Well with My Soul. I’d love to get more readers to check out this controversial book that pushed some buttons and see what others think about it. One way or another: we want them to not only find our books, but talk about them...right?


14 comments:

  1. Well said, Greg!

    What can I say... another thought-provoking post! Thanks for your honesty and sincerity. Personally, I absolutely loved Well with My Soul, and also Patchwork of Me. They are different, but they are both you.. part of you. carrying your signature writing style many of your fans fell in love with and now can recognize. I'd say, I love them both (books) in different ways...

    Also, and maybe I should have started the comment with this: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Totally deserved!

    I'm glad you'll offer Well with My Soul for free on Kindle. That book, maybe because of its subject, should be a must-read for everybody. That's the book that made me your fan. I'll remain a fan forever, always awaiting your upcoming book release :-)

    Thanks again!

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    1. Thank you so much! Sometimes I think we should share these things so that writers don't walk around thinking that everyone they come in contact with are all selling oodles & oodles of books! :-)

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  2. Thanks for this post, Gregory. You've helped me feel a bit less self-conscious (and disappointed) about my own lack-luster sales. Please know that I enjoyed WWMS immensely and remain convinced that you deserve wide readership. Here's hoping this fall/winter will make that a reality. Best, Jack.

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    1. I think there are more like us than people want to admit, Jack! :-)

      And thanks so much about WWMS. Appreciate that.

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  3. Great post. Hey, Love your honest approach to this.

    And hey, I'll set for just one oddle. :)

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    1. LOL! Some days - I feel the exact same way, Brandon. Thanks.

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  4. Nice, Greg. Ballsy. And needed to be said.

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  5. Kudos for being so honest, Greg. It's something that may help a lot of Indie authors out there. Fair play.

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    1. Hopefully it will help someone else. We're not all selling millions. :-) Thanks.

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  6. Great post Greg. It's refreshing to find an author with enough hutspa to put their thoughts into the mainstream for others to read.
    Consumers are definitely a fickle bunch liking one genre as it seems to be the "flavor of the month" rather than basing a read on it's merits.
    Greg there's no questioning Patchwork is a great book that crosses over into several genres and I for one would love a sequel. Perhaps the sales after your award will keep momentum and the free kindle download of WWMS will have readers clamoring to scoop up copies of your other works.
    I'll be doing my part in driving your sales with my usual barrage of tweets and fb posts.

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    1. You are so awesome! Thank you. I've loved the people I've met online the past year and appreciate the support. Hopefully this will help someone who is feeling low from those small sales to know they are not alone.

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  7. I wouldn't give up on Patchwork or doing a sequel. have you tried getting book groups to read it?

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    1. Oh, not giving up. Just wanted to blog an honest account on this 5 month anniversary of the book. I did go after book groups and so much in a 3 month blog tour. But a great review came out yesterday from the Women Fiction Club Book Reviews. (Thanks, Ken!)

      http://www.squidoo.com/WFCBookReviews#module159367132

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