My Publishing Journey: Would You Survive?

This week I’ve been back at work after a week of doing wonderful bookish things and have had my head down again as I push forward with my campaign!

Book Signing After Action Report: Staines 16th March

For my last two signings I provided separate posts, but this week I just haven’t had time, despite wanted to share my latest news.

Staines Town Centre was dead quiet. The store was dead quiet, Footfall was through the floor. The store team couldn’t put their finger on the reason. The weather was very blustery so I can only think that might have had an effect.

However, unperturbed I deployed my latest refinement to the patter and had my updated bookmarks in hand then set about targeting to sell and sign seven books, which was one more than my signing in Reading two weeks ago. I was on site an hour earlier than my previous events and the day started as it meant to continue. Despite the very low footfall, I sold twenty signed copies and the store took five on sale or return!

I was and still am, overwhelmed with what I consider to be an outstanding result. Big thanks to Nick, the ex-store manager for WHSmith for his help and to the store manager of Staines. He was very enthusiastic, as were his team and has helped me out with future singings.

My next signing is in my local WHSmith store in Slough on 30th March, where I aim to beat that result. It will be tough, very tough, but I have a few more ideas I’ll be putting into action which I will let you know about after the event. I’m also making arrangements for lots more appearances in the coming months. I have the bug for meeting the public and talking about my books!

I’ve created an event through Facebook for the next signing and it will be interesting to see if that helps.

Survivor Released

As you will know, I have been working on my new novella ‘Your 144-page guide to creating a Bug Out Bag for an emergency situation forcing you from your home.‘ It features survival guides, short fiction and chapters from In The End. You can check it out here.

This week I finished the copy and formatting and it’s now available to pre-order. I have a few tweaks to do for the paperback, a second proof is on its way. It looks amazing! Plus I released the PDF version for free to my mailing list. There is a link in the welcome email so anyone can download a copy once they sign up! Sign up here if you have not already.

Advertising

My main effort on advertising is to gain mailing list subscribers and I’ve been playing around with Facebook ads, testing different copy, testing different types of ads such as boosted posts and advertising for Facebook likes etc. For the Facebook Likes I have been targeting those around Slough with interests I think match my genre. I’m keen to see if any of them turn up to the signing!

I’ve been segmenting my mailing list so I can track where my subscribers come from. I have also produced a special landing page for when I do ads aimed at those who sign up because of Survivor. When I get chance I will be doing some analysis and share my results with you.

Other passive advertising continues as I participate in Zombie Fiction groups on Facebook. I did an interview last night which will be posted up to the groups in the coming weeks, plus I’ve joined survival / bug out bag groups. They’re a fun bunch! I have great ideas for the next round of BOB posts or updates to my novella.

A new area I am currently exploring is Reddit. I’ve known of its existence for years but never really saw the point. So far I’ve found a few applicable threads and posted about Survivor and I’ve had a few referrals / mailing list sign ups. This will be something I will be researching some more in the coming weeks.

I can at least say I am already selling more books because of all this activity.

Audiobook Sample

Following a great article by ACX I uploaded the retail sample (Chapter One) of In The End audiobook to SoundCloud.com for free. I can now promote the audiobook on social media and people can link straight to the sample. If you haven’t had a listen then here it is!

For instruction on what to do if you want to do the same then you can check out this article.

If it’s the audiobook you want then it’s here.

Writing Progress

Before The End is still with the editor, so I’m back to writing from scratch again as I work on the ‘Dirty Draft’ of the third novel in the series. I’m really enjoying getting the words on the page, but I’d forgotten how much hard work it can be. This novel is written in two alternating points of view, Logan from In The End and another character from Before The End. I can’t tell you who as it would be a massive spoiler. I’m not completely sold on the format yet but I’m just trying to flesh out the story outline and figure out my angle. Who knows where it will take me!

A Cost-Effective Training Course

I’ve enrolled on a short online training course called ‘Writing Killer Blurbs & Hooks.’ It’s a steal at $39 / £30 and delivered via audio on the teachable platform by Adam Croft who is one of the most successful indie authors in the world. I’m looking for the course to not only improve my blurb writing skills, saving me money on the professional blurb writer, but also to help me with my marketing copy. Here’s a link to the course if you want to take a look.

That’s it for me, I’ll just leave you with a sneak view of Survivor in paperback!

GJ Stevens

I am a Writer. I am many other things too, but I love to write. On 8th November 2019 I released my second novel, Before The End, a compelling apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless, immersing you in a fight for survival. Available to pre-order now from Amazon!

14 comments

    • Hi Katie. I’m indie publishing, unfortunately there’s no self publishing here. It means my work is professionally edited and employ specialists for marketing advice, blurb writing etc. Self publishing is more about writing a book and doing everything else yourself. I have mapped out my journey in great detail on my blog and here’s way too much to go into in one comment. You can check it out here https://gjstevens.com/category/publishing-journey/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fantastic … thank you. I’m sorry, I’m very ignorant about all of this. I had thought indie publishing was the same as self publishing. Gosh, I have a lot to learn. Many thanks, I’ll have a read now. Katie

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much! I should really already know. I’ve finished writing my first book and now am starting to edit it. I had no idea that editing was so much harder than the actual writing part. I seem to spend rather a lot of time googling when to use a semicolon rather than a comma. This is fairly basic grammar, so I think I have a long way to go. Now I understand why so many people start writing and then give up!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would recommend making it as good as you can be, but not to the point where you lay awake at night worrying about punctuation. Invest in an editor’s services to look over your work (a manuscript evaluation first) then a copy editor. If you are serious about your book then indie publish not self. I can recommend my editor if you like.

        Like

  • Well done on everything you’ve been doing, I don’t know how you find the time. 20 copies sold on a quiet day is amazing. I’ve been reading Survivor with great interest and have concluded that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I’d be screwed. Not because I don’t have the survival skills, but because I don’t have the gear. Unless everything goes wrong while I’m in Finland, in which case I’m totally fine. I even have all the fishing gear.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Not sure if you have it in Britain, but ther’s a site called Chirp, which is the BookBub equivalent for audiobooks. They sell them for a limited time at a very reduced price, with the idea of increasing paper/eBook sales.

    Liked by 1 person

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