My Publishing Journey: Crawling to the Finish Line

This week great progress has been made on the milestones to publishing BEFORE THE END, plus news of the pop up book shop in Eton High Street and much, much more as my journey keeps up the pace.

BEFORE THE END

This week I signed off the cover for the Kindle edition of the follow up to IN THE END. I can’t wait to reveal it to the world but I have a structure in place to help drive pre-order sales and I need to stick to that. Once I have revealed the cover, possibly in early July, I’ll be posting up the iterations the designer and I went through to get to the finished product as I think some of you may be interested in the process.

As with IN THE END, I outsourced the creation of the book description or blurb, because it is so key to the success of the work. It also highlights that I’m an independent publisher, not a self-publisher! The blurb was delivered Wednesday evening and after a few tweaks to remove some of the Americanisms, I’m really pleased with the results. The few core people I’ve shared it with have given a great response. Once again I’d love to share it but it’s tied up with my release strategy, so you’ll have to wait!

The release date is looking to be around mid September, with a pre-order period of about two months. This is of course dependant on beta-reading and the copy edit, but I think it’s a reasonable target. Along with the cover reveal and the blurb, I’ll be doing special low pricing for IN THE END.

Other tasks involved in the release will be:

  • Updating my website with the new book details
  • Updating the back matter for the Kindle and paperback editions of IN THE END. I need to do this soon so that I can start carrying stock for my events with the new book details in.
  • I’ll be getting business cards printed for my events which will have details of the second book along with a QR code for people to jump to the various online stores to pre-order

Pop Up Shop In Eton High Street

A couple of weeks ago I found I had the opportunity to take over an empty shop in Eton High Street for the day and I grabbed the chance with both hands. I also organised for two fellow authors to join me on the day and after a week of frantic preparation the day came.

After setting up simple signs in the window and building a sandwich board sign from scratch the previous Sunday, we set the shop up with the three author’s books and opened the doors, excited to see what the people of Eton thought.

We had many visitors on the day, but most were locals who popped their heads in to support the shop, morally, if not with their money! We sold a small amount of books and I gained a few few mailing list subscribers but overall the turnout was pretty poor. The footfall is not very good down Eton High Street, which is one of the reasons the shop is empty! However we are planning to take over the shop again if we’re able. This time we’ll have a little more notice and will be able to target some advertising plus bring some more authors to the party and fill the shop out.

One of the hits of the day was the contents of my Bug Out Bag spread across the table. I had some very interesting discussions about surviving the apocalypse from the least likely of people!

This week I’ll be continuing my tour of WHSmiths stores in the South East of England, taking the time to talk to the nice folk of Wokingham, Berkshire. If you’re around then please feel free to drop in on Saturday from 10am to say hello!

Survivor Volume 2

This week I’ve been back in the sunshine in my garden testing out methods and kit for the latest volume of survivor. I’ve also published a draft of a chapter on fishing in a survival situation. If you missed it then you can check it out here.

Book Three Progress

As I wait for others to complete their tasks with BEFORE THE END, I’m back to writing book three. Progress is being made, but mainly with tidying up the chapters and carrying forward advice I’ve received from my beta reader.

I’ve Gone Wide!

Since my last publishing post I can now consider myself published wide. Well, widish. I now have IN THE END available on Kobo and I’ve already sold a book! Yes only one, but from little acorns etc! You can check it out here.

The process was very straightforward. I went direct and signed up for a ‘writing life’ account then filled out all the details, submitted them on their site and within twenty four hours the book was available. In the coming weeks I’ll be looking at the Google Play store, Apple Books and more.

Marketing and promotion

Here’s a summary of this week’s activity:

  • Continuing to advertise on Facebook with free copies of Survivor to those on my mailing list
  • Testing out Facebook adds targeting the Kobo book listing to global Kobo users
  • The cross promotion with the other authors has completed and the signup rate for the mailing list has dropped accordingly
  • I’ve given away around six free audio codes for IN THE END to people on my mailing list, so I hope to gather more reviews for the audio book.
  • I’ve started producing advertising videos using an online service which is super easy to use. You can either use stock video or animate stock or your own photos to make pretty effective videos. I’m using Wave.Video but there are loads of these kind of services available. You can check out the videos I’ve created below plus the static ad I’m using for the kobo promotion.
  • The main effect I can measure so far is an increase in audiobook sales. So far this month I’ve sold more audiobooks in six days than I did in the whole of last month.

I think that’s just about me for this month. I hope you enjoyed the updates and your comments and advice is always welcomed!

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