Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Keeping Momentum

The life of a self-published author is kind of weird three and a half weeks after the big event. To be honest, I feel both thrilled and anxious, anxious for something more to happen.

'Out of Bounds' was published simultaneously on Amazon and on Smashwords on March 14th. It took a few days for the paperback to be included on the various Amazon websites and about a week for the ebook to reach Barnes & Noble and others. 'Out of Bounds' is still in the queue for inclusion on Kobo - the gateway to WH Smith in the UK, FNAC in France and Portugal, Feltrinelli in Italy, and as far away as Bookworld in Australia, Indigo in Canada, Paper Plus in New Zealand, Rakuten in Japan, etc. So the roll-out of the book is pretty much under control. What is less certain, however, is the self-promotion side of things.

I followed up the launch with a splash on Twitter and Facebook, and have been naturally talking about 'Out of Bounds' with people. I also published two press releases and an interview via Smashwords, which has helped the momentum going somewhat. By the way, for those of you who have been involved in the project, and for those of you who have shown support via the social media and bought the book, I am deeply grateful. Your comments have been so helpful toward the promotion. I do truly feel the word of mouth spreading.

The initial buzz was crucial, but as is the case with what is good, things must come to an end. So here I am, 3.5 weeks after publication and now in a waiting period. The questions on my mind are: how long will it take for this word of mouth to spread? What does it take to create sales spikes in the data I am receiving? When the hell will Kobo make 'Out of Bounds' available? How can I market my book further without appearing redundant?

I guess the answers to all those questions are 'Patience' and 'keep at it'. As Victor Hugo once said: "Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."

My blog visitors come from all over the world and I am picking up the occasional follower on Twitter. I also guess it takes time for one to find the book, read it, and share the news - that's if the person liked the book. The momentum spark might happen again. Who knows? Maybe someone will post a review of the book on Amazon and increase awareness, maybe get 'Out of Bounds' on the "People who viewed this also viewed" list on Amazon (and be associated with Michael Connelly's latest - 'The Gods of Guilt'; or RJ Ellory's upcoming 'Carnival of Shadows', release date 22 May). That's a great recipe to generate extra sales. Then hopefully I'll feel a domino effect. At some point maybe someone influential (an agent, a writer, or someone famous) will pick up a copy and like it? I suppose Michael Connelly blessed the day Bill Clinton (when he was President) walked out of a bookstore and was photographed with a copy of 'The Concrete Blonde' under his arm. Ideally, this is the type of publicity I'm looking for. Ah, wishful thinking!

It's nice to dream. I know. Anyhow, this isn't preventing me from adding some more words to novel n°2.

I'm now about 30,000 words plus into the draft and I'm liking the way it is shaping up. In my Smashwords interview (published March 29th), I mentioned that the story will be situated in the United States and I will be studying the serial killer in depth. I think I have come up with a new angle for the genre. I cannot disclose anything yet, but I think my killer is twisted and evil like you've never seen before. My main protagonist will be an anti-hero journalist (but smart nonetheless) and his investigation to uncover the killer will have epic proportions. The plot (and therefore killing spree) will be spread over a twenty-year period. It'll be dark, gritty, and hopefully fun and intriguing.

Take care. Will write again soon. And by the way, if you have book marketing ideas or any comments about 'Out of Bounds', don't hesitate to let me know.