July was a good month.
I've only been self-publishing fiction since February, but I was prepared for the fact that, with millions of other writers out there in the marketplace, getting people to read my books would be difficult.
To that end, and following the advice of other self-pub'd authors, I gave one of them away. It seems to be finally helping, with a small but steady sales trickle starting this month. And the novel, Buried in Benidorm, has been in the top 10 of the "Hard-Boiled Mysteries" category for several weeks now, which can't hurt in terms of exposure. For one its sequel, Vendetta in Valencia, is selling about a book a day now, even without reviews.
Ah, reviews. What a bitch goddess that whole area is, as the Kids In The Hall might've said.
It would be hard to overstate just how tough it is to get book reviews, which are pretty much required before people will plunk down even the small amount of loot my books cost. For every request 10 requests out there, one will bite. For everyone four that are interested one or two actually write a review. When you've got seven books on the market, and an eighth coming soon, patience becomes a necessity. I'm lucky in those that I've received have been almost exclusively thoughtful, from hardcore book fans.
Part of the issue with marketing of course is that I only sell on Kindle which, while doubtless the future of the biz, still only accounts for about a third of the marketplace. Other writers have told me that, even with good Kindle sales, they don't sell that many paperback copies, probably due to shelf space. But people still want paper, and they've mentioned it enough for me to get the point. To that end, I'll be putting out paperback versions of all of my work over the next few months and, from now, on at release. I figure there's not much point in limiting the market.
Perhaps the biggest issue for all writers is that we're more inclined to introspection that to being extroverted, which is required in the social networking age, it seems. I find myself far more inclined to spend my spare time reading, writing and relaxing than promoting, an issue that I'll doubtless have to address as this adventure continues.