Self-Publishing Part 11: Amazon Lists, Best of This, That, or the Other Thing ​

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

Amazon lists appear at first flush to be the Holy Grail of big-data sales accuracy. Amazon knows what was sold, when, by whom, to whom, and for some Kindle versions, even how many pages have been read: Finally, the El Dorado of sales accuracy.

Except it’s not. Read More

Self-Publishing Part 11: Bestseller, best of and Other lists. Who makes them matters.

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

The last member of the list making quadrangle are the list makers themselves. No one does this as a public service. They are trying to attract people to their publication/business, be that a newspaper, periodical, blog, bookseller or what-have-you. Now, if all the list maker did was get raw numbers, rank the top X titles and publish it, all the bestseller lists would be essentially the same, differing—if at all—only by how the numbers were grouped: broadly as fiction vs. nonfiction or more narrowly into genres like mysteries, or subgenres like drawing-room whodunits. But if this were all a list maker did, it wouldn’t matter much if a reader went to the NYT or WSJ, or this blog, or that column: Same number of books sold. Same titles. Same ranking, same old same old.

How would that attract readership? Why buy XYZ newspaper if I can find the same thing in that one, or some other one or free in a blog? Read More

Self-Publishing Part 11: How Many Books are You Selling Anyway?

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness When talking book sales, the recording industry analogy provides a last insight: regional sales. Each of the three most important recording industry bodies handles international sales differently, sometimes giving some hint to that in their name: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) handles, unsurprisingly “recorded […]

Self-Publishing Part 11: What Selling 250 Copies Really Means

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

Returning to the idea that the average self-published book sells fewer than 250 copies: What does this say about the average author of the self-published book? That he or she knows fewer than the average number of people, or that the people they know aren’t the kind that supports writers? Or that only a few close personal friends and some family ever buy self-published books?

Nope. Read More

Self-Publishing Part 11: the Book Hunts for 500 Buyers

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

Why only 500 books? Why not 5,000? Ten thousand?

The 500 copies sold is a first mile-marker, not an end goal, which also happens to come with serious benefits for books on iUniverse’s Traditional Publishing Path like A Perfect Blindness. Read More

Self-Publishing Part 11: A Wobbly Platform Starts Taking Aim

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

All manner of plans still not enacted aside my site was live.

Further, I was trying out the ideas from the books I’d chosen as models albeit in a piecemeal, disorderly, catch-as-catch-can fashion.

One of my first active actions was to take every one of the early fans from the FB group and put them into the email list program, make a fancy-looking (imagine quite busy with far too many images) email announcing the book’s publication, which I then sent to all eleven of them. The results: One recipient confirmed buying my book because she got this email. That’s nearly 10% conversion, which is quite high I’ve read. More importantly, it’s proof of concept, suggesting that I’m NOT wasting my time.

Certainly, with such a tiny sample, this single email proves nothing, but it WORKED damn it!

Then, I emailed a few friends and much of my immediate family. Why not all my friends and family? Read More

Self-Publishing Part 11: Wobbly Platform Doesn’t Mean Empty Platform

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

To be fair to myself, I hadn’t been sitting around staring at my screen, clicking on everything else I could to avoid doing work, which would have been easy given that the 2016 presidential campaign was running parallel to the launch. Despite that distraction, I’d gotten things done, several actually, and had sold a handful of books. The blog was going, and it had gained followers not only on WordPress but also on Medium, and gathered a few readers, likes and other reactions on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This blog lives on a website that wobbled, but held together and has been improving since, meaning my designing all of the artwork on Canva, and learning how to use WordPress better, creating and loading copy and adding links to capture emails for the mailing list: ‘Join the Adventure’ per the ideas from the books Platform and Your First 1000 Copies

Cohabitates with other websites is a better description for it, as A Perfect Blindness has its own URL and website, with its own big “join now” button in order to capture emails that live on the same WordPress site on its own page, just like the home page for them both, and actually the whole site: wlancehunt.com. Read More

Self-Publishing Part 11: Taking a Hammer and Nails to a Wobbly Platform

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

Imperfect action yields more results than perfecting the planning.

Picking my mental hammer up, I took it to the weakest part of my platform: me. Specifically, to that part of me that had shackled itself to other people’s models and methods, by deciding that learning everything possible about them first, while taking copious notes to ensure I missed not a single advantage, trick or essential action, which created longer and longer lists I imagined showing off.

See! Look it! Aren’t I the most prepared new author of all! I will rock when I effect this plan. I’ll prove to everyone I’m right.

      This last thought sounds a scary lot like the thinking of Scott from A Perfect Blindness, the tragic Point of View character who completely misses what he needs to do and so brings disaster upon himself and those around him.

This should have screamed at me that using my mental hammer to affix on high this current plan of continual preparation in order to act perfectly was madness. This was no map to sales but disaster. I heard but ignored my own good advice that I should hunt down the reason I cling to this path, put that belief (read fear) in a room and nailed it shut—I’ve fictionalized the disaster that comes from misunderstanding one’s own motives, for being blind to one’s self. In fact, the unspoken tag line of the book tells me that ‘self-deception is the most treacherous lie of all.’ Read More

Self-Publishing Part 11: Book Lands on a Wobbly Platform to the Sounds of Creaking and Crickets

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

Leaping atop this rickety platform was a fat, 424 page 6 x 9 softcover book along with its e-versions, plainly announced in an email on April 28th, 2017. The email did explain the book appears only in the iUniverse bookstore first, arriving on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks over the next few days, in drips and drams as each platform absorbs the blow. So yes, I made the April launch.

Hurrah for me!

But in spite of how busy I’d been up to the unveiling, I heard no splash, no cheers, no sound other than cricket chirps and creaks from my platform’s wobbling.

Yes! There it is folks. After nearly two decades.

I pointed.

No one looked. Read More

Self-Publishing Part 10: The Launch Meets the Platform​ as Final Changes Approved

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

As April aged and the launch marched ever closer, I tried to put all the various pieces of what I had been able to do into some form of order to suggest to me what to do next. So, I assessed my platform, the total of all the working parts of the machine, as it were, that I’ll use to make people aware I exist, A Perfect Blindness exists, and then to entice people to buy the book. Read More

%d bloggers like this: