If you’re still here reading my advice, then I’m really grateful that you’ve stuck with me this long. If this is the first time you’ve come to look at my blog, then Hi! Over the last month an a half-ish I’ve been discussing why and how I indie-published The Kingston Chronicles.
After I received my final proof copy, and established that everything was right, I placed my order for stock copies. I’d already started taking pre-orders for The Kingston Chronicles so that I had some idea of how many paperback copies I’d want to order. I knew from my friends’ and families experience that it’s always handy to have copies on hand because someone is inevitably going to find out that you wrote a book and will ask you if they can buy a copy. As I mentioned in Part Two – How I Indie Published, in Australia you are legally required to provide a copy to the National Library in Canberra for their archives. In addition, I also wanted to donate to my local library and state library. I mention this only because it affected how many copies I ordered, and it may be something that you will want to consider too.
While I waited for my copies to arrive I started looking into options for launching my book. As I live in remote Western Australia I didn’t have as many options as I would have if I still lived in the city. As we’ve only lived here approximately two years having a Launch party didn’t really seem appropriate as I didn’t think enough people would come for me to warrant putting it on. Several places I know in town said they would “host” the party but I would need to pay for/supply the food and alcohol. The local Writer’s Group meets during the day while I’m at my paying job so asking if I could incorporate it into one of their meetings was out too. In the end I spoke to my local library. They said that they would be happy to host me giving an author talk. So, we picked a mutually appropriate Saturday morning and I gave my first author talk. It went well, and I even sold a few more books than I expected. The library also helped me advertise the event locally.
For my talk I spoke briefly about who I am and my background. I talked about my indie-publishing journey, although no where near as in depth as here in my blog, and The Kingston Chronicles and it’s inspiration. To end I read an excerpt from The Kingston Chronicles and then donated a copy to the library. It was nerve wracking and amazing and I can’t wait to do it again. I think that this was the perfect launch for me and it almost couldn’t have gone better. My husband and family were able to share the morning with me and they enjoyed it to.
(Thanks to the amazing librarians for the photos to the right. The first one is of me signing the library copy and then the other two are chatting to people after the talk. Or more accurately me stuffing my face because I’d been to nervous to eat ahead of time.)
The other major thing I did in the lead up to the launch was beginning to market The Kingston Chronicles. I really should have started this much earlier in the process. My marketing strategy mostly revolves around social media. There are so many platforms out there that I decided I wanted to focus on a couple of them and do them well rather than run myself ragged trying to be “everywhere”. I’m on Facebook and Instagram. I was pretty addicted to Facebook before I published so the format was natural to me and I liked that familiarity going into new territory. I chose to pick up Instagram because I’m a photographer and it plays to my strengths. I’m also now using Goodreads as my aunt listed my book and I thought I’d check out the format. I really enjoy it and I’m now doing a book challenge. I’d like to be more present on social media, but I just don’t have the time. Until I can work from home I simply have to prioritise my time, so I do my marketing on social media. How you market yourself and your book will come down to financial constraints, time, and personal preference. So make the decisions that are right for you. I’m currently running a giveaway on Goodreads, as well as planning another author talk and some workshops. I make the choices that feel right at the time and take opportunities as they arise.
I had originally planned for The Kingston Chronicles to be available on Amazon only and then see how it goes. Then a retailer in Denmark, Wholly Local, approached me asking if I would be interested in keeping stock in their store. All their products are local to the Great Southern region and they stock mostly gourmet foods and gift items. I said yes and so suddenly found myself suppling stock to a retailer. It was a surprise but a great move. I found that the closest Dymocks branch were uninterested in stocking The Kingston Chronicles, but I have been told by other Indie Authors that some of the bookshops in Perth are more accommodating. I haven’t approached any Perth stores yet as I am still undecided if I wish to stock in other places. Such is a luxury and trial of Indie Publishing. I can work at my own schedule but then I can’t let someone else make decisions I’m having trouble making. I also have an anxiety disorder so sometimes making decisions can be hard for me. I enjoy the freedom though I have to take my time and make sure I’m making the best decision for me.
Next fortnight I’ll write about the stage of my publishing journey I’m currently in. I’m calling it “the belly of the whale”. You’ll see why in my next post. Entries are still open for my Goodreads Giveaway so if you’re a US resident click the link below to enter. You’ll go into the draw to win one of ten Kindle editions of The Kingston Chronicles. According to Goodreads at this point in time there’s 100 people entered so they have a 1 in 10 chance of winning a copy. Have a magical weekend.
Goodreads Book Giveaway