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Old 11-13-2012, 03:40 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Ann Joyce View Post
Thanks, Merri, Those figures for friends and family sound a bit more realistic to me. 300 is a lot of people, but perhaps he was referring to more than one title, instead of sales on a single. *shrugs* No matter, I still feel quite happy with my figures after 3 weeks. Thanks for your input - valuable, as always. Can't wait to get it on KDP!



You gave me quite a chuckle, Ms M...thanks for the vote of confidence...I am excited to get that e-book going to see if I will have any success with it. I do think it's a good story (I've had quite a few say they couldn't put it down - several read it in 2 days, one read it in 1 day, so that's encouraging). Of course, not everyone will like what we write and I'm okay with that; I dealt with that in the arts and crafts world for over 20 years. I hope your own success grows beyond your wildest dreams.
Yes, luckily even though my family is large, I don't know too many people. Thank god for strangers! lol. They have been much better about becoming readers of my books.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:07 AM   #77
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Agreed! This is exactly what I was thinking. I know that my self-published book, "Song of Spirit", has hardly sold at all, even to my family and friends. This is mostly because I am so horrible at sales and marketing. I think -- family and friends or not -- Ann has done a wonderful job in her sales. I'm watching this thread close to learn from you, Ann! And to cheer you on!
Morgan, Your kind words mean a lot, as do the words of the others that have taken time to respond. I want good things to happen for all of us so much. Thanks for cheering me on, and I am doing the same for you!
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #78
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It's always nice to hear when self-published authors actually sell some books!

I think marketing is the tough part.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:39 AM   #79
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It's always nice to hear when self-published authors actually sell some books!

I think marketing is the tough part.
Many thanks SDB! I agree with you; marketing is the tough part; I'd much rather be writing. That's one reason these boards are so valuable, giving us the opportunity to mine helpful nuggets from all of the interesting and successful authors that have helped to pave the way. I think I learn something new every day.

Found a couple of sweet nuggets in my mailbox today too. Two orders at my home address and one in my PO Box. That rounds the sales to date to 75. If I was addressing my friends on Facebook right now, I'd say w00t!
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:50 AM   #80
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Woot!
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #81
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W00T!
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:06 AM   #82
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Had a great day today, friends. It started with an order from a stranger in my PO box (w00t).

Then, as I was delivering the lamps (couldn't do it yesterday), I remembered the store owner mentioning the open house she was having on December 1st. She will be having quite a few vendors selling things like jewelry; purses; Mary Kay; Tastefully Simple; jeans with bling; and much more. She will advertise in the local paper.

So I asked her what she thought about me doing a local author book signing at the OH. She loved the idea. Then I offered to set up a raffle with two of the names drawn each winning a copy of 'Heart Song'. She really loved that. Before we were done, I donated a 3rd copy to a silent auction she's having the following week to raise money for a lady suffering from cancer.

It should give me some exposure and if I can sell a few novels, that would be just wonderful. I hope all of you are having a great week too!
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:20 AM   #83
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So wonderful, Ann! Your daily updates are a ray of sunshine and hope to me!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:04 PM   #84
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Ann - I just came across this thread and read the entire thing. Woot!

You are an inspiration. I especially want to comment on how brave you are in your self-marketing.

I've spent the last 20 years promoting the company my husband and I run with no problem. Promoting myself as an author and my book is a whole different story. I'm really struggling with it. I didn't 'come out' as an author to most of my friends until right around the time my book was released. (BTW - they were all amazingly supportive and made me feel like a star). The idea of setting up my own book signings or selling at events terrifies me -- and I'm not usually that shy.

Thank you so much for posting and sharing your experience with us. You are right. Life is short. I hope you keep going after all your dreams with the same enthusiasm!

Please keep posting your experiences with us here. It's threads like these that brighten my day!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:13 PM   #85
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So wonderful, Ann! Your daily updates are a ray of sunshine and hope to me!
Thank you so much, Morgan. Your uplifting comments are like a ray of sunshine to me! I'm thinking I may be making my updates weekly now instead of daily, unless I have something especially good to share. I don't want to overstay my welcome.

I realized in one of my earlier posts, I said I would be giving 2 books away in a raffle on December 1st. I meant to say 'in a drawing', because, of course, I'm not charging money for them.

Weekly update:

Besides the 3 sales I mentioned on the 13th, and 1 on the 14th, I've sold 2 more, bringing my total for this week to 6, for a grand total of 78 sales in 4 weeks. Of those 6 sales, half were to strangers, so those sales remain at almost 22% at this point.

Though every sale warms the cockles of my heart, the one I found in my PO box yesterday felt especially sweet. It was from a gal I don't know. She had been given my book as a gift and enjoyed it so much that she was ordering a copy for a friend. I believe that falls under the catagory of word of mouth? Anyway, it's all a great blessing to me, as are all of you! Write on...
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:27 PM   #86
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Ann - I just came across this thread and read the entire thing. Woot!

You are an inspiration. I especially want to comment on how brave you are in your self-marketing.

I've spent the last 20 years promoting the company my husband and I run with no problem. Promoting myself as an author and my book is a whole different story. I'm really struggling with it. I didn't 'come out' as an author to most of my friends until right around the time my book was released. (BTW - they were all amazingly supportive and made me feel like a star). The idea of setting up my own book signings or selling at events terrifies me -- and I'm not usually that shy.

Thank you so much for posting and sharing your experience with us. You are right. Life is short. I hope you keep going after all your dreams with the same enthusiasm!

Please keep posting your experiences with us here. It's threads like these that brighten my day!
I know the feeling of being nervous about book signings. When I published my first novel I manged to get into a group book signing for self-published authors at a B&N. It ended up being pretty fun and I sold a few books. But, I'm nortoriously bad at trying to hock my books at bookstores.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:34 PM   #87
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Ann - I just came across this thread and read the entire thing. Woot!

You are an inspiration. I especially want to comment on how brave you are in your self-marketing.

I've spent the last 20 years promoting the company my husband and I run with no problem. Promoting myself as an author and my book is a whole different story. I'm really struggling with it. I didn't 'come out' as an author to most of my friends until right around the time my book was released. (BTW - they were all amazingly supportive and made me feel like a star). The idea of setting up my own book signings or selling at events terrifies me -- and I'm not usually that shy.

Thank you so much for posting and sharing your experience with us. You are right. Life is short. I hope you keep going after all your dreams with the same enthusiasm!

Please keep posting your experiences with us here. It's threads like these that brighten my day!
Thank you so much, Hildegarde. It's hard to think of myself as an inspiration, but if my posts can brighten a day or offer encouragement to others, I'm gratified.

I find myself becoming braver in these 'golden' years, as I've mellowed to a place of being comfortable in my skin. I'm finally realizing that it's okay to make mistakes; to be a bit timid; to throw yourself out there anyway, knowing not everyone will like you or agree with you about everything.

I try to accept people for who they are and hope they will accept me for who I am. If that doesn't happen, it becomes their problem, not mine. I think our greatest disappointments come from our expectations, rather than people. *whew* Didn't mean to get off on a sermon there!

Back to your comments: Many of the people I sent the invite to for my book signing open house didn't know I was writing either. So, when they showed up to offer love and support and buy a book, it moved me to tears. And yes, like you, they made me feel like a star!

Just keep remembering that life is short, and that you're no different from me - "you can do it!" After you do it the first time, it gets easier. I will keep posting as long as I can help someone. Write on...
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:02 AM   #88
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I'm suprised you felt that strongly about the cover art of your book, to be honest. Hey, isn't there a saying about judging a book...?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #89
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I'm suprised you felt that strongly about the cover art of your book, to be honest. Hey, isn't there a saying about judging a book...?
Ah, but people do judge a book, not only by its cover, but also by the blurb about the book, by it's sample editing, and by their opinion of it's overall quality etc. before they even begin to read the story within it's pages. I had my own thoughts about what the cover should be even as I was writing. When I saw the photo I used, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. Several of the people that bought my book said they would pick the book up to see what's inside because of that beautiful cover.

I felt the same way about the title, which is all part of why I decided to self-pub. I know it's not for everyone, but it suits me to a tee!
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:13 AM   #90
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If cover art weren't important, publishers wouldn't bother spending any money on it. They certainly wouldn't employ highly skilled artists and designers, or bother with expensive effects like foils or embossing.

Neil, I could well be misreading you here, but it's worth mentioning, I think. You might not realise it, but your comment does sound a little rude. It's very dismissive of some of the care that our other members take over their work. Writers should take care over every aspect of their work; self published writers have to take great care over how they publish it, too.

By all means be slapdash with your own work if that's what you want, but please don't dismiss other writers' efforts to take care with their own.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:59 AM   #91
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I'm suprised you felt that strongly about the cover art of your book, to be honest. Hey, isn't there a saying about judging a book...?
Readers do judge books by their covers, which is why I hired a pro to design mine.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:14 AM   #92
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As an e-book shopper who spends way too much time on BooksOnBoard, cover art is how I sort the wheat from the chaff.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:40 AM   #93
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Ah, but people do judge a book, not only by its cover, but also by the blurb about the book, by it's sample editing, and by their opinion of it's overall quality etc. before they even begin to read the story within it's pages. I had my own thoughts about what the cover should be even as I was writing. When I saw the photo I used, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. Several of the people that bought my book said they would pick the book up to see what's inside because of that beautiful cover.

I felt the same way about the title, which is all part of why I decided to self-pub. I know it's not for everyone, but it suits me to a tee!
I agree about the cover art being important. I have a friend who's self-pubbed 4 books in the past few years and is in the process of changing the covers on the first 3. She wants to improve the quality and make it more eye-catching.

Ann Joyce, I'd like to see your cover but I can't find your book anywhere on Amazon. I found it (I think) on Barnes/Noble but there's no picture of the book. Could you provide a link?
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:00 PM   #94
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I agree about the cover art being important. I have a friend who's self-pubbed 4 books in the past few years and is in the process of changing the covers on the first 3. She wants to improve the quality and make it more eye-catching.

Ann Joyce, I'd like to see your cover but I can't find your book anywhere on Amazon. I found it (I think) on Barnes/Noble but there's no picture of the book. Could you provide a link?
Thanks for your comments, Juniper. At this time, I am selling my book myself in direct sales, and orders through my PO Box, as well as the other methods I've posted about above. When I get a website built, I'll be selling that way too (hopefully). It is not available at B&N yet.

I updated my sales report on Sunday for those that are interested in my progress in this self-pubbing journey, and will continue to do so on a weekly basis. Right now, I'm working on formatting so I can get an e-book on Amazon, for starters. I'm getting there.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:58 PM   #95
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I've been reading this thread off and on but didn't realize you're only doing print right now. Will be interesting to see how the e-sales go. Apparently you have a story people want to read and will pay for, so good luck!
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:07 PM   #96
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The best guide I've found is Smashwords' FREE Style Guide.
You know, Merri, after I wrote the post about doing all of my paragraph indents by hand in my formatting process, I did download the Smashwords' Style Guide for formatting for the Kindle. Now I'm going to blush because you'll see just how ignorant I am in these things. *blush* I couldn't get it open - have no clue. Told ya I'm a greenie!

So, I've continued to do everything by hand. I'm happy to say, I'm almost done! Having made my confession, I'm going to finish this one the way I'm already doing it, but I do need to learn how to do it the easier way for the next time. A very generous person on here offered to do it for me with no fee, and while that was deeply appreciated, I feel like I need to learn how to do these things myself if I'm ever going to grow.

How can I ever say thanks to all that have given advice and encouragement on here? There aren't words, but I do appreciate every one of you more than you'll ever know!
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:12 PM   #97
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I've been reading this thread off and on but didn't realize you're only doing print right now. Will be interesting to see how the e-sales go. Apparently you have a story people want to read and will pay for, so good luck!
Thanks again, Juniper! I hope it is a story people want to read and pay for. It seems like the real test will come when I have an e-book ready to sell. I am happy with my print sales so far though!
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #98
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You know, Merri, after I wrote the post about doing all of my paragraph indents by hand in my formatting process, I did download the Smashwords' Style Guide for formatting for the Kindle. Now I'm going to blush because you'll see just how ignorant I am in these things. *blush* I couldn't get it open - have no clue. Told ya I'm a greenie!

So, I've continued to do everything by hand. I'm happy to say, I'm almost done! Having made my confession, I'm going to finish this one the way I'm already doing it, but I do need to learn how to do it the easier way for the next time. A very generous person on here offered to do it for me with no fee, and while that was deeply appreciated, I feel like I need to learn how to do these things myself if I'm ever going to grow.

How can I ever say thanks to all that have given advice and encouragement on here? There aren't words, but I do appreciate every one of you more than you'll ever know!
No need to be embarrassed. You might want to try downloading the PDF version of the book. You can open it on your computer as a PDF file and read it if you have the free Acrobat Reader installed. Not trying to tell you what to do, it's just that the book was so incredibly helpful to me when I was first starting out with formatting.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:49 PM   #99
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Ann, I forgot to include this link to what I thought was your book on B&N. There's no image or text to it, just the ISBN, name, and title. Very similar - great minds think alike?

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hear...und/1113122941
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:42 AM   #100
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No need to be embarrassed. You might want to try downloading the PDF version of the book. You can open it on your computer as a PDF file and read it if you have the free Acrobat Reader installed. Not trying to tell you what to do, it's just that the book was so incredibly helpful to me when I was first starting out with formatting.
Merri, I would never think you're trying to tell me what to do...I hope I've done nothing to make you feel that way. I value all of your input! You can bet I'll be trying this with the next one. I just got to the end of my novel a little while ago. Now hopefully, I can get it up next week. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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