This Week in Self-Publishing: Selling Books and Getting Reviews

Money earned (total): $6,948.08

Money spent (total): $1,545

Money earned (this week): $30.71

Money spent (this week): $0

I’ve got three pieces of exciting news: first, Pronoun is now giving me Amazon sales data. Since we last checked in, I sold nine books on Amazon and two on Google Play, for a total of $55.86 in gross sales and $30.71 in net profit.

I’m not sure if the fact that I don’t have any sales data for iBooks, for example, means that I haven’t sold any iBooks. I know that I’ve been selling books on Amazon fairly consistently, with the exception of the week I went on the JoCo Cruise, because I’ve been watching my Amazon sales rankings. So just because I haven’t gotten sales notifications from Pronoun doesn’t mean I haven’t made sales on iBooks/Nook/Kobo, or that I haven’t made sales on Amazon prior to this week.

It just means that I’m getting a little more information about sales now.

(As a reminder: retailers treat pre-orders as separate from actual sales, which is why I haven’t been getting all of my sales data. I don’t know if Amazon changed it’s deal or if Pronoun did, but I’m getting Amazon data now.)

Here’s what I did this week that might have contributed to those nine sales:

I wrote an article about musician and friend Marian Call’s new album, Standing Stones, that included a reference and link to my book. (One of the tracks on the album has very similar themes.) That article got retweeted by a number of sources, including NPR’s Marketplace.

I sent an email to my TinyLetter mailing list that included my second piece of exciting news: my book launch party will be held at Seattle’s Phinney Books on Tuesday, May 23. (If you’re in the Seattle area, I hope to see you there!) The email also reminded people—especially my recent subscribers—to pre-order the book if they hadn’t done it yet.

I also wrote an article for Pronoun’s online magazine The Verbs, about the importance of creating and maintaining a mailing list. (Which included a link to my pre-order page.)

I’ve said before that I make a few sales every time I mention The Biographies of Ordinary People online somewhere—which is a theory I’ve developed by tracking my Amazon sales rankings—and that all I need to do between now and the launch date in May is mention it as many times as possible. Without being weird or gross about it.

But I can mention, for example, that The Biographies of Ordinary People just got its first professional review.

That’s the third piece of exciting news: BlueInk Review sent over their review this week, and I love it.

Here’s the pull quote:

In less capable hands, the style could grow quickly tiresome, but Dieker takes her time establishing the personalities and relationships, encouraging a bond with her audience. In the end, the book succeeds in drawing readers into this quiet world.

It isn’t a starred review, which means I’m not sure if it will automatically be submitted to library distributor Total Boox. (Total Boox automatically accepts all books that get BlueInk “favorable reviews,” and… it’s not unfavorable!)

But the BlueInk review corroborates pretty much everything else I’ve heard from readers and industry people: this is a well-written book. Not much of a plot, more like a series of events that reveal character and relationship, but compelling in its own way.

Which is all I needed to know. ❤

 

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