This Week in Self-Publishing: PUBLICATION WEEK

Money earned (total): $7,041.71

Money spent (total): $3,058.30

Money earned (this week): $0 (I won’t count income from sales until the end of the month when I get my official monthly earnings statements)

Money spent (this week): $47.10 (on cake and wine)

The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000 is officially published! If you buy the ebook right now, you can read it right away! If you buy the paperback, you can probably start reading in two days, depending on shipping! If you’d like to buy it from your local bookstore and/or check it out of your local library, ask! Even if they don’t have it in stock they can get it for you, and it’s a win-win for everybody.

Readers are already responding positively; I’ve gotten a couple of lovely Amazon reviews, and people who have finished the book—which says something, considering that Amazon claims it will take nearly nine hours to read—have told me they can’t wait for the next volume.

It’s everything a debut author could want.

The book launch was also everything I could want, thanks to Phinney Booksand Molly Lewis and all of you who attended. Inviting Molly to be my co-host/conversationalist/Q&A moderator for the evening was such a good choice, first because she is an excellent interviewer and second because it’s always nice to have someone else who can help solve last-minute event problems, like “oh no I accidentally bought a corked wine bottle instead of a screw-top one.”

I have gone to book readings where it’s just the author, reading and fielding questions, and although I’m sure I will do some of those in the future, readings go so much better when there’s someone else there—both to save the author from herself (because we’ve all seen the person who rambles on, nervously and incoherently) and from the audience. A triangle is a lot more stable than twenty faces pointed towards an author, so get a person who knows how to both interview and panel mod on your team.


I also finally have accurate sales numbers, which means I can tell you exactly how many copies of The Biographies of Ordinary People have sold, so far:

64 ebooks and 45 paperbacks.

That number is not quite as high as I think anyone would want it to be, but it’s also, like, this week has been extremely good? The event at Phinney Books was so much fun, and readers are telling me how much they’re enjoying the book, and I had an essay about the book published in The Awl and people are telling me how much they enjoyed that.

So it’s not like anything went badly, or wasn’t what it should have been. It all went well.

A book launch is an extended process, and I’ll be promoting Biographies in various ways over the next few months. There will be readings, I’ll be on some podcasts, I’ll be sponsoring the Seattle Review of Books in a few weeks and my advertisement should go out in the next issue of the New York Review of Books.

I’m also going to be submitting Biographies for a few awards and continuing my media outreach campaign.

I don’t know how all of this work might affect sales, but I do know that I have picked the hardest genre to sell and the hardest method by which to do it, so the fact that I have been this successful is kind of amazing.

Thank you. ❤

 

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