Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Month of a New Release and Goodreads Giveaway

As a new author, I thought it might be interesting to look at the first month release and talk about my experiences with self-publishing.  I think your first book should be the book that you make mistakes with - not in grammar or typos, mind you, but with the strategy behind the release.  This is something that I learned more by doing - with advice from some friends.

What I would have done differently:
  1. Set a release date and get the paperback and kindle version released on the same day
  2. Have a few proof copies to give away a month before the release date, instead of after the release date
  3. Advertise better - share excerpts, create a blog hop or tour, get the word out there - submit to bloggers
  4. Set up my Amazon Author page in advance - instead of after the release (which, I will never have to do again)
  5. Set up the information on goodreads in advance so that the release can be put on new release lists - and do an early giveaway copy
So how did the book sell with little to no marketing beyond G+ and twitter?

I would say:  Decently.

It was released partway into December, so it didn't even have a full month.  The sales break down is below.

Total sales: 17
Sales I know were from family: 7
Promotional Copies: 2 (not included in total sales)
  • Kindle: 8  
  • Smashwords: 5
  • Amazon Paperback: 4
This month I am doing a goodreads giveaway (widget on the bottom of this post) for one signed, paperback copy.

I wasn't expecting "My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade" to blow up.  I am honestly pleased that 10 sales were not to family members (though I love my family's support). Must mean I'm doing something right.

More planning will go into publishing The Unanswerable, as my first novella.  It's funny how vastly different these two stories are.  Terrance Wade, the kidnapped 7-year-old who believes he's on an adventure to save the world, vs. Matthew, a man who struggles to keep his family alive at the end of the world.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade by R. A. Desilets

My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade

by R. A. Desilets

Giveaway ends February 01, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Drifting Away

Got another Writing Prompt today from the fabulous Nina Pelletier on G+.  So here's the first flash fiction piece of the year based on this prompt:

#1 - 1st person POV
#2 - 400 word count maximum
#3 - Your character has an unusual superpower.  Very Very unusual.  Have him/her tell us about it.


"Hey," he smiled at me. I loved his smiles.

“Hi,” my voice was tentative.

I hated meeting new people, especially new guys. It was my fault that I was such a loner. One of my girlfriends told me a long time ago that I should get over it. But we’re not friends anymore. Call it self-fulfilling, but I saw Gina and Thomas, my ex, run off together long before they did.

“I’m Jack.” He held out his hand and leaned over the counter.

I tried to act the dumb blonde bit and refused to shake his hand. Instead, I continued with my customer spiel. “Our special today is Midnight Moon Chocolate – it’s really good.”

He eyed me; deep blue, grey steady on mine. He withdrew his hand. For the past month, I was able to gawk at him. He was gorgeous. But I didn’t want to touch him. It would ruin everything.

“Tell you what, Kylie. How about you and I go out on a date. Tonight? This place closes at nine, right?” It wasn’t really a question.

I looked down at my nametag. He made my voice sound like music. “Fine,” I grumbled. It was going to be tonight or never. “Ten.” At least I could go home and get the smell of spoiled milk out of my hair.

We met later at the only theatre in town. We had coffee beforehand, we talked, and we watched the only movie playing at 11pm. I treated him like he was on fire, staying far away from his hands as possible. Touching would ruin everything.

He leaned against his car at the end of the night. “I have to ask, is there going to be another date?”

“Maybe,” I said. Here goes nothing. I planted a kiss right on his lips. It took him by surprise. But what I saw surprised me more. The first time I touch someone, I see the last moment I will ever see them. I feel my heartbreak. That’s how I knew about Thomas and Gina before it happened.

Jack was the first person who wasn’t going to leave me. He cried silently over a hospital bed, my hospital bed, and I felt myself drifting away.

When I pulled back from our first kiss, I had a tear on my cheek.

“That was different,” he said bemused.

“You have no idea.” I wiped the tear away.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals 2013

The clocked turned to 12:00 am last night, and I was still wide awake.  So I set about reading the first book of the new year.

Since today is the first day of a year, it seems appropriate to do the "this year's goals" post.  I accomplished a lot last year, in summary:  Published novelette "My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade", wrote novella The Unanswerable, wrote 55k of WIP Good Criminal Heart, made my first ten dollars on Examiner, finished Rioss, rewrote RUHE and had an awesome beta critiquing session.  And!  Had RUHE in the hands of two agents (both rejected, but after initial interest, which is exciting).

Goals by month:

January: Finish Good Criminal Heart, get 30k of Where We Collide edited.  Submit The Unanswerable to ABNA after a quick read through (not significant editing, just a quick one!)

February:  Finish Where We Collide editing and get it to my beta readers.

March: Make edits to RUHE based on beta's comments. Attempt the same for Where We Collide.

April: Rewrite Rioss (specifically the ending and adding several scenes to make the ending make more sense).

May: Get betas for synopsis, first five pages, and queries for both RUHE and Where We Collide then start querying (this will continue for the rest of the year, goal is 15 agents RUHE and 25 agents Where We Collide)

June: Edit The Unanswerable.  Get beta readers.

July: One last read through of Rioss now with new ending, then get betas.

August:  Edit The Unanswerable again - maybe hire an editor.  Or re-read it 10 times myself.

September: Start campaigning for the self-published release of The Unanswerable.  Make some early giveaways, cover reveals, get some bloggers to help me spread the word, etc.  Get betas for synopsis, first five pages, and queries for Rioss.  Start querying (will continue until I reach 30 agents).

October: Release The Unanswerable (perfect end of the world tale for the month of Halloween!)  Prep for NaNo.

November: NaNoWriMo!  Yes, I'm going to do it again.  Either The Underground, a semi-sequel to The Unanswerable or 2041, my silly sci-fi novel.

December: Wrap up any NaNo leftovers.  Start editing Good Criminal Heart.

I'm hoping to start 2014 with three fully-edited pieces, another self-published work, a new novel, and a partially edited novel.  Who knows, if I manage on querying the right person at the right time, maybe I'll even get a partner-in-crime (aka. an agent).

What are your goals for 2013?  Good luck to everyone!  Let's make this year a great one :)