On Wednesday of last week, I posted this silly photo to a Facebook group for book lovers.
The caption was something to the effect of “oh, poor me, what a horrible problem I have in having to sign these books and write witty and unique inscriptions. Woe is me. Send help,”
Completely in jest, I obviously wouldn’t offer it as an option on my site if I didn’t mind signing and inscribing books.
I had no intention of trying to sell any books.
But I did. As soon as the first person asked where they could get a signed copy and I posted the link to my website, the orders started pouring in. My email was dinging all night, overnight, and into the morning.
I’m very thankful that my experience as a web developer lead me down the path of building some “buy other books and save” functionality into my site, because it worked. People were buying two and even all three of my books, saving 15% on all of them. I also offered free shipping over $25, but realized, once I did the math, that I was losing money on that deal, so I upped the free shipping to $35.
I sold out of every copy I’d pre-ordered of Dudley road, in both hardcover and paperback.
I sold out of every copy I had on hand of My Last Days, in both hardcover and paperback.
I haven’t even gotten the first-time-in-print copies of A Sour Chord yet, but I sold out of that whole batch, as well.
So I ordered more. Unfortunately, Amazon takes about 12-14 days to print and deliver them.
And I sold out of all of those, as well. In all three books.
So I ordered more.
This cycled repeated 5 more times during last week. I’d order more, they’d sell out. I put up a notice on the site saying that all books were out of stock until the end of the month, and while that slowed sales down some, it didn’t seem to deter everyone, as the orders have still come piling in.
I’m so humbled, for a number of reasons.
First, complete strangers not only bought my work, but they wanted me to personalize a signature to them. Strangers who’ve never heard of me before took a chance just based on my book covers, as well as my descriptions.
I also did something I’ve never done in the almost 10 years since I published my first book; I made a profit on the whole endeavor. There’s so much cost that goes into publishing a book yourself that folks don’t think of, but it adds up. The artwork for the cover, editing (is the biggest cost, by far), the book trailer I had made, the books themselves, the boxes to ship in, shipping costs. The list goes on and on. But, as of today, I’ve earned more than I’ve spent. It’s not much more than I’ve spent, but it’s in the black for the first time. And while I don’t do this for the money, it certainly doesn’t hurt to motivate me for the next book (which, for the record, I’ve already begun planning out!)
Others have bought directly from Amazon, including the Kindle version, which has been wonderful, as well.
I’ve gotten more reviews through an Advanced Reader service I signed up for that my first two books combined, and while they’re not all five stars (you can’t be perfect all the time, right?), this one in particular really made me so happy:
The book ‘Dudley Road’ was intelligently written. Each chapter commanding your attention and ensuring that you kept turning page after page. It had the right amount of creepy without being over the top scary, the right amount of suspense and mystery.
Overall, Dudley Road is a masterpiece and if you are a fan of mystery with a little horror, this is the book for you.
“Intelligently written” and “masterpiece” for a silly ghost story. How? Why? What? Is this real life? I’m printing and framing it.
I’m sure this level of sales won’t continue forever, and that’s fine. I spent about 2 hours every day last week signing and packing books. It’s exhausting, but so rewarding. A big time author I know and am friendly with signs and ships books himself with the help of his manager. He posts photos of him with literal palettes full of books and I don’t understand the how of it all. It’s crazy pants.
So, if you’re reading this and you’re one of the folks from The Book Lounge Facebook Group who ended up here from my silly little post, thank you so much for your support. I really hope you enjoy my book(s) that you bought and come back for more the next time.
I’m so grateful and humbled and appreciative of everything that’s happened this week.*
* except for losing my wallet yesterday. I am not appreciative of my doofusness.