This week, I finally released Chrysalis for publication. It’s funny, this is my second time doing this, and this time around I feel like I’ve made the opposite mistakes from the first time. The book was copy edited, the typos early readers have found have been far fewer (and resulted in the creation of a secret beta group for the future), I did pre-orders, made some initial social media blasts, the works.
But this time around, I thought I would strike wide, and I now realize that was a mistake. With my first book, I confined myself to Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle Unlimited programs. In fact, most of my “sales” on that first book were in page reads on KU. But with Chrysalis, I thought I would be smarter. Rather than tie myself to Amazon’s programs, I would publish on the Kindle as well as a variety of other booksellers (iBooks, Kobo, Nook, etc.). This decision means I can’t be on KU (it’s a competitive thing), but I thought surely I would do better in the other markets, no?
No. While my Amazon sales have been surprisingly better than I expected, especially in paperback, my non-Amazon sales have been nonexistent. I don’t mean that figuratively – I have literally made $0.00 in sales on non-Amazon platforms.
I should have kept to the one platform, built my reader base over time, and only considered a broader reach when my readership had grown to the point to support and/or demand it. I’m not there right now, not by a long shot. The good news is that all is not lost. Some time in June, if sales continue to be nonexistent on other platforms, I will pull Chrysalis from the other markets and enroll it in KU, hopefully in time for the 4th of July weekend.
In other good news, initial reader feedback has been great for the book. Granted, most of the feedback has been from people I know personally, so a few of them might be pulling their punches, but overall the response has been great. I expect to have some reviews up soon, and I’ve started contacting book review sites to see if I can get it considered. It’s not the speed train you imagine publishing to be, but it is definitely a path forward.
Speaking of paths forward, the next book in the Writs of Blood is coming along nicely. I’m about 40% through the first draft of The Mermaid’s Tears (working title), and really liking how the story is developing. It’s a bit more grown up than book one, but then again, Chrysalis was intended as an introductory book to begin with. Mermaid’s Tears takes place a few years later, so it only makes sense that Niki has grown up a little in that time.
More updates on Mermaid’s Tears to come. I’m trying to convince myself to make these updates a weekly event again, but we’ll see.