One Year After Publishing Grigory’s Gadget – What I’ve Learned

Sunday, March 12th, marks one year since Grigory’s Gadget was published!

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Since about a year has passed since publication (wow!), I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned in terms of writing, publishing, marketing, and more.

In terms of writing, I’ve discovered that it gets a lot harder after publishing a book! There’s an added pressure that simply doesn’t exist if you’re an unpublished author. Now I need to finish the next book – people are waiting! I can’t just push it aside for months or years, nor can I switch gears to work on a different project. Well, I could, I guess. But my personality won’t allow it!

One thing that surprised me about this process is which distribution channels sold the most books. Most information on the internet would suggest that eBooks are the way to go in this regard. However, as you can see on the chart below, I’ve sold almost a majority of my books through vending events and consignment.

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I have attended 8 vending events since publishing Grigory’s Gadget (and I have two more this month!). These events, combined with selling books by word-of-mouth, have proven to be the best way to get my book out there.

Smashwords was my second-most successful distribution channel, thanks in large part to their sale events they have multiples times per year. Amazon, via Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks and CreateSpace for paperbacks, was also successful.  Books sold through Indiegogo and Amazon were pre-sale books. IngramSpark by far is the least successful distribution channel. I still suggest that self-publish authors utilize this channel, however, if you have any interest in getting your book into brick-and-mortar stores.

Another factor that contributes to the success, or lack-there-of, of each distribution channel is the fact that I haven’t done much in the way of advertising. I’ve dabbled a bit in Facebook and Amazon ads, but never saw an impressive return on either. I’ve done a couple interviews, and had my book reviewed on a few blogs. I’ve also started to utilize Newsletter Swap, which actually seems to have boosted my sales quite a bit. (By the way, if you haven’t already, you should join my email list!)

For now, I still won’t be putting a lot of money and effort into advertising, since writing is still a (passionate) hobby for me. For the time being, most of my writing-related efforts will be directed toward the actual act of writing. I need to finish the first draft of Serafima’s Stone!

Have you grabbed a copy of Grigory’s Gadget? In celebration of its anniversary, Grigory’s Gadget will be on sale throughout the month of March!

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Find the eBook on Amazon and Smashwords!

Get the discounted paperback through my CreateSpace eStore using the code 8CAZ5J8X!

Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network Christmas Sale

This weekend, December 17th and 18th, the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network is hosting their annual Christmas Sale!

All weekend, authors of fantasy and science fiction novels, novellas, and short stories will be having awesome deals. Books will be either discounted or free, and there will also be giveaways and chances to talk with the authors! The sales will be posted in the Facebook event and on the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network website. Grigory’s Gadget is on sale for $0.99 until the end of the month on Amazon and Smashwords!

I’ll be hosting the event on Sunday December 18th from 12 to 1 pm EST. You’ll be able to find me on the Facebook event page, or on Twitter using the hashtag #FSFNet. Feel free to ask me any questions about Grigory’s Gadget, writing, reading, or anything else! I have some questions/prompts ready to go to get the conversation rolling, but feel free to chime in with whatever topic you want!

Connecting through Twitter Chats

As writers and readers, it can be difficult to connect with people that have similar interests. Both of those activities are generally solitary. If you want to talk to someone about a certain book or genre, or writing tips and tricks, how do you find them?

One great way to connect with like-minded people is through Twitter Chats. Twitter Chats are just that – chats that happen on Twitter. People tweet to the conversation using a designated hashtag about a wide range of topics. Many Twitter Chats are scheduled weekly or monthly, digitally bringing together a group of people to have a discussion.

Some of my favorite Twitter Chats for reading and writing are:

  • #BBChat, which brings in authors to talk about their process for writing
  • #StoryCrafter, which is a great resource for all sorts of writing advice
  • #k8Chat, another chat which brings in authors to talk about their process
  • #NaNoCoach, which is a chat specifically centered around the annual NaNoWriMo challenge

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of a Twitter Chat conversation on your regular Twitter newsfeed. That’s why Twitter has the TweetDeck. You can set up a column which shows all of the tweets using the designated hashtag – easy! There are also websites like Twubs available, which show the tweets in a format that’s more akin to a chat room.

Next Sunday, December 18th, I’ll be hosting a Twitter Chat as part of the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Network Christmas Sale. We’ll be discussing our favorite fantasy and science fiction novels and authors before diving in specifically to discuss steampunk. You can follow along using the hashtag #FSFNet between 12 and 1pm EST! My twitter handle is @EA_Hennessy. Hope to see you there!