Friday, 3 January 2014

Self Publishing for virgins

Like many a virgin, I had an rather rose-tinted view on how things would be when I actually took the plunge. The day after Million Dollar Monkey (Book One) appeared on amazon's site (wow - its global, you can even buy my book i n Australia!) I'd imagined that I'd check the Kindle Direct Publishing downloads report and it would run to so many pages that I'd need to buy a skyscraper length monitor to view the total line. I'd then be able to plan for my retirement from conventional money making activities (ie. work!) and do something a bit more enjoyable with my remaining time on Earth. Can you imagine my bitter disappointment when, after many refreshes on amazon's reports page, I was met with a long line of zeroes and a nakedly empty inbox?

At first, ever the optimist, I was convinced there must have been some kind of technical glitch at the heart of the situation. Gremlins, bugs, hackers or a conspiracy of all three had managed to wade out into my flooding new income stream and diver the torrenting flow into their own virtual, offshore, hedgefund accounts.

Those faceless fiddlers had bled me dry before I'd had a chance to pop a single champagne cork...

When I'd calmed down a bit it began to dawn on me that the problem was nothing to do with a secretive global cult hell-bent on sucking the juice out of self publishers but something far more simple. No one knew about my newly release, soon to be bestseller. Of course!

I was missing something: PUBLICITY

Publicity, is that the same as marketing?

Being a Scottish simpleton I have an inbuilt aversion to self-promoting, especially my own. I am as far removed from Miley Ray Cyrus as is imaginable, although I have handled a sledgehammer but only to whack fence posts into the ground when working on a construction site in Fort William. No crowd gathered to watch. No headlines were sprouted. No photos, please. 

I took stock. Where was I? I was clueless, sales-less, download deficient surrounded by zeroes. Time to pack it all in? No, the only way was up!

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