Embracing the Indie: Month One

March 18, 2019

​I’m coming up on one month since the release of Girl of Glass, and I want to take a moment to look at my first taste of independence. The successes, the failures, and how I want to approach the next book release.

 

First off, I want to say a huge thank you to all my readers, both the followers of this blog and the folks who have read Girl of Glass and stumbled across this page. Without all of your support, this month would have been miserable.

 

Here we go.

 

What I *think* I did right:

  • Hired an incredible cover artist. She’s amazingly talented, and I really think the beautiful cover helped draw a lot of attention to my book.

  • Reworked my blurb. It might sound crazy, but I dug through the top ten in all the categories that Girl of Glass could qualify in and copied their blurbs to a word document. I then read the blurbs for hours on end, searching for the commonalities between the most successful blurbs. Did they all end with a question? Mention the protagonist’s age? You see what I mean?

  • Dove into Amazon categories hardcore! There are so many nooks and crannies in the Amazon algorithm where good books go to die. I spent a ton of time figuring out which relevant category had readers that were hungry for new works but was not saturated enough that you have to be selling a thousand books a day to reach the top of the cart. The work paid off, with Girl of Glass sitting at the top of its categories for three weeks straight.

  • Spread out my newsletter power. Instead of blasting the release announcement to my full newsletter on day one, I spread out the release notifications based on how long people had been subscribed to my newsletter and how they joined my mailing list. Because of this, I’ve had three weeks of steady downloads.

  • Reached out to other authors for newsletter swaps. This helped stretch the length Girl of Glass could stay at the top of its categories without ANY paid promotion.

  • Applied for a BookBub feature while Girl of Glass was sitting at the top of its categories. I don’t know if that’s what did it, but Girl of Glass landed a BookBub feature, and I’m over the moon!

 

Things I could have done better

  • Trusted Amazon. After my time with traditional publishers, I had this huge fear that Girl of Glass wouldn’t be posted in time. I set up the preorder and had the release set for four days before I wanted the “release” to be. I thought it would be sneaky and no one would know the book had been released. Somehow, more than three hundred people found the book before I said a peep about it. Which is amazing! But it took the bang of out the release.

  • My newsletter is in a huge flux with a massive amount of new subscribers. I wish I had had more time with those new mailing list peeps before the book release. Let them get to know me, weeded out the people who like to send hate mail, then shared a new book release with them.

 

Things I’m still Working toward

  • Book reviews! I have some really great book reviews, but in a world where social proof is king, I still need more. I don’t want to pay for a review tour since that seems so fake, and oftentimes, those reviews like to slam books just for kicks (at least in my experience). But there’s a fine line between encouraging happy readers to leave reviews, and begging them to please say three nice words about you on Amazon. I’m not really sure what the solution for this is. But if you did read and enjoy Girl of Glass, please leave a review. You’ll make me dance with joy!

  • Not being neurotic about checking my sales numbers. The number of times I have clicked refresh on the Amazon dashboard is shameful. It’s exciting to see the numbers go up and drives me insane when they don’t move. I need to find a healthier balance.

 

In the last month, over three thousand people have downloaded Girl of Glass. That is with no paid ads or placement on any sites. At this point, I’m willing to call that a success.

 

The real test will be how the first non-free book in the series, Boy of Blood, is received. If even 1/10th of the people who downloaded a free copy of Girl of Glass move on to purchasing a copy of Boy of Blood, I’ll be happy. Those are conservative numbers (I think…maybe), but nothing but time will tell.

 

I’m excited for Boy of Blood to be released this week! And for Girl of Glass’s BookBub feature. I’ll let you know how everything goes. And in the meantime, Happy Reading!

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Megan O'Russell

Fantastic Worlds. Unlikely Heroes.

Megan O'Russell

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