Saturday, August 29, 2015

The 3 Things I Learned Releasing 3 Short Stories In 3 Months

My Kindle Publishing Journey Updated

In 3 months I released 3 different short stories and focused all my attention on promoting just one title.  


Here's what I learned:

Lesson 1: Promote The Hell Out Of It

The first thing I learned was the need for promotion. 

In June 2015, I released The Ballad Of John Walker through Amazon's Kindle Publishing platform.

For those unfamiliar with Kindle Publishing, it's an eBook delivery service run by Amazon that offers millions, perhaps billions of titles.  The best part is you don't need to buy a Kindle to read their offerings. You can access their library by downloading a free Kindle Reader App for all devices, PC, Mac, Android, Windows and iOS.

And I promoted the HELL out of it.
Places I promoted the title were:

  • Google Plus
  • Facebook - private and in groups
  • Facebook Ad
  • Good Reads
  • Daily Free ebooks
  • Addicted To eBooks
  • Just Kindle Books
  • That's My eBook
  • Book Praiser
  • Free Discounted Books
  • Reddit 

I promoted the story on these format as well as the programs that Amazon offers on their Kindle Publishing platform - KDP Select - an exclusivity program that allows for free and discounted pricing.

For two months I spent my entire time promoting the title to free and paid platforms and may have received a lot of virtual pat's on my back, but actual downloads of the book?  About 100 titles in all.

While 100 readers may seem like a lot, it's a small trickle in the bucket that is floating in the sea that is the Kindle Publishing platform (among others).

And Then...

Lesson 2: Nobody Gives A S#IT If You Don't Promote


Shortly after I published "The Ballad of John Walker", I quietly released a second collection, a three-story title, Mayonnaise and Other Stories and the downloads were about 1/10th of what I experienced previously.

The main difference? I hardly promoted the title compared to "The Ballad of John Walker".

Mayonnaise and Other Stories was enrolled in KDP Select. I made mention of it on G+ and Facebook.

That was about the extent of it.

And the downloads and reviews were stagnant.  Sitting online waiting to be stumbled upon, to be discovered, but was more like a lonely Pygmy Tarsier looking for a lover.  What's a Pygmy Tarsier?  Google it, they're a primate that was thought to be extinct until one was inadvertently killed in a trap.

It was a shock to the farmers who found the Pygmy Tarsier, and even more so for the scientists who had claimed it an extinct species.  But I wonder more about the possible remaining Pygmy Tarsier, waiting for her date to come and sweep her off her feet.

So the lonely Pygmy Tarsier can't just swipe right on Tinder or sign-up on Ashley Madison, but just has to sit around waiting.

She's without any loved one and probably, like most of us who've been stood-up before, crying into the night. Sad.

Much like the collection "Mayonnaise and Other Stories".

By not promoting it, the collection is sitting around waiting for a date that may never arrive.

Especially if it's considered extinct.

But Wait, There's More...

Lesson 3: Keep At It, But Don't Over Do It


In late July 2015, I uploaded another title, It's Not The Things We Say with the same little, to no, marketing and advertising.

Like all things in life, momentum is created by exerting energy.  I did nothing to create any momentum behind the titles, in part because I was concerned about "Promotion Fatigue" and "Banner Blindness" on the part of any readers here.

"Promotion Fatigue" is what I call the process when we're inundated by too much advertising and marketing.  We get tired of it and tune out the messenger.

"Banner Blindness" has been defined as the blurring of banners and ads online from the original content.  It's the visual representation of Promotion Fatigue.  We know that there is something like an ad being displayed but we have become so inundated by their constant placement, we tune them out.

So between my concern about Promotion Fatigue, Banner Blindness and looking at the ROI - Return On Investment - that slowed my marketing and promotional reach.

But with a few more titles on the near horizon that I'm working on right now, "A Fine Day For A Swim" and its sister accompaniment, "The Palm", as well as "Gunner", I'll have to rethink my promotional strategies.

Additionally the long-term plan is to comprise these published stories into a larger collection and place it on a few other platforms such as iBooks, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

So, if you've been one of the few who have downloaded my short stories so far, a huge THANK YOU.

For those that haven't - I don't take it personally.  I'll just cry into my pillow until you do purchase one.


If you'd like to download a copy of any of my titles, click the titles below:

The Ballad Of John Walker

Mayonnaise And Other Stories

It's Not The Things We Say