A Traitor to Dreams One Month In: What I’ve Learned and What to Do Next

It’s been a month since I published my first novel, A Traitor to Dreams, and the whole process has been an educational and exciting one.

First, thanks to all you blog readers for your support. If you’ve bought the book and liked it, let me know. Better yet, please leave a review on Amazon! That’s how authors get noticed and get feedback.

Second, what everyone wants to know: Sales. How are they? Good? Bad? Burning up the charts?

I’ll say: Decent. And sporadic. Surprisingly decent, actually. It’s no surprise my $0.99 Christmas sale was a success. I also had an author friend promote me to his mailing list, which helped a lot. Since the new year, I’ve put the price back up and sales predictably slowed.

So no, I’m not going to quit my day job. I’d like this first book to (a) get my name out there, (b) generate interest in the next book, and (c) ideally earn enough to cover production costs.

That’s where I am now. Now how about what I’ve learned?

  • I tried networking. I need to do more. It helps, and authors seem to like helping each other out.
  • Start a silent launch at $0.99 instead of full price, like I did. I might have had it backwards.
  • Publish only the eBook first, outsource typo-finding, and when they’re all, or mostly, gone, then publish the paperback.
  • Related to that: hire a line editor at the end of the process. I already know who I’m using for my next book.
  • I need a social media presence. I’ve prayed over this far more than you’d think. And though I loudly and publicly decried Twitter and all things big tech, and though I’ve been told social media doesn’t equal sales, my eyes tell me lots of guys and gals are having success using these platforms. Maybe it’s the networking more than anything. We’ll see. But I’m coming to the conclusion that to make it as an indie author, some kind of social media presence is a must.

There you have it. Lessons borne from rapid iterations. Now I need to turn these lessons into successes.


If you haven’t checked out the book, now’s the time. I recommend the eBook, as the typos will be corrected by my awesome formatter and uploaded within a week. Your e-reader can get the updated version after it’s on Amazon. Cool, right?

18 comments

  1. A social media presence is huge. I’ve worked on building myself as a brand for my books and blog writings for years…it’s slow and steady work but it pays off. I’ve been doing a lot more social media marketing for my latest book and it’s definitely helped with sales. There’s a fine line between marketing and being spammy/a shyster, but if you do it right it can really help. I’m happy to offer advice if you want some!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Alexander,

        I’m no fan of Facebook either.
        However, think of Facebook as your storefront for your books and writings. That’s the place to engage your readers. You can keep it completely business oriented and and be very circumspect with what family news to divulge (i.e. family was sick, etc)
        I think that’s a prudent approach.
        Twitter should be for announcements, retweets of favourite authours, networking and shout outs for fellow authours who’ve just published a book and for your readers to go out and buy them.

        xavier

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Re social media, it’s hard to build a platform without it. Successful authors who claim they don’t need social media can say that because they already have platforms. For my first novel, which sold way better than my second, my sales came from Facebook and blogging, back when more people blogged. Mostly from Facebook, though. Twitter was a dead-end for sales. Just my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will say that for me, I’ve got active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that all hekp in their own way. Tumblr was recommended to me and I tried it but it was useless and I abandoned it a few years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

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