I made it to #10 on Amazon!!! OK, so I admit, it was just for a day and it was in the niche category of science fiction adventure on Amazon.co.uk (which is less competitive than .com). And I just checked, I’m now back down to #212 in said category ☹. Oh well, never mind.
So how did I do it? How did I get the sudden burst of sales that shot me up the charts? Simple, a combination of begging and bribery. For anyone who has bothered to do a little stalking, you will be aware that I am an Officer in the British Army (a part time one, I’m a Reservist). And as a female officer in the British Army, I am able to be in an elite Facebook Group called The Sandhurst Sisterhood. This is an amazing group filled with women who at some time in their lives, passed out of the Royal Miliary Academy Sandhurst as a spritely young second lieutenant.
Why is this relevant? Well, I guess as women have long been very much outnumbered by men in the army, we have developed a strong desire to support each other. So, when I posted something asking the lovely ladies of the sisterhood to buy my book, they did! And I shot up to #15.
But I made it to #10… This all happened on Friday, when I also began a training weekend I’d organised for officer cadets in the senior divisions of Yorkshire Officers’ Training Regiment (which is where I work). I spent 5 hours driving them to Edinburgh, and during that time, I managed to bribe them to buy my book. Er, I basically gave them a refund on the purchase cost - I’d dropped it to 99p so it wasn’t lots of money. Their little boost shot me up to #10. Woop!!!
It was nice and all, but that kind of a boost isn’t exactly sustainable. I can only beg and bribe people to buy my book once and I’m running out of victims.
So now what? Err, learn to market properly? I’ve dabbled in Amazon ads and Facebook ads and thrown lots of bits of spaghetti at the wall in the hope that some bits will stick. I got a quote for a marketer – luckily I was sat down when I read it. And so far, I have spent more on attempting to persuade folk to buy than I’ve made in sales profits.
I think I know the answer to what I need to do next, IT'S LEARN SOME GOD DAMNED PATIENCE!!! Yeah… anyone who knows me would tell you that patience is not one of my virtues. I blame my ADHD. Anyway, I’m having success, I’ve sold twice as many books in April already than I did in the whole of March. I guess if I just keep going, keep trying stuff, keep learning, maybe I’ll get there?
Or maybe I’ll end up as just another unknown author who cries into a pile of unsold books. Who can tell?
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Charlotte Goodwin is the author of the Gallantrian Legacy series. A set of six books (and counting) set in a universe where magic is real, there's just not much of it on Earth.