I reached a milestone on Christmas Day. After dropping If Only, my self-published novella, to FREE on Smashwords, which filtered to FREE on Ibooks, Amazon price-matched. And what happened? If Only shot up to #35 on Amazon’s top 100 free contemporary romance short stories. Currently it’s at 39. 39 hasn’t lessen the happy glow of actually making the top 100. Yes, it’s free, but there are loads of free books out there yet I’m part of the 100 club!! Still can’t believe it.
The take home point for this wondrous end to a very roller coaster ride year starting with accepting my first publishing contract back in May? Dreams can and do come true. But it takes A LOT of work and right now, I have to say I’m more in the red than black in regards to getting back what I put in money-wise and time-wise. I’ve sacrificed time with my family. Ask my family how many burnt meals they’ve eaten or how late we sit down for dinner, and they’ll say one too many and often times too late.
By making If Only free, I set out to prove a couple of things. One, Amazon will price match. Two, I enjoy SP, as it gives me the freedom to set my price and give to my readers by making my work free. Yes, it’s a business and I’ve poured my heart and time into writing my books. What author hasn’t? But as a debut author, the important thing for me is finding my niche and readership. To do that, I need exposure. If I have to give something away for FREE to get that exposure, then I’m willing to do that.
Three, social media does work in spreading the news. After tweeting and posting on FB and Goodreads that If Only was FREE on Kindle, it climbed the charts. Yet, I never thought it would break into the top 100 within a half hour or so. And for that, I thank everyone who retweeted and shared on FB or liked the post. Everyone has been so awesome!
Four, If Only hasn’t increase sales of my paranormal romance, Shadow Watcher. This point I’m not too worried about. Most readers don’t cross genres. We’ll see though if SW’s sales increases when my full length paranormal, My Fallen, releases January 14th. And we’ll see if promo the week of and after for MF will up sales as I’ve invested a small amount of money into a reviews only tour and time on others’ blogs.
Looking ahead to 2013, I’m very excited as to what my options are. I started my Extinction Trilogy and haven’t decided whether to SP or submit to a traditional publisher. Already, I have covers in mind and being able to release print and digital at the same time is definitely an advantage over traditional publishing where I would have to wait months for POD. With SP, I can get real time sales numbers while with traditional publishing, I’d have to wait for quartly or bi-yearly statements. But SP means big upfront costs that are usually taken on by the publisher if traditionally published. As someone who likes to control her own destiny and call her own shots, I’m really favoring the SP route. Thoughts? What are your plans for 2013?