Here are my impressions on release day, in no particular order.
- Release day didn’t sell very many books, as compared to the preorder period. Preorders are here to stay, whether they go on for a month (as this time) or longer (hopefully in the future).
- The choose-your-own-adventure story was a major driver of page hits, but voting participation was very low as a percentage of story views. I may do a live story again next time, but will limit the choose-your-own-adventure nature. (I may try to write another Nexus story, as tricky as those are to do well.)
- Sales have been passable so far. I won’t be on any bestseller lists, but my post-release sales at Amazon have averaged greater than zero per day, which is honestly better than I had expected. Thanks again to my readers. Your ongoing support remains humbling.
- I spent a few days on the top-50 list at Kobo for high-tech sci-fi, and a few days in the top 100 for sci-fi overall, although as near as I can tell, sales of one or two copies will do that for you.
- I’m still not famous enough to drive engagement at the website: no comments or Conclave posts. That said, engagement from the Facebook page and overall website hits matched my previous best two days running.
- The free giveaways I set up on Facebook and Twitter had no takers. Promoting things is hard.
- I’ve heard excellent in-person reviews from several people, and I suspect that the review at Amazon is helping to drive sales there. If you liked We Sail Off To War, review it somewhere!
- For my next release, having a previously-released book gives me promotional opportunities I didn’t have for my first launch. Free giveaways make a lot more sense when you don’t have to give away the specific product you’re selling.
- Next time around, I’m going to have to find a cover artist. I can do minimalist covers like this one, and I may even be able to do the cover for my planned Nexus novel. I do not have the skill to do a Nathaniel Cannon cover.
There you have it: my off-the-cuff release day thoughts. We’ll return to story posts next week; soon, The Long Retreat will be over, and Nathaniel Cannon and the Panamanian Idol will kick off. Until then, happy reading!