Monday, 5 January 2015

Self publishing update -1 year on.

Hiya Everyone & happy new year.

Today is my last day off before its back to work (Teacher training day) kids currently playing on the PlayStation & waiting impatiently for some biscuits to cool down that we've just made.

I thought I'd do a round up & let you know how my self publishing adventure has been.

My aim was to sell 100 copies of The Awakening, get some good reviews, hit 500 follows on Twitter and 250 on Facebook.  So how did I do -

232 on Facebook (so close!!!)
1039 on Twitter (Wow!)
76 sold The Awakening (Didn't hit my target boo!)
Have released the sequel The Reckoning which I love & wasn't in my original plan.

I am a little disappointed by sales but think it was an OK year for a complete unknown author who has learnt along the way.

I'm not sure if the free promotions helped or hindered me though & this continues to be my largest puzzle.

660 free copies of The Awakening were downloaded but have not produced the follows/reviews I'd hoped for & I'm beginning to suspect free ebooks simply are not read.

What do you think?
Do you read free ebooks?
Or do you just impulse download & then never look at them again?

197 free Origins were downloaded but only 1 review & that was someone I know.
13 sold Origins

The Reckoning which I am VERY proud of has so far only sold 21 copies.  Again my aim is 100 during the year.

I think The Reckoning shows a vast improvement in my writing & I am pleased that I formatted it myself & organised a small blog tour.  Unfortunately the tour which was 10 blog sites did not result in sales & I'm not sure if this is because The Reckoning is a sequel & people had not read the first book.

I've been deliberating a relaunch of The Awakening as I have learnt a lot since I began a year ago.

I've been looking at Bookbub & Freebooksy.  Both are sites you pay for & they advertise your free or discounted books.  The figures look impressive but do people actually read them? If I proceed I would hope it would lead to greater sales of The Reckoning.

Bookbub would cost $85 to advertise for free as mine is a YA book.  Free downloads are between 3000-18500 based on their figures so potentially that is a lot of people that may go on to buy The Reckoning but it takes me back to my initial dilemma as to whether people read free eBooks & it also pains me slightly to actually pay to give my book away.  Will it pay off? Is it worth it?

This is something I don't know.  I haven't crossed this bridge on my self publishing adventure & am not sure what to do.

I have found the last few weeks a little frustrating and am having a bit of a social media break.  However in the last 2 days I've had 2 amazing reviews for The Reckoning which has definitely put a spring back in my step.

This one is a 5 star on - Having read The Awakening I was very much looking forward to the sequel and I have to say it didn't disappoint. Lauren really seemed to come in to her own in this book and very quickly she became my favourite character. There is a lot going on in this story and it's extremely well paced and I found I didn't want to put it down. Without spoiling anything, I think the author was very brave with how she ended the book and for me it was all the better for it. There were probably quite a few more obvious endings that she could have come up with, but who wants predictable?!
I would absolutely recommend this book, you won't be disappointed. I look forward to reading more by Emma Jones

And this one is a 5 star on Goodreads- First thing first, the book cover is absolutely beautiful! Props to the designer!
This is the sequel to The Awakening and sometimes sequels are never as good as the first book but I think The Reckoning was actually better then the first one. It really put the story all together for me and had me tearing up at the end.
I was not expecting the ending, I thought something would happen and it would change but nope, but it made the story that more fantastic.
You can really see the characters growth in this story and how they dealt with everything happening.
This sequel was very enjoyable and for everyone who is a big fan of fantasy books this is the series for you!
Well done Emma for the great stories! Cannot wait to read more from her.

I am beyond thrilled with both of them & although my sales have been disappointing these reviews make it totally worthwhile.

In total 967 of my books are in the world which is something to be proud of & I have learnt a lot.

Any input about the free books would be amazing & very helpful.  I'm not gonna be around much but will be checking my blog.

Thanks everyone for reading, commenting & hope you all have a fab January.

See you in a few weeks.

Emma xxx


  1. Hi, Emma,

    I too have wondered about the benefits (or not) of free promotion. On the advice of my agent, my first novel, Mesmeris, was offered free over one weekend. Despite numerous downloads, it resulted in no sales or reviews. In fact, sales stopped completely after it, and are only now trickling in again. It may have been a coincidence but I can't help wondering if people think something for nothing must be rubbish. In art college, I was always told never to give any of my work away as it devalues it. Maybe it applies to writing too. My agent would have a tough job getting me to do it again, that's for sure.
    Of course, I've only had one shot at it, and I'm sure others have had very different (& probably much better) experiences.

    Not sure I've helped at all but I wish you every success :)


  2. Thank you Karen that's really helpful. I've also wondered if giving it for free makes people think its not v good but it seems more & more like you are encouraged to go down this route. I might try a discount promo rather than free but the sites bookbub & freebooksy don't offer such good results. Good luck with your book Karen & hope you have lots of success in 2015 :)

    1. Thanks Emma. Do think discount promotions work better. Mine were 99p in the autumn sale and sales rocketed. Wouldn't hesitate to try that again, given the chance. It's so easy to get demoralised when sales falter, isn't it? Do hope this will be a very successful year for you X

  3. I have quite a few book loving friends - and we've been discussing freebies recently.
    One will only read free books, courtesy of Bookbub. She will not buy any book when she thinks there are so many offered free. She's never yet been tempted to follow a series.
    Another will read the freebies, but not immediately. If she likes the book and feels invested in the story, she will buy the rest of the series.
    Yet another won't touch any free book. She is of the opinion they are not very good.
    I've downloaded quite a few freebies myself. Some I've enjoyed, one I gave up with. I currently have over a hundred free to read on my Kobo ... so I've called a halt to downloading any more until they are cleared. Not one have I felt so enamoured that I wanted to move the author onto my 'go to' list.
    I read over 100 books last year. If I stuck to only freebies, it would take me a year to clear my backlog. Not happening anytime soon.
    I checked the stats on Bookbub's stat page - and the paid for book figures are miniscule compared to the downloads for free. It's not a route I'd choose in the hope of finding the one friend of mine who will follow an author from a freebie.

  4. Wow thank you for commenting Pat. Its funny how everyone feels so different about free ebooks but it is seeming more & more like its not the way to gain fans. I'm not sure how to get out there really but think the freebie route might not be the way. Back to the drawing board I think. Thanks for your contribution.