Self-Publishing: The anti-climactic launch

Over the weekend, I made the big announcement: my self-published memoir was now available!

I've been talking/writing about my memoir for ages.  I put excerpts on my blog, I held a contest for free copies, I showed off the cool cover.  People seemed excited.  They commented.  They "liked." They Retweeted.  Readers from sites I write for told me that they loved my work, that they couldn't get enough of it.

Five days later, how many copies have I sold? Seven.

Not 70, not seven hundred.  Seven.

I'm not sure what I was expecting.  Double that maybe.  Not that it's about numbers.

Okay, sometimes it's about numbers.

Social networking and tracking tools are great, but for obsessives like me, sometimes they're counter-productive.  Is it really about the number of clicks or comments?  Is a blog post with more comments better somehow?  I know it's not.  I know there are some pieces I write that get very few comments, but of which I feel more proud.

So if I know that about my short pieces, why do I feel disappointed about my book?

I've been trying to remind myself of some things:

  • I made the big announcement on the Saturday night before Mother's Day.  Probably not the best timing.
  • Commenting on a blog post or online article is a lot different than plunking down some cash (even just a few dollars) and committing to a book.
  • In my Tweets and FB statuses, I've assumed people already know what the memoir's about. Next time I need to include a short summary or some keywords.
  • I'm still on internet-time when publication and feedback is instantaneous.  Book-buying time may be slower.
  • One or two sales a day isn't so bad.
  • Stop checking Lulu every two seconds.
  • Continue to sincerely talk about my book - as Tayari Jones reminds us in her recent blog post - but also remember to keep working on my other stuff.  Short published pieces may lead people to my book.

Okay, done complaining now.

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