The First Day of My Launch (Not)

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of my launch. Due to REASONS I pushed back the book by a couple of weeks. However, I did not push back the promotions.

I wanted to see the results of the book promotions on a preorder.

My goal for Day 1 of my launch was to sell 200 copies of my 99c book.

As of 31 December 2019 the book had 135 pre-orders.

As a result of the promotion I now have 232 pre-orders.

I managed to gain 97 pre-orders across 7 promotion sites. I’m happy with those results. I imagine they would have been better if the book had been live because of borrows in Kindle Unlimited but 97 pre-orders are still 97 new readers.

In absolute terms, the promotions cost me $232. For a 99c book, that comes out to $2.05 cost per book (adding in the $0.34 I make per sale). As a new author, I’m fine with having a loss leader for a first book if it means readers will pick up the second book (priced at $4.99). Assuming they do, I’d make $0.94 profit (after deducting for Book 1 costs). That’s not much but again, the books are part of a series and if they like my style they may choose to stick around with me.

It’s always important for you to highlight what your goal is when launching a book. Right now my goal is not to recoup the costs of the book but to find readers and get them to pick up a copy.

I’m happy that 97 new readers took a chance on me.

I’m going to use the same promotion sites in my next launch but I’ll be using them when the book is live to compare the results.

What are your goals for your next book launch?

2020 Goals

I have 3 main goals for 2020. An important part of composing achievable goals is to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). I’ve outlined the ones that are the most important ones to me.

Publishing Goals

I want to publish 20 books by 31 December 2020.

One of my primary goals is to publish a 12-book series. The other books are set in the same world but are part of other series. Twenty books sounds like a lot but I have some of them written already. My publishing goal is tied directly to my daily writing goals.

Earnings Goals

I want to earn $100,000 by 31 December 2020.

That sounds like a lot but let’s break it down. $100,000 divided by 20 books is $5,000 per book.

At a $3.99 sales price ($2.29 royalty factoring in delivery costs) I have to sell 2,183 copies of each book to earn $5,000.

That still sounds like a lot, right?

My books will be in Kindle Unlimited which should help reach more readers and earn money without selling copies. I just need to have readers borrow.

This also leads me to my next goal…

Newsletter Goals

Get 3,000 readers on my newsletter list by 31 December 2020.

This one is ambitious because it’s difficult to get people to sign up for newsletters.

From what I’ve read over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that people would rather pay 99c to get a story than sign up for a newsletter and get it for free.

I prefer organic subscribers but I don’t think I will reach my goal if I depend entirely on organic subscribers. My plan is to introduce three different reader magnets on sites like BookFunnel and StoryOrigin that will be entryways to the various series I will have published. I will be launching these in April once I have a few books out so that by then it would be a lucrative time investment.

Miscellaneous Goals

In addition to my publishing, earnings, and newsletter goals I have some other personal and professional goals.

I want to attend 2 conferences during 2020 and a writing retreat. I’ve already booked those. Attending writer conferences are important because they provide value in unexpected ways and yield results that show up months later. I can draw a line to several opportunities I’ve had over the past six months directly to meeting people in person.

The conferences also inspire me creatively, in addition to motivating me to write more.

I want to create new friendships and deepen my existing ones with other authors. I have a limited circle of fantasy author friends and I’d like to expand it. Having a support system in this career is important for both personal and professional reasons. Friends in the same space can help motivate and inspire you to achieve more and reassure you when plans aren’t going the way you’ve planned.

I want a solid team of loyal readers that I can rely on to provide feedback on early copies of books. Getting readers is the first half of the battle, maintaining them is a different story. I want to build a loyal fanbase that enjoys my stories. Readers are the reason I write. Money is the reason I publish. Readers are important and one of my goals is to have many of them turn into friends by year-end.

I want to learn how to learn how to run AMS and Facebook ads effectively. I’ve enrolled in two courses to help me learn this.

Those are my goals for 2020. We’ll see at the end of the year if these were realistic goals to put in place.

What are your goals for 2020?