Friday, October 12, 2012

Chapter Five – The First Outing

Official release date was to be October 8th. But my little novella was to make its first public appearance a week earlier at Conflux, a speculative fiction convention. I duly arrived in time to deliver my stock to the book stall that was selling it in the Trader's Room. Due  to the amount of stock being carried, rather than piles of available books which was the norm, the display was a single copy of each title collected between to book ends. My slim little volume was hardly prominent in that display.

At conventions like that, having book launches on-site drives more business to the Trader's Room. This year there was only the one launch on-site, others being held elsewhere at a function on the Saturday night. Overall sales in the Trader's Room  were well down as a result. In comparison to the 2011 convention when the same stall stocking my book had done several thousand dollars of business, this year sales were probably in the region of 5% of the previous year.

I was however quite chuffed that there were more copies of my novella sold than any other title on the stall. Does that make me a 'best seller?' Not really, seeing my sales were still single digit. But it was still nice to be calculating my sales less stall commission and writing them a receipt for my share of the take.

In fairness, my sales were to people who knew me. But it was still nice to see a few being shifted, not to mention being asked to autograph all of them. And I had the thrill of a first-time solo author seeing their work actually on sale somewhere.

The rather obvious lesson is that just having them present at a a sales outlet does not guarantee actual sales. Like any product, some sort of marketing and sales plan is needed.

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