After a bit of a wait, the figures are finally in on the number of sales my book 'Whispers of the Past' has achieved. We have sold just under 2000 books to date across all formats both paperback and electronic up to the end of May. A clear cut sign that the book has been well received and I am on the right track. I now I have a ballpark figure to go forward with to the end of the year.
I don't know what the general sale number of books is for it to be a hit, but I guess we all have certain expectations as to what is successful in our own minds. In my case achieving the sale of 2000 in just over a year, considering that the major bookstores in New Zealand wouldn't have a bar of it, I reckon we have done not bad at all. To me, the book has been successful without their help. The success of my novel is all about the people who buy it, regardless of where they buy it from, and a lot of the smaller bookshops do have it on their shelves. There's a big world out there with so many online bookstores who carry the book, sometimes with free postage. Do we really need the Whitcoulls and the other big book shops I wonder? It 'd be good to have the book displayed in their window, of course, but if it is not to be that's fine also. The day might come when it's picked up by a film producer, will the big bookstores carry it then I wonder? That's the sixty-four million dollar question.
Another positive for me is the video promo than can be seen on my web page, owencloughbooks.com and also on my Facebook page 'Whispers of the Past' at https://www.facebook.com/cluffy68/. This video has reached 36,000 people and has been viewed by 11,000 people, that's the population of a small town. To top that off I'm especially pleased with the hits I have had on my website, in just over a couple of months the site has had 850 hits. So all of this is now to be my benchmark for the remainder of the year. By the way, my web page was designed by Sofia Hassounia, (https://www.facebook.com/sofia.hassounia). She's willing to create a page for you too if you're interested.
Recently I decided to increase the number of book groups I belong to on Facebook. I am working on a marketing strategy to hit those sites once a week with different aspects of the book. With over 120 groups I can pick and choose the groups, for maximum benefit and exposure. Also, I'm doing a course on blogging as this is all new to me, and I believe it is important to get this aspect right. So that's to be a focus for me at the moment. If you have not blogged before it can be time-consuming, but it gets easier the more you do it, let's face it, it also tunes up your writing skills, so that has to be positive.
'Whispers of the Past' now has 89 reviews up on my website, plus ten 5 star reviews on Amazon. My goal is to increase the Amazon reviews over the next six months. To achieve this my intention is to give away four ebooks from Amazon each month with the hope that this will create more interest along with reviews on their site.
I also want to encourage new people to my book, as well as the folk who have been there before, to visit my website and Facebook page. So I've decided to put up the first two chapters of 'Whispers of the Past' for you to read. The chapters will be downloadable in PDF and can be read at your leisure. So watch out for that on my website.
So all in all a positive 2017, I would say. My thanks must go to all those people that invested in my first book 'Whispers of the Past'. I would not have got to this point if it were not for them.
Before I go, many have asked about the second book of the trilogy 'Shadows of the Mind', it's still in the proofreading stage, but I hope it will be out this year.