The Lost Sentinel – 1 month after publication & 1 day left Goodreads giveaway

Well it’s a month today since my second fantasy novel was published, so I thought why not have a recap.

Firstly, the Goodreads worldwide giveaway to win a paperback copy ends tomorrow, so check out the link if you want to be in with a chance of winning. Over 1,150 people have already entered so I’m really pleased with these numbers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The Lost Sentinel

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends July 17, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Unfortunately, The Lost Sentinel seems to have become lost in the sea of books, and neither the blog tour nor the local book event has done much to improve its exposure. I’m trying not to lose hope, but I am beginning to regret the decision to self publish – why didn’t I at least try a few agents first! I made a list, had everything in place (letter / synopsis), why didn’t I go for it?

At least Visions of Zarua is still being read on Kindle Unlimited and there is a link to the new book at the end, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed people will want to download The Lost Sentinel as well.

I would love to get more reviews on Amazon for both books, especially when Amazon takes down reviews for no apparent reason and then reinstates them a few weeks later. I’m talking about poor Susan on Booksfromdusktilldawn – she’s a dedicated and genuine book reviewer who had all her reviews removed – I hope they have resolved this for her now. I know the UK ones are back up at least.

I have a couple of promo ideas in the pipeline; kindle countdown deals, an Amazon US giveaway, and hopefully a feature in a local publication. After that I’m planning to take a step back and recharge my blogging battery whilst I focus on finishing book 2. There are only so many setbacks an author can take, and I don’t want to lose my love of writing.

If you are a reviewer who would like to review either The Lost Sentinel or Visions of Zarua, click on the covers to be taken to the Amazon page to find out more. Please get in touch via the comments or via my contact me form on the blog.

Thanks for your time, and have a great Sunday everyone!

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17 thoughts on “The Lost Sentinel – 1 month after publication & 1 day left Goodreads giveaway

  1. It’s easy to be disheartened and feel that maybe the grass would have been greener on the other side if only you had made a different choice. Obviously, being traditionally published would go some way to taking care of the exposure problem, but it’s entirely possible you’d still be having the same feelings if you were contracted to a major publishing house. I can certainly think of a few traditionally published authors I follow online who have been disappointed by lower than hoped for sales figures, despite excellent reviews (and in some cases award nominations). At the end of the day, the most important variable to sales success is something that can’t really be accounted for; being lucky.

    Speaking for myself, it’s been just under three months since I published my novel and it’s not setting the world alight in terms of sales (in fact, I’ve given away more free copies than there have been purchases so far). Fortunately, my expectations were so low that I’ve rarely bothered to check my sales figures. I went into self-publishing with the mindset that it will be a marathon, not a sprint. I knew I wasn’t going to be an overnight sensation, but I’ve never had any doubt about my ability to be successful eventually, so with that in mind I set myself a goal of five years to achieve it.

    If at any point between now and five years down the road I ever feel like I made a mistake, I’ll just remind myself of the many authors who were previously traditionally published who are now making their living as self-published writers. At the top of that list is John D. Brown whose decision to ask to be released from his contract with Tor Books (one of my favourite publishers) was a major factor in me going indie in the first place.

    The one tip I would give you Suzanne, if you feel as though nothing you do will improve things, is to get in touch with indie authors who have made it big, and ask for their advice in how to increase awareness of you and your books. Michael J. Sullivan, for example, is someone who is very helpful, especially as he has been there and done it. And obviously the option to pursue traditional publishing will always remain open to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ian. I’ve really enjoyed reading your response and I see things more clearly now. It’s good to set some kind of time scale to self publishing and not focus on sales day by day. My head knows it all takes time, and I love your suggestion about contacting those who have made it and asking their advice.
      Good luck with your book and your 5 year plan.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Suzanne. And another thing to keep in mind is that your back catalogue of books can become sales successes several years after first being published. Even if it means waiting for your fourth or fifth book to become the big hit that makes your name, once you have it readers will inevitably want to check out everything you wrote prior to the book that helped them to discover you. And the more books you have under your belt the more sales you will rack up.

        In terms of my own ambitions I believe it will be my third novel that will initially elevate me to the level I want to reach, and in doing so will increase interest in my first two, neither of which I expect to be bestsellers.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I feel more positive today and you’ve helped me see the best plan is to focus on my writing above everything else, and building up that back catalogue. Once I’ve finished with the countdown deals and giveaways, I promise myself I’m going to stop checking the sales figures so often!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s an amazing number of people to have entered the competition; that’s all good publicity, surely? And, if they don’t win, lots of them might buy it. So keep your chin up!

    I’m incredibly impressed with everything you’ve done so far – two brilliant books published and all the marketing you’ve done for them. I haven’t even considered the self-publishing route because I just know I cba to do all the work you’ve done! So you should be really proud of everything you achieved.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations on your Goodreads giveaway! 1150 entries is a lot and I hope you get a few sales and reviews. Hopefully they’ve also added your book to their TBR library. I just entered your giveaway by the way and added it to my book shelf.

    I’m going to agree with lonelyboy1977 about trad pubbed authors going through the same issues. I know a few trad pubbed authors who have started self-publishing and seeing more royalties for less number of books sold because they get to keep 70% of the gross royalties, not 40% or so of the net, after the publishing house gets their share. Of course, there are the ones who are doing well and it’s tough not to compare ourselves with them.

    I know a few fantasy authors who are doing much better since moving their platform to Facebook. It’s really difficult to go from the blogosphere to Facebook and in the beginning, it was tough for me to strike the balance. But after my books languished in the sales department for almost a year and a half, two things got them noticed: Facebook and FB ads. I’m not going to recommend FB ads just yet but what I will recommend are the FB groups of authors who work together to build their email list and get sales. That’s what got me to finally get copies moving. Instafreebie was what got me started and I signed up for their premium plan at $20/month with the first month free to start. There are so many group promotions right now comprising authors who work together to get their books to a wider range of readers (i.e. each others’ readerships) and it works when it’s for the same genre, like fantasy.

    If you have to offer only 10% of the sample of your books since they’re in KU, then offer them. Package them as a separate epub and mark it as a sample. Tweet about it and work with other authors of the same genre. I don’t know what else other than advertising. You can also do AMS ads which you can run for $3 a day or even a dollar a day if you want. I can direct you to resources about AMS if you like as well as the groups you can join on FB. I wish I could tell you that your target audience for sales is in the blogosphere but it’s not. And countdown deals can only do so much because you still need the reach. Amazon won’t be promoting your countdown deals because they have their own imprints that dominate the charts as it is. Sales isn’t the first problem we indie authors face, it’s visibility.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your advice. I always look forward to hearing your tips and have added them to my list of jobs to do.
      I’ve tried facebook ads without success, but that’s because I haven’t worked out how to use them properly yet. I’ve joined a few book related groups too, but not the kind you suggest so at some point I plan to spend a few hours on facebook doing research.
      I use AMS ads with a little success, but more for my first book. Maybe because The Lost Sentinel only has a few reviews at the moment.
      I really like your advice about seeing my target market outside the blogosphere – I did know this but seemed to forget the fact while I was caught up in my post publication blues.
      Thanks for entering the giveaway. It’s great to see so many people adding my book to their bookshelves. Fingers crossed I get some more reviews from it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m reading The Sentinel right now and like your first few chapters. Hopefully I’ll find time to finish it within the next few days. I can only read first thing in the morning before I get out of bed and then tackle the day of writing and keeping my munchkin entertained. I’ve always loved the theme of astral projection and otherworldly creatures so you got me there 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s wonderful to hear, thanks very much. I hope you enjoy it.
        I mostly read at night in bed, but that often means I’m too tired to read much, . Either that, or the book I’m reading is so good I just can’t stop.

        Like

  4. Sorry for being late in reading this, I’m catching up on all the blog posts I’ve missed. I’m sorry the blog tour didn’t generate more interest and sales I was hoping it would, but the giveaway figures shows promise, every bit of exposure helps. I think you’ve received a lot of good advice already so I have little to add but if you ever wanted to go traditional it’s never too late and there’s always the option, even if you’ve already self published. I know submitting to agents is a terrifying prospect especially the fear of rejection but there’s always the option and I know of a fantasy publisher that sometimes accepts direct submissions of previously self pub work. :). Anyway best to concentrate on writing, watching figures is something that can really kill creativity and rob you of the happiness you should feel for the work you’ve already published 🙂 <3.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting.
      As soon as my countdown deal finishes, I’m going to stop checking the figures. I might allow myself to check once a week or something.
      I hope to take a break from it all and focus on book 2. Then I’ll be fresh to start blogging etc. when the kids go back to school in Sept.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The US reviews are still not up, at least not for my books. I believe someone in the UK contacted Amazon for Susan. She’s commented a couple of times on Facebook Book Connectors about it.
      It’s so crap that they can do that to reviewers and us writers. I love looking through the reviews and it takes so long to build up any kind of number, every loss hurts. I hated seeing your review of Visions disappear, but at least it’s still on the UK site.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I honestly have no idea what amazon is thinking when deleting reviews. They see some connection between authors and reviewers and they often just get it wrong. I’m sorry your reviews went down and that hers went down. Amazon never offered explanation for my reviews being deleted and every time I enquired it was a generic email reply 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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