This month, on my birthday appropriately enough, my book - Snipped Tales - turned one-month-old; meanwhile the month prior to that had been an entire blur. So - now that things have calmed down a little I thought I'd share an update, fill you in on the gossip, let you know how it's all going.
Before the book arrived ...
My hope - ever since first committing to publish the book back in May - was to have it ready for the Christmas gift-giving season so it was really stressful when the delivery date changed several times, creeping ever nearer to Christmas, before finally arriving.
On December 10th 2016 I met it for the first time with only 20 minutes to spare before I had to arrive at a Christmas market where I'd booked a stall. My first published book was arriving and I had no idea if it would all have turned out OK, and then - introvert that I am - I had to then turn around and face people for the rest of the day at the market.
If you can't quite imagine my stress levels on that Saturday morning then please do pause to consider having booked yourself two particularly anxious-making appointments for the same day, one straight after the other. Say like: your driving test and delivering a public speech, or ... going for a job interview followed by a smear test. You get the point.
Anyway I didn't need to worry ... it turned out beautifully in the end:
The Christmas market? Not so much. All things considered I made a loss. But then, my stall was directly below some kind of Communist propaganda flags in the room in the gallery which also contained an exhibition of photos from Chernobyl. So, I don't know, maybe not the most conducive atmosphere for encouraging sales of vintage Christmas cards and craft kits ...
Putting the book out into the world ...
If you saw my Bad Portraits 2016 post you'll have also witnessed how I was apprehensive at hitting the button to set the book live in my Etsy shop (remember the photo of me clutching my breast?!). Fortunately - apart from the occasional discomfort at holding up the queue in the Post Office - that's where my fears ended because the response was overwhelming.
The first order ... came through less than 20 minutes after I made it available. I had goosebumps. I might have leaked through my eyes a tiny bit.
To date I've posted out books to ... 9 countries across 4 continents. It's completely surreal seeing it pop up across social media in its many and varied new homes!
The lady in the Post Office ... asked "Have you got a Mary Poppins bag?" when the envelopes just kept coming. Meanwhile I tried to ignore all the eyes in the queue burning into the back of my head.
Around 15% of orders ... have come from people ordering more than one copy, or those who've ordered one and then popped back for another. It's been a complete joy knowing so many people trusted me enough to buy it for themselves let alone to give as a gift!
|Every copy comes wrapped, the first in vintage paper and twine, and any second/third copies in kraft with gift ribbon.|
And this month I gave a 2 part interview to ... @comebackmag on Instagram which you can find here and here.
So what's next?I'll be updating the book page of my website as well as creating a blog post so I can share some of the lovely feedback the book's received. I'm gathering together reviews, Etsy feedback (21 people so far), Instagram posts and other lovely things people have said.
I'll continue checking Instagram for people using the #snippedtales hashtag ... when they share photos of their books - and the one-of-a-kind tags each copy comes with. And speaking of tags ...
I'll continue to share one of my #snippedtalestags each day on Instagram ... until, erm, until I stop I suppose. I'm just enjoying making them right now; the process helps me unwind on a night.
I'll be approaching alternative places to promote not only the book itself, but the whole process of making Snipped Tales ... including magazines (online and print) and, when I'm feeling particularly confident, in 'real life' independent local book shops.
When I sell around 40 more copies ... I'll have paid off all of the costs relating to the project (eg. design and layout, the print run is already covered. As each page is a colour reproduction of the pages of my notebook the process is more costly than printing a novel.)
Back in December, when I had a total meltdown while trying to make tea while also panicking about how many books to order I would have calmed down much more quickly if I'd have known then what I know now: that people will want to buy it and that it won't all have been a big mistake!
And if I ever need to do a second print run ... I now have a cover quote from an author who's kindly offered his words of support! And I'll be sharing that quote in my next post along alongside some of the other kind words I've gratefully received.
So that's me ... now, do you need anything?If there is any way in which my experiences in self-publishing can come in useful to you do let me know ... and I'll start keeping a list of questions, concerns, observations which I can address in a later post when I've had had more time to reflect.
If you have any burning questions about the book that you don't think I've covered ... either here -- on my website -- or in the Etsy listing then shout up and I'll do my best to answer your queries.
And to those of you who already have a copy ... you did check the Acknowledgements page in the back didn't you? I meant what I said you know?
Thank you all so very much for your support ... you don't know how much it means to me every time I see a familiar name pop up in my Etsy orders. I absolutely, 100%, utterly and entirely, without exaggeration, could not have got this far without you. Thank you!!
See you soon,