What I also find interesting is how important social networking is in regards to generating sales. My sales are consistently better on the days when I post a link to my ebook and/or paperback every four to six hours on Twitter and Facebook than on the days I don't. So forgive me as I link, link, link.
I also find it interesting that many of my readers have completely forgotten that I am not my protagonist, Sophie Katz. I am now inundated with emails from readers who tell me how they loved it when I "said that to Anatoly," or when I "held Alex at gunpoint with his own gun." There's even one lovely review on Amazon stating that Vanity, Vengeance & A Weekend In Vegas is Ms. Katz' first self-published novel. In general I find these slips of the tongue to be flattering. The books are, after all, about Sophie Katz, not me and if I'm writing them in a way that makes her seem more real than the woman writing them then I've done my job well. Besides, Sophie is braver, funnier and quicker on her feet than I am. The only part that bothers me about being mistaken for my character is that there are some pretty explicit sex scenes in my books and it's really important to me that you all know, that's not me. In other words, when my protagonist is giving a bad guy hell feel free to think of me. When she's being stripped down and given multiple orgasms think of somebody else.
Gabra Zackman. My readers love her. For them, she is Sophie. the problem is that doing this audible book right is going to be pricy and it's going to be a lot of work. Part of me thinks it's worth it. Two years after its release, Vows, Vendettas & A Little Black Dress is still the fifth bestselling Chick Lit audiobook on Audible.com which means that I'm trumping Sophie Kinsella (in this one area, and this one area alone). The problem is that the information I get from my publisher in regards to what that exactly means in terms of hard numbers is vague at best. I am not 100% confident that I will be able to recoup my expenses if I produce this. Likewise, although there are many people asking for this book to be released in audio format I can't figure out if each one of the people who are contacting me represent ten more people who haven't gotten around to writing a Facebook post or if each one of them truly only represent one person.
These of course are the questions publishers ask themselves all the time. "Is there a true demand for this book in this format?" "Will we recoup our costs?" And the sad truth is that usually they don't. Like Hollywood, the publishing industry relies on a few blockbuster successes to compensate for a plethora of losses. Unfortunately I don't have a plethora of anything. I only have this one self-published novel and I'm still waiting to get the rights back from my publisher for my other books. So for me the stakes are higher. Still, this experience is giving me a better understanding and a new empathy for employees of the New York publishing industry. Trying to figure out when you should or should not hedge your bets is stressful.
But all in all, I'm enjoying this self-publishing experiment. I love that I can get accurate sales numbers immediately (that's practically unheard of in traditional publishing) and knowing that this book is mine from its cover to its content to its distribution...well that's rewarding too.
And those five stars by my title on Amazon? That's about as rewarding as it gets.
Kyra "Fashionista Fatale" Davis