I officially published The Rogue Queen on Amazon nearly a month ago, first as a Kindle book, then through CreateSpace print-on-demand. Checking online today I was surprised to see that I've sold seventy-five copies! It may not sound like a lot, but since I'm starting from scratch as an unknown author I'm well pleased. One of the benefits of publishing digitally is there's no backlist. In brick and mortar bookstores, if a book doesn't sell well it gets cycled back off the prime shelf spots and eventually disappears. However anytime someone searches for historical fiction with TRQ's parameters on Amazon my book will pop up--forever, or until I take it down. So time is on my side.
Something I've had to work on since the book went live is marketing. In my last post I mentioned searching for reviewers. I've had two reviews on Amazon, and I'm waiting on a blogger and the Historical Novel Society to complete their reviews. The more positive reviews I get the more often Amazon will suggest the book to people searching, so they're worth going after. I've also looked into doing readings, one at a local independent bookstore and another at our town library. If all of this sounds like a lot of work it really isn't, especially when you consider that I'm earning 70% royalties. Most of it required only some searching online and a couple of emails. If I'd gone the traditional route the publisher would've taken over the marketing while pocketing most of the royalties. Since nobody wanted to publish the book the point is moot. I took on the risk, so I make the money.
I was told before I published the book that it would essentially be a loss leader, an investment that would hopefully help me to build a following while not necessarily making a lot of money. So far, thanks to the talents of my husband and a couple of generous friends, my only expense has been time. In that regard it's been worth every moment. I've also learned a lot, which will pay off even more when I publish my next novel, and the next. In the meantime, The Rogue Queen is making her way into the hands of readers who seem to be enjoying her, and that is most definitely worth it.