First the very good news – the first print run of Dandelions and Bad Hair Days has sold out bar three copies in less than two weeks. I have been asked to sell copies at two psychotherapy events and Lois and Neil have kindly offered to take copies to the OCD Action National Conference on the 24th November alongside their own wonderful book The Thing Inside My Head: A Family’s Journey Through Mental Illness.
So what does one do? Money is tight all round – the publisher makes no profit from the sales but equally doesn’t want to lose any further investment, so Amazon sales (when it eventually gets listed) will be via print-on-demand. I don’t have the money to buy large quantities either, although I am desperate to build on this initial wonderful success to raise awareness and further funds for the charities it supports.
This isn’t a self-published book (I didn’t have the funds or confidence to go down that route) but it is experiencing issues that must be common for those who do publish their own work. For worldwide sales – and remember this book has authors living right across the world – the online choice is the best, but for UK sales do I rely on print-on-demand and simply give people details of the publisher’s website, Lulu.com and Amazon, hoping that they will go off and press that ‘buy’ button.? Or do I get more printed and say ‘here it is, it’s great, it is just £5.99 and we can even sign it for you…’, daring them to walk away? Then of course there is the forthcoming release of the eBook version of DABHD (in all likelihood before Christmas) – how does one factor that in to the marketing equation? I have been reading blogs and other advice on publishing and writing for so long and, it seems, still can’t make the decision.
I don’t yet have an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’. I have spent much of my working life in the public and voluntary sectors and even self-employed I don’t act with a business brain. I would be in tears within seconds on The Apprentice; although my customer care is good I regularly work long hours for my own satisfaction rather than for money.
So – I would be really grateful to hear from those out there who have also experienced this tricky issue. What did you do? What would you do if you were me? Should I just ‘let the book go’ now and make its own way in the world?
It really is a publishing dilemma…