Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Tracking Preorders

May 12th, 2017

Over the years my books have won a devoted following and that’s been so very gratifying. Still, they’ve never sold well. Not when I’ve put them out myself and not when they’ve been New York published. Of course, there has never been a real publicity campaign behind any of my work.

With my forthcoming novel, The Last Good Man, I’m doing the publicity myself and I’m doing what I can, but this time around I’ve decided to stop pretending. A friend of mine once said that even if a writer isn’t doing well in the market, it’s important to try to maintain “the illusion of momentum” — that is, to give the appearance that one’s career is steadily improving. I’ve tried to do this in the past, but I’m not going to anymore. I’m going to share facts instead.

To start, I’m going to chart preorders here on my blog. I’ll update weekly. Keep in mind that my net on each ebook is at most 70% of the list price (exact amount varies by vendor and country) and that I’ve spent more than a year working on this novel while paying out-of-pocket for the services of editors, a copyeditor, and a cover artist. I’m not complaining about the expenses. A business requires investment, after all. But a business also requires enough income to cover expenses with something left over for profit.

So here are the current statistics:

Date Total Preorders Events
May 5 31 Social media announcement of preorder links
May 12 84 Email to 1800+ newsletter subscribers**

My goal is 500 preorders. The publication date for The Last Good Man is June 20, just a little over five weeks away.

Visit this page to learn more about the novel. You’ll find a link to the Publishers Weekly starred review, blurbs from early readers, and the opening chapter.

More discussion of the reason behind this do-or-die push is here.

**Around 350 subscribers have been long-time subscribers. The others are mostly new to my work, having signed on during recent promotional events. Only 39% of emails sent track as having been opened.

Posted on: Friday, May 12th, 2017 at 7:51 am
Categories: Publishing.
Tags: ,

2 Responses to “Tracking Preorders”

  1. Clyde Says:

    Heh. I suppose I am one of the original 31 preorders. Anyway, good luck with your campaign.

    Have you considered writing under a pseudonym? I suppose some percentage of the potential readers who come across your books skip them because “Japanese chick, I guess not” without giving a deeper look (probably mostly unconsciously). Just speculating here, but …

  2. Linda Says:

    Thanks Clyde!

    And yes, I’ve considered a pseudonym. Actually, I tried one when I first published The Dread Hammer, but it didn’t seem to make a difference, so I re-published that one under my own name. I might still try it again, depending on what I come up with next.