Lessons in Self Publishing Volume 1

One of the strangely gratifying processes of the entire book writing process has also been one of the most mundane. Because we self-published the book, we are learning as we go along about the ins and outs of the publishing process. One of the things we didn’t do the best of research on was distribution. It was really important for me to ensure that people in Europe got the book in their hands quickly, and as the printers are in Arizona, this means that I personally send a lot of the European orders from a stockpile in my office.

Every day I go down to the post office with a bagful of parcels, exchange pleasantries with the women behind the counter, and piss off anyone unfortunate enough to be behind me in the queue. It is the sort of thing that could be a pain in the arse for many, to have to do it every day, but I really love it.

Obviously the fact that I am there every day with a bagful means that we are selling books, so no wonder I am happy. Although I hated working in customer service, it’s always been a priority of mine and I think I am good at it, so there is also some satisfaction in knowing that the orders are getting there on time, and hand sent by one of the authors no less.

There is also a big part of me, that, not sure why, always wished he had his own little eBay type business. So this is the next best thing. 

The book has been on Amazon just over a week, and sales have been good. We have already jumped a bunch of places in the amazon rankings for our chosen search terms, and at the time of writing we have 12 very good reviews, all of which have been given 5 stars.

There are some rather frustrating elements to the whole amazon process. One of the oddest things is amazon do not allow us to set our shipping prices and ETA, so it shows the standard as $12 and 22-44 days for outside the US. The reality is that the shipping is closer to $8 and the ETA is 2-5 days. Very frustrating because that must really put some people off buying at all, and in other instances people have been choosing shopping options that are really expensive (which we are refunding the difference for after).

So if you buy the book, pick the cheapest option, I assure you it will get there in less than a week.

It’s all good though, it’s nice that most of our problems at the moment are the good sort of problems. The response and the reviews have been amazing so far, and there seems to be more and more buzz, and the average sales seem to pick up, on a weekly basis. I think that is because word of mouth and customer reviews are starting to drive it, now that people have had time to finish the book. We started our PR campaign by churning out lots of written content for magazines & websites, but are finding that it doesn’t convert to sales much. What does work well, which I think is a sign of the times we live in, is anything where we can interact with potential customers – forums, social media, video, interviews, and live coaching.

It’s all been a fascinating learning process if nothing else.

One more thing, for fans of this blog. We have about 30 copies of the book which have cosmetic damage on the front cover – nothing wrong with the books or content, just blotches on the cover that we couldn’t possibly send out to customers who paid full price. However, if anyone wants to buy them we are going to sell them at $25 each (normal price $44.90) + whatever the postage costs. If anyone is interested just email me at barry@mentalgameofpoker.com – and you can rest assured I will be taking them to the post office first thing in the morning.


amateur said...

Hi Barry
Cheers for the excellent service. Got the book Wednesday morning after paying on Monday night

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