The main aim of the Virtual Book Launch was to interact with my current readers and to reach out to a new potential audience. Having the event over a 24-hour period was important as I wanted to interact with both local and overseas readers. By restricting my accessibility to a particular time-frame, it would have reduced visibility and sales. As I never had done a VBL, I did not know what to expect or how it would turn out, and had nothing to compare the outcome to. I also wanted to include other Historical Fiction/Fantasy writers to show the diversity of the genre.
It is difficult to determine the success of the VBL. It was a unique experience and I did enjoy the time I spent interacting with others online. I created a FB event where people could join and a nice surprise that came out of this that people who hadn’t initially joined participated.
From the feedback I have received, most people had fun, which I am pleased about. The guest authors I had were brilliant, and I had a great time asking them questions and answering theirs. The giveaway activities worked, though slow to start with, gained momentum as the event progressed over the hours.
Did I make the sales I had envisioned? Compared to the eBook sales of Book 1, Search for the Golden Serpent when published in 2015, it was significantly better. I would have liked more sales, but I hope from the positive reviews, and through word of mouth, there will be more interest and people will purchase the book. Overall, the VBL is much more suited to eBook sales.
The lead into the VBL didn’t go smoothly, and teaching full-time certainly created more headaches than I anticipated. Communication with my cover designer was a 24-hour turn around, and that set the timing to approve the cover behind schedule. This meant I couldn’t upload pre-orders on the various outlets to promote the new book.
Added to that, I decided to outsource the interior layout for the eBook and paperback, to reduce stress and time I knew I didn’t have. That didn’t work out well at all. There was miss communication with the person who was formatting the eBook, and in turn I didn’t receive the final file until Friday, 29 September. It was too late for me to upload the new file onto Amazon, as they locked the book to prepare and send pre-orders to customers. You can imagine the stress I was under. I did manage to load the new file on Sunday, the day of the launch! That particular saga is still ongoing. My main concern is how this will affect customers/readers opinion of the book. Will the format put them off from reading it? I say yes, though I am hoping readers will upload the new version and all will be well.
The actual VBL was a breeze, it was the hiccups and hurdles along the way that tarnished the overall outcome.
Love to hear your comments!
NB: For the full report on the VBL, go to my Resources tab and click on the White Papers icon.