An Author's Journey Part 7 - Release Date

As a self publisher, I have access to countless resources for sales. For distribution, I use a combination of Kindle Direct Publishing for the Kindle ebook and IngramSpark for everything else. There are many decisions that have to be made when choosing how to publish and distribute a book. Here are a few examples. From what I've seen, the most common self-publishing avenue is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which offers an exclusive option for expanded distribution. If I chose to be exclusive to KDP, I would have instantly eliminated potential readers that use the Nook from Barnes and Noble, and the ones that use iBooks on Apple devices. I never fully understood the expanded distribution. Honestly, I don't care. Once I determined I wasn't going with the exclusive option, I didn't need to care. KDP has amazing reports from sales that are reported within 72 hours of the actual purchase, pre-orders and even my Amazon Author Rank. Out of more than three million authors, my average rank is around 150k. I'll take the top 5%. It's something I'm quite proud of but will never settle for. I don't have unreachable goals as far as my author rank goes. For now, my goal is to improve that average every month. Over time, the steps needed to improve will have to change from what they are today. In August, my rank improved by 25% over July. I hope to maintain my current ranking for the next few days because if I do, September will represent about a 15% increase over my ranking for August. See what I mean? Great reports.

Why do I partner with IngramSpark? IngramSpark does everything else that KDP doesn't for me. Because of IngramSpark, my books can be ordered from more than seventy online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble Online, Books A Million Online, Target Online, Wal-Mart Online and many more. Remember, I only use KDP for the Kindle version of the ebook. All other ebooks, paperbacks and hardcovers are managed by IngramSpark. For the low price of 15% of each book sale, they make it available to all those additional online retailers, and libraries and bookstores. When The Ghost Between Us was released, by wife got a photo from a friend she went to school with. This friend of hers took a snapshot of my book on the shelf at a Sam's Club in Michigan. With that being my first fiction and my first time using IngramSpark as a distributor, I was 100% badass the rest of that day. I've gotten off track. Back to the reports.

The final book in The Ghost Between Us trilogy is set to be released on October 1; yes, ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow. I finished the book in enough time that I was able to set it for pre-order on September 3. For the last four weeks, I have looked at my author rank and IngramSpark reports at least 150 times - a day. The worst part is that IngramSpark doesn't show any sales until the order has been shipped, so I've been frantically tracking things that don't exist for the last four weeks in anticipation for what will happen on Tuesday when all of those pre-sales turn into sales. Have there been 6 pre-orders? Have there been 600 pre-orders? I don't know. I'm quite confident I will look at the reports and charts at least 200 times today. I will end the day with a glass or wine to help me sleep through the night, then anxiously wake up at 3:14 a.m. When I do, I'll freak out that it's the same time as the Amityville Horror internal alarm clock, then open my computer to see the early results only to find that the reports won't update for another 2 hours and 45 minutes. It feels like balancing on a thin board over a raging rapids.

Welcome to release day, my friends.