On Saturday the 28th of April 2012, I held my “triple book launch” at the Royal Hotel in Clifton Hill. The video of my speech (which included me reading an extract of The Dark Horde that contains swearing and graphic content) can be seen here:


Attendance and sales for the day was broadly comparable to the “book launch gigs” I held (for the then-released versions of my Evermore novel) in 2001 and 2003. Well when I say broadly comparable, it was actually less. Here’s a reasonably accurate breakdown and comparison of my three book launches:

Date:_________________11-Aug-2001
Books Launched:_____Evermore: An Introduction
Invite List:____________144
Attendance:__________Circa 100 (it was in a public bar so it’s hard to judge the exact numbers)
Books Sold:___________About 50 copies
Costs for the day:_____$300 for catering. $300 for the band. Plus posters, fliers and drinks.
Revenue for the day:__Based on the above, it should have been about $300 after costs, but I seem to recall it was barely enough to cover the costs of the night, so either I actually sold less books (at least 35) or had more expenses.


Date:_________________12-Oct-2003
Books Launched:_____Evermore: An Introduction (Brolga version distributed through Pan Macmillan)
Invite List:____________Circa 200
Attendance:__________Circa 90
Books Sold:___________About 40 copies (plus a poster or two)
Costs for the day:_____$300 for the band. Plus posters, fliers and drinks.
Revenue for the day:__Roughly $400 for the day after costs.

 

Date:_________________16-Nov-2003
Books Launched:_____Evermore: An Introduction (Brolga version distributed through Pan Macmillan)
Invite List:____________Circa 100 I think?
Attendance:__________About 10
Books Sold:___________I think I sold a single copy
Costs for the day:_____Fortunately nothing except time, and perhaps my pride
Revenue for the day:__$20

 

Date:_________________28-Apr-2012
Books Launched:_____The Dark Horde and Evermore: An Introduction (Ignis paperback and ebook version distributed through Amazon) and Gamebook Adventures: Infinite Universe (which is only available as an iOS app and wasn’t sold at the launch)
Invite List:____________226
Attendance:__________48
Books Sold:___________32 copies. 4 posters.
Costs for the day:_____Only posters, fliers and drinks. (There was no band).
Revenue for the day:__Roughly $500 for the day after costs.

 

So based on these figures, my conclusions are as follows:

 

 


Below are some other observations I can make from having done a few book launches now. And yes, some of these observations are quite brutally honest, but I don’t see it as my role here to sugar-coat anything. The single life of a self-published author can feel like you’re fighting the world every day, and the tendency of humanity to either apathy or criticism can make you question why you even bother sometimes, but this is what it means to be a writer. It’s better that you know this before starting, as the actual writing is by far the easiest part. 

EDIT 3rd May 2012: I've actually toned some of the comments below down a little. Sometimes I can let my emotions get the better of me, and paint things in a melodramatically negative light that isn't exactly objective and even necessarily accurate. What I don't wish to do is convey the impression that I cannot accept criticism or am inclined to whinge if "the world doesn't instantly love my brilliance"... I am human though, and wanted to express things so that others know how I feel and can relate to the sometimes arduous and demoralising experience of being a writer. With this in mind, read on if you will...

 

 

 

 

 

 
So in the time it has taken you to read this article, you could have written reviews for all three of my works, or at least checked them out on the App Store or Amazon to see what they’re about. I’m too stubborn, and have too fanatical a belief in my own ability to give up; which I think you need as a writer to persevere; I only hope that friends and family don’t give up on me… If that’s you, you know what I want you to do ;)

The latest covers for my three published works

And finally, to end what is perhaps the rantiest blog I’ll ever write (I only say perhaps; there’s lot of things I could rant about if I considered it was in my interests to do so), let me make clear that I do appreciate the support I’ve had; from friends, family, media and readers I don’t personally know. Your encouraging praise keeps the fire burning and inspires me to ever greater things!