Then I got some not-so-great news from my editor.
The sell-through for the first week wasn't so hot. Less than 20%, to be exact. There were tons of copies out there, but they weren't flying off the shelves and into people's shopping carts.
I kept that news to myself, content to tuck my tail between my legs while crossing my fingers for luck (a feat of dexterity, if I do say so myself).
But then something happened.
It started with a few Facebook and Twitter friends sharing pictures of my book in the wild. Since I adore seeing these kinds of photos, I gathered a few of my favorites and made this little collage in Photoshop:
|Click to make it bigger and see all the cool locations people found Frisky Business.|
That led to more readers sharing photos of Frisky Business. Apparently, the book is quite popular with pets:
One reader shared her plans to take Frisky Business with her on vacation to Greece and Italy. She's been sharing photos of the book at major landmarks along the way:
|Frisky Business goes on vacation in Greece and Italy with one fabulous reader.|
Then the photos really started to pour in:
|Indiana, PA (WalMart)|
|Portland, OR (Fred Meyer)|
|Bastrop, TX (WalMart)|
|Cape Coral, FL (WalMart)|
|Chicago, IL (Meijer)|
|Northern KY (WalMart)|
|Rogers, AR (WalMart)|
I offered to mail a handful of signed bookmarks to anyone willing to stuff a few inside the copies they spotted at their local stores. A number of readers took me up on it:
|Saginaw, MI (Barnes & Noble)|
stuffed with signed bookmarks.
Other readers got creative with sticky notes:
|Hays, KS (WalMart)|
Now here's where things get interesting. The more photos people shared, the more I started to see messages like this one:
I checked my Author Central account at Amazon, which gives me a very, very fuzzy look at sales numbers. Sure enough, Frisky Business sold more copies in its second week than it did in the first.
But how? Surely a handful of Facebook and Twitter pals weren't moving the needle that much, were they?
Well, maybe. Here's how:
I wish I could say this whole thing was some brilliant marketing scheme I came up with based on calculated data and savvy strategy. It wasn't. But it wasn't dumb luck, either.
It was friendship, pure and simple. It was the joy of making genuine, honest-to-goodness connections with people on social media and the resultant urge to support someone who's become a friend.
When people ask me if authors should bother with social media, this is what I'm talking about when I grab them by the lapels, give them a hard shake, and cry "Good God, yes!"
This is how it's supposed to work, guys. Not authors screeching "buy my book!" or "like my page!" from their social media soapboxes. Just friends helping friends and supporting authors they've gotten to know.
On that note, I'd love to see more photos of Frisky Business in the wild and hear any stories you can share about prompting friends or strangers to give the book a try. Please share!
And thank you, friends. I really mean that. You guys rock.