It’s book launch day!

Last night I received the copies I ordered from CreateSpace to fulfill my Goodreads giveaway. I was worried they wouldn’t arrive until I had already left for the holidays, so that was a relief. However, I’m not exactly thrilled with them. The cover quality is quite a bit worse than the proof I signed off on. I actually just had to fire off an email to CreateSpace about it. The paper feels different – thinner and kind of slick, like semi-gloss instead of matte, and the colors are all dark and muted.

I mean, they work. They just don’t look professional. Which annoys me, because I had to pay quite a bit of money to get them on rush order (which still took 10 days – how is that rush?) so I could send them out to the giveaway winners before I left town.

Hopefully CreateSpace will have good customer support about it. Every encounter along the way has been slightly more disappointing than the last. The ease and convenience of getting started has slowly had more and more frustration thrown in. I’m trying to be reasonable – after all, it’s a mass market print-on-demand service, and it’s cheap. It’s not going to be like Benedictine monks hand-lettering each page to perfection. But I would expect the quality of the final product to be the same as the quality of the proof they sent me to approve. That’s just common sense.

But, all that aside, I am looking forward to sending the books out to my giveaway winners! I figure if half of them actually read it and rate it, that’s an investment well-worth it.

All in all, I had 931 people sign up for the giveaway, and 400 people have added To the North to their “to-read” shelves. I’m very pleased with this. Once I have a few Goodreads reviews (hopefully within 3 months or so), I want to do another giveaway. Those 400 people will get a notice that it’s available again, which will serve as a nice little reminder that they’ve already shown interest in it. And, if it has some decent reviews, that should make more people want to sign up.

Basically, the name of the game is: Get Reviews > Get People Interested > Get People Reading > Get Reviews > Get People Interested > Get People Buying. It will take a while, but I’m patient.

Now that the book is launched, I’m going to try and start blogging occasionally about other things. No promises on how regularly I’ll update, but now that the biggest part of this project is complete I don’t know how much more there is to say about it! I hope, if anyone ever comes across this blog while taking their own self-publishing journey, there’s at least some decent information or advice to be found.

Now to get back to work on the next installment – To the East!

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