It’s been ten months since I published my novel, ’29, Single & Nigerian’ on okadabooks.
I sold one copy on the first day of publication, and as someone with a bit of anxiety, I was already forecasting on the first day.
I assumed book sales would move at one per day for the first three months, one in two days for the next three months and well, the luck factor would play in subsequently. I was also worried making an e-copy of my book would affect the sales of my hard copy negatively.
Looking at the numbers now, it turns out I have been pleasantly surprised. I did not only sell four times higher than the figure I forecasted, I also used the revenue from Okadabooks to fund part of the second reprint of my novel in paperback.
600+ might not sound impressive when you compare with my foreign counterparts but I was informed my book is among the top 3 most successful on okadabooks platform and that feat is enough for me.
Every other week I get emails from upcoming authors asking that I share my secret. In fact, this article is supposed to be a guide where I get to list do’s and don’t on how to earn over half a million naira from a single book on Okadabooks but we are already in the fourth paragraph and I am still beating about the bush, wishing I can write ‘It’s God oh.’ and end abruptly.
There’s no denying God’s favour on this but I also had my role to play.
Here are some strategies that worked for me.
BUILD A CUSTOMER BASE
For someone who has been blogging for more than four years, I had built a following which stood as my primary market. This was my first target audience, in addition to those who follow me on my social media platforms. Blogging anonymously meant I couldn’t count on my friends or family to assist with free promotion but on referrals from my readership base. I harnessed this by asking for shoutouts and shares on social media platforms.
I write across a number of topics on my blog but I knew the content my readers were most interested in, reason I ensured the storyline of my novel revolves around that genre. I’m pretty sure if I wrote a crime or fantasy novel, it wouldn’t sell as good as my novel has.
I battled with what price to set a copy of my book on Okadabooks prior to listing. I eventually fixed a price I felt was affordable enough for an average book lover, a price that won’t compete with the sales of hard copies and a price I won’t shamefully reduce in the event sales perform worse than I forecasted.
Reviews always works. I encouraged buyers on Okadabooks app to the leave reviews after reading and these reviews are what I used in promoting the book on my blog and social media pages.
With my growing popularity, different people who are not aware I authored a book stumble on my articles everyday. Each time I write something that goes viral, I always seize the opportunity to mention I authored a book where you can read something similar. Basically I always promote my book when I notice there is a surge in my blog traffic, someone with a lot of followers on Instagram reposted me or there is a sudden increase in my number of followers.
Finally, if you are writing a book for the SOLE PURPOSE of making half a million naira on okadabooks, forget it. It might happen, it might not.
But on the bright side being an author opens the door for other opportunities like public recognition, speaking opportunities, awards and endorsements. Don’t forget you will make your mother proud too.