4 Unexpected Lessons From Launch Week





Beyond Parallel has been available to purchase for one whole week. 

I’ve had the launch party, guested on several sites, been reviewed, and tracked my progress. Am I a superstar author who can sit back and relax? HAHAHA are you kidding me? Absolutely not!

The journey has only just begun, and I have a great deal to do if I’m ever to fulfil what I hope to one day achieve. It’s a journey with many lessons, though, and this first week has dealt me several. Here are 4 unexpected ones that have come my way in recent days.


1: Exposure Doesn’t Equal Sales

During the first week of launch I’ve appeared on 15 sites, in front of – roughly – 25,000 readers, and had 1,000 people visit the Beyond Parallel Book Page. All of these numbers are pretty darn healthy.

With my marketer’s hat on I would assume at least 100-200 sales, but reality doesn’t show this.

I’ve learned that people are wary in the beginning. They want to see reviews and to make sure it’s money well spent. They also need to be persuaded, so the research that says people need 7 pieces of exposure before buying seems to hold some truth.

Exposure is big and is an absolute must for any new writer (in my opinion). It doesn’t mean you’ll see immediate success, though, and the stats that you predict may not be met. Deep down I probably knew this, but my positive mindset played tricks on me. This isn’t bad because let’s face it, we need to think on the bright side, otherwise the depression of reality might take control.


2: Physical Copies Are Important

I knew print wasn’t dead, but because I spend so much time online – surrounded by and talking to other indie authors – I assume everyone has a Kindle or iPad or some other form of reading device. Reality, however, tells a different tale.

The revolution is occurring, but many people – most in fact – still prefer reading a physical copy. I had friends and strangers alike ask me if a physical version of Beyond Parallel was available. I have plans to release one later in the year, but for future books I certainly aim to have both Ebook and Paperback versions ready from the get-go.

Like I say, this isn’t a total surprise, but I was a little taken aback by just how many people asked the question (a few people flat out refuse reading Ebooks). This is good news though because it means my print version should do okay later in the year 🙂


3: Friends Are Cautious

I was under some grand illusion that just because I have quite a few friends on Facebook that it would result in hundreds of people buying in the first few days. Your friends, like most people, will be somewhat cautious to delve in.

My hunch is that they want to see what other people think first. They don’t know Matthew Turner the writer, so they’re unsure whether to commit or not.

Another important aspect of this is time. You – as a writer – want them to buy NOW. They – as a reader – may have intentions to buy, but are in no rush to do so.

I’d like to think in six months time most of my friends will have at least sampled the first chapter for free. It will take time though, and friends are just another form of reader. Sure you have a few close people who will buy whatever you do, but most will do so on their terms.


4: That First 100 Is Tough

Research shows us that 8/10 writers sell less than 100 copies of their book. Your first aim should be to tackle this hurdle.

I was under the assumption it would take me a day to do this. Like I say, I expected friends alone to push me over this line. The truth is it isn’t easy, and unless you have a very solid, loyal set of readers, gaining that first hundred is one hustle after another.

The good news is that it seems to get easier. I keep seeing examples of people taking months getting that first hundred, but then seeing this barrier knocked down week after week.


Welcome To The Beginning

I think what I learned above or else is that this is just the beginning. I’ve already started writing my second novel, and The Successful Mistake is well under way. People say you need several books in the marketplace before things start to blossom, and I have a hunch they’re right.

As for Beyond Parallel, the journey has only just begun. It maybe edited and finished, but until it’s in the hands of thousands, I can hardly see it as complete. We have to keep faith in our books, in our writing, and what we do. If that first week isn’t great, don’t worry. Keep hustling and trying and battling along.

Here’s to 2013!

Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million 

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