The trouble with print-on-demand (POD) publishing, is that you don't have stock. Books are printed as and when you need them, or a customer orders them. Which is good as you don't have a huge outlay for books which - let's face it - may never sell. CreateSpace is a US company and while a customer can order a book in the UK from Amazon and have it printed and shipped in the UK, to order stock at "cost", I can only order from the US. And unless I want to wait 6-8 weeks, the postage rates are so high that it becomes almost impractical to do it at all.
The week before, I happened to glance at my invoice and realised that the date I'd paid for delivery by was not the date they were actually delivering. Note to self: screen shot any other orders I make and always check every detail. So - book signing and no books? Help! Back to Amazon and with no time to order from the US, I had to order 6 books from Amazon UK as a customer and pay for priority delivery. Of course, these books cost me more, but I will get a royalty for each sale as if they'd been bought by any other customer.
I realised several things at the book signing:
- Very few people knew I was a writer - and they were impressed. I mix socially with a lot of writers so had forgotten that most people aren't.
- People read all sorts of things - and not necessarily what you'd expect. They weren't totally put off either my books or me when I tried to tell them I write dark and nasty stuff and not chick lit...
- Not everyone has an ereader. And they don't know or care about Amazon samples and "look insides" and other things. They are not even that bothered about quality - of the physical book, I mean, not the content. They just want to read a good book. I hope those who took a postcard away will still look me up online and find out more.
- My friends who have read my stuff really do like it and aren't just saying so to soothe my fragile ego! I'm getting pestered for the next book to be out in paperback - which will happen as soon as I get some more reviews for the ebook (so I can grab another pull-quote for the cover of the paperback)