I decided to follow my gut and my own knowledge base. I've spent 30 years in product design, development, market concept testing, marketing and reaching consumers, from industries ranging from sportswear to software. During the 3 months I invested post completion of my novel with BETA reads and editing, uploading and proofing, I invested time into making the product(yes that's how I think of my book) the best product I can make and market testing it. Why?
Simple, one of my favorite axioms: You only get one chance to make a first impression. Indie authors often release work that isn't finished and then are shocked when their reviews come in and are bad. The time to finalize the product is before you hit that release button. The time to test and fix it is before it goes on sale. I tried Wattpad and some other online things, but what I really wanted was a low cost real world type of product testing.
In every industry I've ever worked in, releasing samples to consumers was a way to test a product and contain brand damage. Control the group you release to, you contain injury to your first impression to your readers. You have an ability to fix or adjust the product before it goes live. Lots of indie authors fix and adjust their product after it goes live. But it seemed to me that damages your reputation with readers and it's harder to fix that. I wanted a nice test sample, in different demographic areas: minimum of 200 reads of my book. I didn't want it to cost a lot. I wanted to get blind sample testing feed back.
I got more than 275 reads in 60 days. I received blind sample feedback. I have a mailing list for the second book of my series. I'm a little more confident that my book(product) is in ready for release shape. And it cost me $50.00. So, here's how I did it.
I utilized a 3 step process to test my book before I released it. It's based on 2 axioms and one of my favorite quotes:
1. You only get one chance to make a first impression
2. It's harder for people to say no to your face
3. "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers."--A Streetcar Named Desire.
So, my blog entry tomorrow will be "how to put the time you use finalizing your book for release" to work, utilizing the basic concept of sample testing. Oh, and without spending a lot of money to get useful results!
I don't know if I'm a good writer. This will be my first release. But I do know, I'm an excellent business woman!