The cool journey to bestseller status for Molly McAdams. Sometimes you don’t get a bill for dues.
May 1, 2013
Since September 2012, Molly McAdams has sold, by her account, about 200,000 eBooks.
I like her despite the fact that she became an over night success.
I had the opportunity to hear and meet her at the annual conference of the Northeast Texas Writers Organization (NETWO) in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, on Saturday, April 27, 2013. She has a disarming quality about her, a vulnerability, an openness to her 9,000 followers on FB, a coy savvy about the digital publishing business.
Before she released her first New Adult genre novel, she and her husband, on the sly, decided they would consider sales of one hundred copies in the first year a success.
She did a little better than that.
She sold 70,000 copies in the first week at $1.99 on Amazon.
When I spoke to her about the price point, she said she just couldn’t bring herself to charge more than $1.99 for the book when she first listed it for sale. In other words, she suffered the same Angst as every Indie author, i.e., she didn’t know whether her book was any good. After the deluge began, she bumped the price to $2.99 to take advantage of the better royalty structure at Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) at that price point. Her publisher HarperCollins now has the book at $3.79 on the Kindle store, a price Molly thinks is good in the current eBook climate.
A member of the audience asked her if she paid for editing for that first book.
“No,” Molly said. “I read it fifteen times. When I got to the point where I was sick to death of it and couldn’t read it again, I figured I was through self-editing it.”
How did she come up with her cover art?
She looked at the covers of her favorite books in her genre and learned that the same person did almost all of them. So she contacted that cover artist and had her do it.
That cost her $75.
She spent another $35 to register the copyright.
So she had $110 bucks and her time in the book when it went live on KDP.
For Molly the process of going from unknown writer to author with a major publishing deal was a whirlwind. She received an inquiry from a major house within a few days of self-publishing the book, was contacted by an agent right away and cut a deal with HarperCollins all by the end of September 2012.
She credits her success to a book blogger who befriended her and sent the word out that everyone should read Molly’s book.
But Molly seized the moment. Her sudden success brought a torrent of friends to her FB page. She engaged all of them and became a confidant, a true blue friend they could talk to about the ups and downs of their lives.
I’m not kidding about that. Molly is one of those rare persons who has the ability to connect immediately with people on social media.
They trust her.
A member of the audience asked her how much time she spends on social media each day.
“If I have a special promotion going on, I am on Facebook all day,” she said. “On other days, I usually spend about three hours on average on Facebook.”
When I visited with her, she was sitting at a table, her iPhone in hand, scrolling through her FB page.
“My husband hates it when I do this on my phone while we are out on a date,” she said.
She looked back at her Facebook page.