450 Copies in Three Months! How awesome is that?
December 13, 2010 3 Comments
The first thing I have to do here is thank everyone who helped with The Kobayashi Maru of Love. The people who worked on it, the people who kept me working at it, the people who show up in the book, and the people who have bought it and read it and encouraged their friends to buy it and read it.
In three months since the launch I have dispatched 450 copies. Granting for maybe 20-30 that were given away as thank yous, review copies, and gifts, that’s still more than 400 sold. Which I think ain’t bad for an indie published book without any traditional distribution.
What has the distribution been like? Well, in the past week working at my new job at UST Publishing House I’ve been exposed to how bloated and slow and steeped in red tape and drudgery traditional distribution channels for literature can be. And the KM’s been anything but that.
We blazed through more than a hundred copies at the launch. The launch in itself was non-traditional. Held at a neighborhood resto/karaoke bar, relatively unknown, faraway from the usual gimmick places, we still managed to pack Ilyong’s in Project 4 so that it was overflowing out onto the street. There was no program, no readings, nothing. Just people getting together and drinking and having a good time. And buying the book. A couple of new things: 1) i scheduled the launch around my birthday, that way, it just served as a massive birthday party, the money I shelled out for beer served the dual purpose of promoting the book, and giving me an awesome party; and 2) people had a lot of buzz about the book thanks to Pecha Kucha Night (thanks Ideals Peeps!) and my online posting and and other people’s reposting. Sab Magalona’s blog post about my Pecha Kucha talk went a long way in promoting the book, and I hope that she reads this and considers it a warm and grateful thank you. I had already also published some of the essays, posted some online, and given away digital copies of the book. This meant that people knew what they were getting, and they went there to get it. Further, they went there not only to get copies for themselves, but some people were buying two, three copies, for friends, siblings, cousins, and significant others.
After the initial success of the launch I sold books out of my bag, attended blogger meet-ups, conferences, and everything else I could get to. Most recently the Youth and Beauty Brigade set up booths at Komikon, Writer’s Night, and we organized the Better Living Through Xeroxography event, where loads of indie creators met up and put together something of a book fair which functioned also as a Christmas party.
I’ve had the book distributed online through the awesome Jasper Ong’s Avalon.ph. And my only shelf space distribution so far has been Sputnik in Cubao X, which was kind enough to also organize a book signing for Josel, Adam, and me.
And I’ve gone straight to teachers so that they would order the book and teach it to their classes. Adding up all those books, it adds up to more than a whole print run.
And there you have it folks, a brand new distribution model for literary titles. I’ll be working these ideas into my thesis, but right now I’m just excited by the idea that such a small effort can sell in such a (relatively) big way.