It’s exactly a month since the re-release of The Exercise Of Vital Powers, and it’s time for a look back at what the book has accomplished in those four weeks. To start with, I probably don’t need to state that sales, so far, are nothing to write home about. But as mentioned in a previous post, I’m not particularly interested in sales figures this time around. My primary goal in publishing a revised second edition of my debut novel is to ensure there is a large enough potential audience for the upcoming sequel. With that in mind I set three (non-sales related) end of year targets to determine whether the publication of a sequel next year is worthwhile. Now, one month later, let’s see how much closer I am to achieving these targets.

The first end of year target I set for The Exercise Of Vital Powers is fifty customer reviews on Amazon. At the start of July I had just two reviews (both for the first edition of the book), but by the end of the month I had four. While that figure is significantly short of my goal, it still represents a 100% increase so I consider it to be a good start. I only need to acquire an additional forty-six reviews between now and the end of the year, which is feasible given the number of people who currently own the book.

The next end of year target I set for my book is a thousand ratings on Goodreads. Admittedly, this goal is rather outlandish when you take into account the six-month time frame to achieve it, coupled with the fact that The Exercise Of Vital Powers is a self-published novel. There are numerous traditionally published books that are several years old that still haven’t accumulated a thousand ratings, and the odds of my book managing it by the end of the year are pretty low. Less than three hundred people own a copy at present, and even if they all read and rate the book this year I will still be several hundred ratings short.

In truth, as much as I would like to reach the thousand mark by the end of year, I’d happily settle for a hundred ratings―as a bare minimum. Achieving that would make me feel more confident about publishing a sequel. As it is, at the start of July The Exercise Of Vital Powers had twelve ratings (in addition to ten reviews), and by the end of the month that number had risen to twenty-four ratings. Once again, this figure is significantly short of the end of year target although, as before, it represents a 100% increase. As for the small increase in reviews (now up to fifteen), this is a nice bonus since I hadn’t anticipated any new reviews appearing until August.

The final end of year target is to have ten thousand subscribers on my mailing list. I had originally intended to reach this target via means that would get people on to my list whether they wanted to be or not. However, I don’t really feel comfortable doing it this way so only people who knowingly and willingly opt-in to becoming a subscriber will be added. This more or less means there’s no chance of reaching the original target, but I don’t care. I’d rather have a hundred genuine, engaged subscribers than ten thousand illegitimate, uninterested subscribers.

When July started, I had a paltry six mailing list subscribers. By the end of the month that number had risen to seventy-eight. It’s by no means a huge figure but it represents a whopping 1300% increase in subscribers, and it was achieved in just one week (the final week of the month). And now that the original goal of ten thousand is no longer on the table, I’ll be aiming for one thousand legitimate subscribers by the end of the year.

That’s all for this update. It will be interesting to see how much more progress has been made towards reaching my three goals come the end of August.


Next time on lonelyboy1977: It’s time to get in on the action…belatedly.

Thanks for reading,