Fiction and Writing

Results From The Book Launch With Zero Budget.

Results launching LGBT Urban Fantasy series no budget


Stolen Ink went live on February 10th. I had no spare money to throw at this launch, moving to a new country is expensive AF. So I did this completely free. I admit right here and now, I did have a bit of luck on my side, and there was a bit of ‘it’s who you know’ come into play.

You can read how things were looking a couple of weeks before launch, and what I did then, here.

A reminder that this is not written with the intent of bragging – I’m hoping that this can give some of you wonderful people some insight and maybe some inspiration for your own book launches.

The book.

Genre: Urban Fantasy with an LGBT+ cast and lead.

Length: Novel (55k ish).

Format: eBook only. (I hate paperback formatting).

Stolen Ink is book one in the Ink Born series.

Stolen Ink Gay Tattoo magician urban fantasy

I’m Dacian, a tattoo magician, and my life went from my biggest concern being finding a pretty guy to fall into bed with at the end of the week to everything falling apart around me.

There are two problems in my life.

Number one – I’m an ink magician, the thing of myths. A lot of very powerful people would love to get their hands on me, and I have no intention of letting that happen.

Number two – A tattoo thief came to my city, and the magical community has decided that I’m the guy to stop them.

Somehow, I have to catch the thief without letting my secret out of the bag, and that’s even harder than it sounds.

It launched and was put up for pre-order at 99c.


Summary of pre-launch preparations. 

  • I put Infernal Ties (which was permafree at the time) on Instafreebie – that grew my mailing list from single digits to over 1200.
  • I tweeted about it a few times, more out of excitement than anything.
  • I made a couple of posts about it on here.
  • I mentioned it to my mailing list when I made a preview available on Instafreebie.
  • I arranged some newsletter swaps – a couple took place pre-launch, a couple more will happen during the week after the launch.
  • I mentioned it on my facebook page that has something like 3 followers.
  • There’s a link to Stolen Ink in the back of all of my Infernal Hunt books.

The book itself wasn’t really written to market. I can’t say that I completely threw the Urban Fantasy tropes out of the window, I’m an avid Urban Fantasy fan so those tropes and such are embedded in my brain. I wrote the book that I really wanted to write.

I had a suspicion that Stolen Ink would be reasonably well placed in the market given that I only found one other book with tattoo magic, and a lot of people are looking for LGBT+ reads right now. The LGBT+ was a happy coincidence, I didn’t plan that, that’s just how the characters came to me. The tattoo magic was because I absolutely adore tattoos and OMG why has no one written those books yet!? 😛

The happy ‘it’s who you know’ piece of luck. 

Fair warning, there’s a good bit of fan-girling in this section. Short version for those who want to skip ahead:

A NYT bestselling author read, blurbed, and recommended Stolen Ink to her fans.

I live on Twitter, I probably spend far too much time there, but here we are. I happen to follow S.M. Reine on there – she’s the author who really got me into Urban Fantasy. She’s a NYT bestselling indie author and I have a huge deal of respect for her. She’s funny and lovely on Twitter too. All round amazing person.

So I did the very (un)professional thing of tweeting that I have ARCs available for Stolen Ink. I didn’t have much of a mailing list at the time, so I figured screw it, I’ll send one to whoever wants one.

Fast forward a week or two, and S.M. tweeted at me asking for an ARC. To say I flailed and fangirled was an understatement. She then proceeded to read said book, give me a quote to put anywhere (including the cover), and shared it with her fans on facebook!

The quote:

I loved this book. It’s a richly textured world I never want to leave.

Needless to say I grinned like the Cheshire cat, danced, flailed, and so on and so forth for a good deal of time. It was dreadfully un-English of me.

I understand why people who’re reading this might then discount some of my results as I had this advantage that most indie authors won’t have.

The results. 

Please remember that this is in no way intended as bragging. I’m absolutely freaking (aren’t you proud of me for not swearing?) ecstatic with these results!! I’m over the moon, and can’t thank everyone enough for all the love and support. I really do hope this will help some of you.

I achieved 104 pre-orders before S.M. Reine shared the book with her fans. (Post here).

Total number of pre-orders: 164

Number of sales on launch day: 24

Number of page reads on launch day: 1,850

Highest rank on launch day: #4,800

LGBT Urban fantasy book release results

Needless to say I’m absolutely over the moon with these results. I’m completely overwhelmed and grinning like a Cheshire cat.Thank you so much everyone for you incredible love and support. I can’t express how much it all means. Thank you.



18 thoughts on “Results From The Book Launch With Zero Budget.

  1. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. I also love that you shared your results. It gives other possible indie authors ideas and hope. Here’s to your future successes and good luck with the move! Perhaps, there’ll be a book set there! :O

    I also disagree that you had an advantage. You reached out and then your book did the talking for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I wanted to acknowledge that some people would say that these results aren’t entirely accurate because not every indie can call a NYT bestseller a twitter friend. I wanted to be as transparent as possible so people didn’t get any false ideas.

      Thank you! I’m very excited and absolutely terrified about how things will go from here lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is utterly amazing Holly! I am really very very happy for you! You are a continuing source of inspiration and I thank you for sharing your achievements with us!
    May there be many many more ahead ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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