When an Experiment Fails

Posted On March 29, 2024

Publishing a book can be many things: joyful, stressful, a lifelong dream, disappointment, exciting, wonderful, confusing, etc. I’ve sent enough titles out into the world to feel just about everything. After publishing 43 titles, I decided to try a preorder on my website. My web designer did his part, connecting the book information from Book Funnel to WooCommrece. I thought I did everything right, creating a preorder sales page, a download page, uploading an unedited file just to hold space, not locking the manuscript so it wouldn’t be delivered, setting the preorder delivery date far enough away to ensure the book was ready…

I planned out four emails to my newsletter group. It was on email number 3 that I found an error. My error. When I checked the stats and discovered readers had downloaded the book… one completely unedited… for free instead of paying for the preorder… I scrambled to discover what had happened. After trying a few things, the only way I could keep this file from being delivered was to delete it from the platform. Never have I gotten readers interested in a book only to pull it from the shelf. At least this happened before it was published. At least it went to my newsletter subscribers. At least I found a way to stop the error.

I sent out an apology email to my subscribers. I’ll include the information from the fourth promotional email in my monthly newsletter. I hope readers will still be interested enough to buy the book when it’s published. Maybe because I’ve been at this gig for so long, I wasn’t completely derailed by my mistake. I know that every book has its own journey. I didn’t think that my failed experiment would be part of the path to publication for The Found Gift.

Will I try a preorder through my website again? Yes. But only after I know exactly what I did wrong. I sent an email to Book Funnel asking for suggestions about what happened. They got back to me within a day, explaining what they saw on their end and included a few links to articles and videos so I could make sure I set up the next preorder correctly. How did you hand your last failed experiment? Would you be willing to try again?

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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