The last year has been full of some rather extreme highs and lows. For most of it, I feel a little helpless, caught on the ocean, rising and falling with the waves.
As I look at 2018, of which 1/12 of is already been gobbled up, I find myself still struggling to “figure it all out.”
Did you know Andy Weir, author of The Martian was an Indie author? So was Hugh Howey.
There are tons more and as I listen to podcasts while I clean my clients’ houses, I hear it over and over. People are getting into self-publishing not out of lack of ability or no other choice, but because of the ability to a) make more money, and b) exert more control over how their book is produced and marketed.
I hear it time and again and frankly, I agree with it. Every time I announced, “Okay, I’m going to submit this manuscript and try and get an agent, try to get this published traditionally” a hard lump formed in my chest.
It didn’t feel right, it felt wrong.
Why should I beg someone to be my agent and take a 20-30% cut of my creation?
Why should I deal with a publisher who is going to take 90% of my earnings before the agent takes out their share?
Why should I trust a publisher to market my book effectively for me when I know that only the top cut of authors get any marketing budget at all? Most get nothing.
A podcast I was listening to recently talked about one of Dan Brown’s books coming out on e-book recently, right before a new release. The publisher did a big promotion on the ebook in anticipation of the new book release, but didn’t bother to add a chapter from the new book as a teaser in the end or even provide a link to pre-order the new book. And Dan Brown is a very popular author! If they couldn’t get that basic marketing principle down for Dan Brown, how bad would they screw over a relative unknown?
So, thanks but no thanks, I’ll stick to working as an Indie author. I’ll continue to educate myself and improve not just my writing, but all aspects of the Indie author life – book cover design, formatting, editing, and marketing.
I have been listening to several podcasts that focus on marketing and more for Indie authors. One recently covered imposter syndrome, which I think that most people feel on a regular basis, no matter how experienced or talented they might be.
I struggle with it, just like anyone else. It has gotten better over the years – I can remember that shortly after I had written and published the second book I actually asked my friends on Facebook if I was officially an author. I had been one for two years at that point!
One thing that helps is getting reviews on my books. I check my Author Page on Amazon regularly and so I notice when new ones come in. This review just came in on my two War’s End books…
In case that is hard to read, the reviewer wrote:
“This is book one of a two book series filled with well-defined and well loved characters. Yes, it’s dystopian in nature and yet it could take place in any time or in any place. What designates this book as excellent is the author’s vision of her characters, their actions, and their stories. Her writing transcends the commonplace and rises to the level of prose. In fact, her choice of words, phrasing, and meaning sometimes brought me to tears of wonder.
The story, itself, is more than absorbing, having all the usual attributes of great literature, i.e., joy, sorrow, heartbreak, action and suspense. After finishing both books, I can clearly state that these volumes are not to be missed. You’ll find yourself heavily invested in the characters and their actions, trying to read quickly to see what happens and yet slowing down to catch the nuances of the author’s prose.
Don’t miss these books!”
Whenever I get to thinking that I don’t have anything original to say and that my writing is stilted and generally sucks, I think I’ll just need to look this review up and I will feel better.
Figuring Out This Damned Thing Called Marketing
Have you ever thought that it would be fun to ride a bucking bronco? Yeah, me neither. I hear those bastards are rather wily. They will trick you into thinking they are going one way and it turns out to be the other.
Marketing is just as wily and volatile.
I’m climbing up a real tall mountain right now as I try and wrap my brain around it. I am learning to:
- Write good ad copy (it’s harder than you might think)
- Utilize correct ad placement and timing
- Understand Impressions vs. Clicks vs. Purchases and what a good ratio mix is
- Find a mix of free and paid marketing that works for me (it feels like shooting into the darkness)
I’m in the process of reading several books on the subject…
- Mastering Amazon Ads by Brian Meeks
- The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly
- Help! My Facebook Ads Suck by Michael Cooper
- Mastering Simple Facebook Ads for Authors by Mark Dawson
- Author Marketing Primer by Kindle Press
- Mastering Book Hooks for Authors by Rob Eagar
- How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis by Brian Cohen
- Learn Amazon Ads by Mark Dawson
Some of these are very short, others not so much. In other words? I’ve just started on the mountain. I also decided to scale back and focus on one book at a time until I get the hang of this marketing thing. So I’m focusing on Gliese 581: The Departure for now.
I’m also considering placing the two War’s End books into a “boxed” set for the Kindle and marketing it for $6.99. The individual books are priced at $3.99. If I do that, it will probably be in March or later.
When the Hell Will I Get Back to Writing?
Oh, yeah, that.
So after I finish this post I need to write a ghost story with a family tree and a veterinarian for NYC Midnight. It’s a short story competition and it’s due on Friday.
Yeah, so I’m hoping to make a goal that now that I’ve run out of month (I designated January to be a “learn about marketing” month) I will dedicate February to writing something.
What are you going to write about, Christine?
Is that a squirrel? Wait, that’s a bunny! See the bunny?
[runs away from the computer]
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