Even after ten years of writing, I’m still learning new things. Being an Indie writer means being independent, self-sufficient, and creative at things that aren’t necessarily primary in my wheelhouse.
Creating book covers, uploading my books to different platforms, learning to write effective ad copy – this last year has been challenging.
When In Doubt, Ask for Help
On Monday, I was ready to tear my hair out. Joanna Penn, a rather well-known podcaster and author in the Indie world, has continued to talk about Ingram Spark as a good platform to place Indie books on.
Doing so, gives an Indie author even more exposure to bookstores and libraries.
Say no more, I was on it.
Except…the dreaded book cover.
And while I have created plenty of book covers, good ones, in Canva.com – they were not the full book cover. Instead of this:
I needed something that looked more like this:
And despite Ingram Spark’s oh so helpful customized template in pdf format, I had no idea how to do it.
After a couple of hours of banging my head on the keyboard (note to self: this does not induce deeper, tech thoughts only a nasty headache) I posted a rant on Facebook and a friend popped up and volunteered to help.
She got it together pretty quickly, unfortunately, one of the fonts I had on a print version through KDP sparked an error message from Ingram Spark. I’ve got a good idea of what to do, however, and will be able to fix it from my end in a few days.
I was reminded, yet again, that there are plenty of folks willing to help, for no other reason than kindness.
When in doubt, ask for help!
Most Money In…and Out
I’d been getting real excited about this month’s earnings in book sales. Most months this year have been averaging nearly $200 in sales per month and when I broke $200 by the 12th I was convinced it would be my best month ever.
Until I checked my advertising tab.
As of the 20th of November, I had earned $301.92 in book sales, a total of 125 books (ebook and paperback).
And my advertising fees had accrued to a whopping total of $304.27 and counting.
Duh, duh, duh DUH.
AMS ads were eating up every bit of my profit, and then some.
In other words? I have a lot to learn about advertising.
Brick Walls Have Got Nothing on This Writer’s Block
I’m a planner and a dreamer. I can create a plan of action like nobody’s business and I’ve made plans among plans. When it comes to writing I have attacked it from several angles:
- I won’t make it about money
- I will make it about money
- I need to write XX books this year
- I need to just write something, anything
And so on, and so on.
In the end, every time I look at one of my bigger projects (Chronicles of Liv Rowan Book 1, The Hired Gun, Zarmina’s World, or a host of others), I tell myself, “Just write SOMETHING” and I sit down, stare at the screen, and my mind slips sideways.
I feel like I’m skidding on glass.
And it feeds on itself, making me question whether or not it will ever just be natural. After six books, it is easier, and yet there are times when I wonder “Is this it? Am I out of viable ideas?”
I know that I’m not, the world is full of ideas and I’ve had some doozies. But sometimes the implementation of those ideas seems strained and difficult. I’m going through that now, in no small part because of the marketing side of things, which really throws me off. I’ll figure it out, I always do.
Ugh. I was over 6 1/2 hours into recording Gliese 581: The Departure into audiobook form. I was sure I had saved the file, but this morning, at 4:30 a.m. in the chilly attic, I discovered I had not. The file is gone, over 6 1/2 hours of recording has vanished and to say that was frustrating does not begin to cover it.
I thought briefly about giving up, especially as I listened to the sounds of traffic and sirens in the distance. I couldn’t record in there even if I tried.
I think I need to move back down to the closet and instead of having the laptop in the closet, have just the external monitor and mouse inside (the microphone picks up the hum of the laptop).
When I begin recording again, I will record Get Organized first. I’ve read that non-fiction is hot in audiobooks, so I’ll start there.
And Now, A Request
As I work towards understanding what ads make me money, and what don’t, I’m doing my best to make money wherever I can. The combination of blogging and the Amazon Associates program is one of those ways, but it hasn’t been paying off so far and Amazon has sent me a notice telling me they will be terminating my Amazon Associates account unless I get some sales. So I’m going to ask a favor of you, my loyal readers.
If you shop at all on Amazon in the next few weeks, please consider shopping through this portal.
It doesn’t cost you a dime and it will keep me from losing this potential income generator. Even a few dollars of income here or there makes a difference.