Are You Throwing Your Book Under the Bus?
Since the beginning of the year my mailbox has filled with stuff similar to: 100 Best Suggestions to Sell Your Book. 10 Tips for Success. Successful Authors Tell you How They did it–You can, too. Or, Let us help build your platform. Learn how to engage your readers. Only $299. Do you read those things? Sure you do. I do, too. I enjoy reading them. But! I like to know who I’m listening to. So. I Google search the folks who write these things. The blogger/author of 100 Best Suggestions–ain’t. Uh, oh. Never been published–not legacy nor indie. Doesn’t know the first thing about Amazon’s Terms of Service. Does not know Kindle Unlimited or KENP. Does not know how to upload a book to Smashwords, or ehow to design a promotion and pay for it because the blogger has never engaged in publishing a book. Hasn’t been through an editing process or hired an editor, formatter or cover artist. And hey! If you write a series, put the first in the series FREE. That is a process. The unit cannot be in Select and must be formatted and published on at least three or more sales venues. One then asks Amazon to price match. It is not a sure thing, especially in today’s climate. I don’t write series. I don’t know where the blogger cribbed the info in the article. Anyway, I cannot do 100 things. I can do three: Write. Publish. Promote. Not gonna get fancy. I pass.
Moving on to 10 Tips for Success. Same ones I’ve been hearing for thirty years. Make a list. Do the most difficult task first. Set a goal to write 1000 words when you’re fresh. Set aside the same time each day for your writing. Etcetera. Men write those things. They must. No woman or mother in her right mind would suggest such a thing UNLESS they get paid for writing the stuff. We don’t get to set the same time for our writing–unless we get up two hours before our families do, or wait until the entire household is asleep. My kids are grown. The dog still needs to go to the vet and walked. The cat litter box cleaned. Groceries bought, put away, food cooked. Dishes and clothes washed. Bills paid. Cars serviced, teeth cleaned, nails done, hair cut. Beds made, floors mopped. Pass. P.S. Some days I don’t write at all. I go to Bingo, curl up with a good book or go crabbing.
Successful authors often have fab stories. First book out of the slot made bestseller lists. Boo-ya. Then we learn the author has a background in public relations working for legacy publishers and knows everybody…editors, agents, staff on USA Today and NYT Book Review. Next up: The successful author has published 25 books since 2013–very fast typist…was once a court reporter. Hey! My daughter was a court reporter. Types 200 words a minute. My brain doesn’t even work at 200 wpm. Here is another fab story. A new young author has a great book, plus the money, the moxie, and support to take the book to stellar heights and did so. Love it. But I don’t have the $ or the support. Pass.
Here is what happens when you read all of these wonderful stories/blogs. You get depressed–because you KNOW and I know, we cannot do all of those things for our books. You and I haven’t walked in their shoes, lived their lives, know the same people, or had the same opportunities as those writers. Some of us have days jobs to pay the rent. Some of us take care of our elderly parents or a handicapped child. Some of us, like me–type 30 wpm and are slow creators.
However, there are things each of us can do for our books. My goal is to have my books pay for my investment in them within two years. I give it a shot. Launching a new release: I don’t launch. I publish. I don’t have enough followers to make a launch successful. So, I don’t. I do promote inside Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). My books are exclusive to Amazon. The rule. We must wait 30 days after a book is live to run a Kindle Countdown Deal. Patience counts. I wait. I have seven books, six in English and one in Spanish, published since mid-2013. Three of the books have yet to be in a major promotion. I do Amazon Giveaways on the print editions to increase my followers. I’m beta testing Amazon ad campaigns on my ebook editions. I engage in group Rafflecopters for book exposure and tours to increase Twitter and Facebook followers. If a book isn’t performing well, I change the cover, revise the book description, perhaps revise the file. Once a month or so, I visit every Amazon venue that offers Kindle Unlimited to subscribers and I tweet my books from those venues. I use Google to translate a word or two into the foreign language.
What I consider a book’s success won’t be yours. And yours won’t be mine. On this site you will find ehow to promote wisely. What I want to happen when I promote my book is to see a nice return on investment (ROI). I usually do. Don’t be disappointed in yourself or your book when you cannot match another’s success. Stick to the basics. Writing a book is an accomplishment. Indie publishing your own creation is a major technical event. You got that. Now learn to promote smart. Be accountable. You were intelligent enough to write a book and publish it. Now, use your brain and sort through the hype to make the best decision you can for your book. That is a kind of success in its own right–because nobody else will do it for you. Every single person in our industry has his or her own agenda.
I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. I’m not best selling author. I love what I do and I’m learning to do it step-by-small step. That suits me just fine. the live links in this blog will take you to more info that you may or may not use. If you have done one or two activities that helped your book to sales, tell us. We love to learn. Comments welcome. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate.