I used to believe that formatting my manuscript for Kindle was the worst part of life as a independent author. While it’s undoubtedly the most frustrating, it’s far from my absolute least favorite part about this path I’ve chosen. No, my least favorite part is trying to get people to read and buy my book.
(Yes, this is all stemming from the fact that I have a promotional deal going on right now. No, this is not a scheme to get you to buy it).
I hate telling people what to do. I hate asking for favors. I much prefer to keep to myself, do everything for myself, and let other people do whatever the heck they want as long as no one gets hurt. Unfortunately, marketing is all about self-promotion and asking other people to do stuff.
“Buy my book! Read my book! Rate my book on Goodreads! Review my book on Amazon! Please, please, please, please, PLEASE?!”
At first, everyone is really excited and eager to help you out because hey, you’re really cool! You wrote a book! But then you reach the three month mark and the newness and excitement starts to die down. That’s fine. I don’t need bells and whistles. However, I do still need sales. All the people I know and love have already bought a copy, so I reach out via social media. But it’s really hard to convince people to buy your book, especially when you’re an indie author! Why?
A) You have about a million other Indie authors promoting their books too.
B) Come on, of course the author thinks it’s going to be good! I myself rarely buy books just because the author asks me to. I’ve bought a few, like one about Scotland, but that’s because I really love Scotland. I’ll also download any book that’s free. But my interest still needs to be sparked. Just telling people to buy your book isn’t enough.
December has been a really slow sales month for me, and I won’t lie, it’s been a little discouraging. Does that mean I’m going to throw in the towel? Of course not. But I have noticed that my obsession over marketing and trying to get the book out there more has started to interfere with my life, and that is not okay, especially so close to Christmas! The happiest time of the year! Well, when there’s not any ice, that is.
Instead of making fudge and going Christmas light watching and singing carols, all I think about is, “Okay… how do I sell X amount of books by this date?” And that is not what I want! I want to enjoy life! I want to enjoy the holidays! Yes, it’s important to stay focused, keep working, keep writing, and keep trying to get the word out there as much as I can, but it’s also vital to bear in mind what’s really important in life; family, friends, running barefoot through a pile of leaves, playing in sprinklers, love, laughter… All that is infinitely more important than worrying about how much money my book is going to make me this month. I’m still going to keep writing and put out the sequel and my next trilogy regardless.
This whole indie author thing isn’t easy, but I do believe, wholeheartedly that it’s worth it. I consider myself lucky to have found something I’m passionate about. I love writing, and I’d love it even if I wasn’t trying to make a career out of it. I write for fun in my spare time. It’s funny, because I’ve always heard that getting paid for something has the potential to take the joy out of it. It’s weird, but it’s kind of true. I love writing for fun and I loved writing Cemetery Tours. Yeah, getting paid for it is great, but I much prefer the process of writing than the process of selling. As does any author, probably.
On totally unrelated topic, it’s still cold and icy here. I actually drove to Target today (without hitting any poles! Yay!), and I learned that when you drive with two inches of ice on top of your car, the ice tends to break and then slip ‘n slide right off your car and crash right into the street, startling not only you, but also the poor innocent drivers around you. I live in Texas. I don’t think these kind of things through. I’m not sure I even own an ice scraper. I ended up chipping away the giant slab of ice frozen around my antenna like a giant record away with a tin of gingerbread that I’ve had in my car since Thanksgiving. Classy, I know.
Anyway, this article might actually be one of the most accurate things I’ve ever read in my life:
Stay warm, everybody!