Monday, June 18, 2012

The Ups and Sucks of Being an Indie Writer - Promoting

It is still a lottery

I think I can count on both hands—and have fingers remaining—how many times I have played the lottery. I’d rather take my twenty, put it in a slot machine and get an hour of fun as opposed to a twenty second drawing.
            The odds of hitting the jackpot are millions to one.
            I realized the same goes for hitting a best seller. But I keep attempting the publishing lottery because it is my dream to have millions of readers. Hell I’d settle for a 100,000.
            I’ll be the first to admit I am terrible at pimping myself. I feel I already inundate my social media outlets about my work, but they say that’s what you have to do.
            But I am nothing compared to other authors out there. Don’t believe me, check out their twitter pages. I’m left to wonder, does it work? They have tens of thousands of followers. I don’t have a hundred and I’m offering a free book to follow me. Hmm. Tonight, I’ll spend an hour clicking people to follow in hopes half will follow me in return.
            I recently downloaded a free book on Kindle about promoting. I have been going through section by section. I’m on the pinterest section now. I’ll try everything he says, but since I started following his instructions, I have doubled my promotion time. So far my sales numbers aren’t reflecting it. Maybe it has a delayed reaction.
            Amazon had a ‘success’ story on the front page of Kindle. An author wrote a blog, the quote talked about how she was disappointed by rejections and felt like a loser until Kindle.
            Then I read the article, she had less than 20 rejections. Really? 20. She’d take the bridge if she had my rejection count. She writes a book every 18 months and sells 3500 – 10k books a month. I can’t not relate to this author at all. Sorry. I can’t judge her book as good or bad, because I read the sample and the story isn’t for me. But still … she goes on to say how grateful she is for Amazon. How did she do it? Something was missing from the article.
            I’m grateful to Amazon, but more so I am so grateful to my hand full of faithful readers who give each book I write a chance.
            Instead of the article inspiring me it made me feel worse. She went on to say, authors who write more than a book a year basically write bad books and will never make money. I think Stephen King needs to get a hold of that article and have a few words with her.
            The whole thing is disheartening. I’m out there, pushing and pimping and spending countless hours a day trying to be heard. At times I feel more like a street musician collecting pennies in a guitar case rather than a good writer. Maybe it’s because I am the writer for which there is no middle ground. Seriously, read my reviews. People love me or hate me.
            There are a lot of good books out there that barely sell a few a month. Their authors promote like hell.
            And while I don’t pop into the local convenience store and buy a lottery ticket, I am in an essence playing the lottery. Because it is a ‘chance’ thing with Indie Publishing.  It’s not who you are or what you write, it’s the luck of the draw. I’m convinced (See paragraph above) Each time we promote we are purchasing a ticket.
            We may or may not be that one book that catches on and takes off. But we keep trying, we keep promoting our work, buying into the publishing lottery and trudge on.
            It’s our dream.


  1. Jackie,your books are AMAZING! If only people realized the books are not all "gloom and Doom"! The things they all have to learn after the Apocalypse are things us older people lived with years ago!I find it interesting and valuable information(just in case)! I'd ask them to just read the free book...then you'll be hooked...just like I am!

  2. Ah, Peg, see you are what I meant by my faithful readers. I so much appreciate your support, I do. The free promo of Sleepers did help increase readership. I guess it's a long process, but with readers like you, I am inspired to keep going.