Friday, February 25, 2011

What's in a number?

I think whether indie or traditionally published, it seems like some find overnight success because all we see is the end result…slowly we hear the story behind that success. A well placed tweet picked up by a celebrity or a book filled with romping vampires I think for most of us, success will be slow and will be an uphill battle, riddled with self-doubt and naysayers. One of my favorite quotes is by Genghis Khan…that which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Self-publishing, like life, is about picking yourself back up, dusting yourself off and moving forward, past the one star reviews and slow sales. My journey started in mid-September 2010 and it has been up and down, but I am determined not to give up. You are opening up a very personal part of you to public display and potential criticism so be prepared to grow a thick skin and learn the opinions are subjective, some will hate you some will love you most won’t have an opinion.

There are wonderful people and resources out there to help you on your journey, so use them. Social networking through Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and various other sites is necessary to get your name and your work out there. Be helpful to your fellow writer and it will come back to you in loyalty and favors returned. I try to be subtle in my marketing, if one can be, and have joined various group that cross-promote each other. I find being the shy writer, this is very helpful. It is often easier to promote someone else’s work. I joined Independent Author Network and have been pleased with the cross-promoting that goes on. It’s difficult to try and write and promote your work so having others help you in that process, by keeping your name out there, is invaluable!!
Try to connect with people through other passions in your life as well. I enjoy photography and post my pictures on various sites. I have plans to sell the scripts I’ve written based on my novels, so I have branched out into screenwriting venues to promote my scripts and never know! I read a blog the other day where one well-placed tweet led to thousands in sales.

Value yourself and the time you have put into your work. Like so many things in life, you get out of self-publishing what you put into it. I have been going through some personal struggles and had to put the PR for my novel on the back burner. I for one am not into the hard sale. I try to be as unobtrusive as possible. Maybe someday I’ll break you down and you’ll buy one of my books. Who knows you might just enjoy it! My sales aren’t monumental but I am seeing a steady increase each month. I have made it to #12 at Amazon in romantic suspense and the top 100 in several other categories. Amazon rankings are fluid and always changing. Those numbers were achieved through the .99 sale.

If you want something in this life badly enough you will have to fight for it. I’m a fighter and I’m here to stay! I may never find fame or fortune, but if my words can make one person feel something then I have succeeded.
Best of luck!


  1. Great post, and so true. I'm thrilled every time I get a good review, or an email from someone who liked my book.


  2. The hardest reality for me was realizing my sales went up and down, and I couldn't predict which would be a good month or a bad month (sales' wise), except that when I published a new book, sales were bound to increase somewhat on the already published books. I don't know how people like Amanda Hocking can publish books starting in March 2010 (from what I see that was her earliest publishing date) and then hit mega success by December of the same year. Maybe it was getting mentioned by the right person at the right time, like in Twitter as you mentioned. Who knows?

    I've found the turtle pace has been my experience with fluctuations in sales. I started seriously book promoting in early 2008, and I don't think anyone really even knew who I was until last year, and even then, lots of authors who broke onto the scene later than I did were doing better than me. I marvel that people can sell more than 20 books in the first six months of having a book out there because it took me that long to hit that number, even at the $0.99 price point.

    I really enjoyed this post. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has had to struggle early on.