The Cost of Self-Promotion

12 Comments

  1. Thanks, Belinda! And on Amazon, my pen name outsells Zoe, and it's by a wide margin when you consider that name only has two titles out. So yeah… definitely don't kill yourself over the marketing side. What you really need is a few "influencers" to read your book and start the recommendations-machine rolling.

    1. It seems to me as though the reason why authors market is because they are trying to find those influencers… trying to find the right target audiences in the hopes that the influencers are in the group we're targeting.

      No luck so far, it seems, but again, if I concentrate on my writing and remember that I'm not trying to make this my full-time gig, so I shouldn't worry as if I am.

      1. You might try focusing on getting review copies to smaller book bloggers, those trying to build an audience and following. It can give you an "in" and if they like it, they have friends who are also book bloggers. And it can go from there.

  2. wow. did i need to hear this today. i'm tempted to look at my indie author friends' sales and compare. but i do this because i love to write, not because i want to sell. thanks for the reminder.

    1. Glad it helped, Michelle! I've needed reminding lately, that's for sure. That's why it's good to blog… you get to find out that you're not the only one feeling that way!

  3. There is a small number of indies who are taking off, and I think the hype of that is making it hard for a lot of us to keep our eyes on our own papers–I've been seeing a lot of thoughts like these lately. We're putting some undue stress on ourselves as though we're missing out on something, as though this, right now, is the only time to be successful and the only measure of real success are these phenomenal numbers. But that's not true at all. We've all got our own goals, and each of us is going to have a different experience. If you don't have the following you want right now, there's still NO reason to suppose you won't have it this time next year or that next month won't be the month that you inexplicably just take off.

    I'm doing really well, but the shiny stars Konrath's been showcasing on his blog lately make me look kind dorky for even wanting to talk about how I've done. But no, that's dumb. Just because they've done exponentially better so far doesn't lessen what I've accomplished–which is doing what I want, reaching readers, and getting paid for it. And one of the things I got out of reading Konrath's blog today was that a lot of what goes on in this thing is inexplicable to him too.

    1. Definitely. Every time I open my RSS reader I get more blog posts screaming at me about how much money and how many sales people are making. My goal, I need to remind myself, is to sell 500 copies of each book by the end of the year. We'll see how it goes… it's generally slow at the start and like I said, I'm not being consistent with my marketing.

      It's a good thing to be reminded that all of this is inexplicable. We don't know why we take off or not, if we have a good product in hand. I'll have to check Konrath's blog today. Haven't opened my reader because I was avoiding the stress haha.

      1. I'm having a bit of special occasion, so er, um, Belinda? Don't read my blog tomorrow, ok?

        1. Haha! Love it. I'm the reason why the phrase "curiosity killed the cat" exists, so you've just made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to ignore your blog.

          1. Oops. Well, I do mention this idea a little (you inspired me to include that) so maybe it will be more than just screaming "I've sold a bunch of books!"


  4. Hi Belinda, I think it's unusual for an indie author to sell lots of books, so hang in there! Like you, I have a day job that supports my writing and it's doubtful I'll hit the big time but I get so much enjoyment from writing that I'll take that for now! I think there is a cost to marketing–I'm much slower at writing after getting published.

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