6.07.2017

#IWSG June: Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing... but not marketing.






I can't say that I ever wanted to quit writing.

I know I wanted to quit querying and doing twitter contests and this week I may have considered quitting publishing, but never the writing itself.  Of course, without all the other things, I'm not sure what I'd be writing FOR. I'm not one who is writing stories purely for my own enjoyment anymore. I want others to read them.

So I need to keep writing and publishing and writing and publishing.  Because that's the route I've chosen for my current paranormal angel series. (I never queried it, because every time I looked at MSWL for my contemporary realistic books, I saw most agents had NO angels and demons on their lists... so that was that!)

I'M NOT GOING TO QUIT

My eleven year old (who has been expressing lately that he's sick of me writing, because I just released a second book and the last two weeks were less than pleasant as I wrapped up a school year and formatted the paperback (w/o vellum!)) asked me yesterday, "Mom, what happens if you just don't write the third book in your series?" I said, "I wouldn't do that. I have a business with a product to deliver, and I will deliver it." He said, "But has that ever happened? Has anyone said they were going to have a series, but then quit in the middle and not publish the rest?" I said, "I'm sure that's happened." I'm not sure that it has, but I could understand if it has! I mean, I'm exhausted right now, and if I had to put the next book out this month, I wouldn't be able to do it! But I'm going to take a week or two to recharge, read books I've been waiting to read for months, write something different to give my brain a break, and THEN I'll get the third book out to readers.

Just keep writing and publishing.  This is the business route I've chosen, and though tired at the moment, I'm loving it. 

The marketing, however, is another story.

I'M GIVING IT A YEAR (and five books)

I'm having the darndest time finding my readers. Teens who read clean angel fantasy. That's who I need. I'm a teacher, so the middle schoolers have been devouring my books. I sold about 70 paperbacks (in person, through Amazon, and through one bookstore that's carrying my book) and maybe around 400 (off the top of my head, I haven't checked recently to double check this number) e-books between sales, page reads, and free days (this is for book one that's been on sale since January).  Lately, though, even with a new release... crickets.  I had 31 pre-orders for book 2 and about 6 e-book sales since and 10 paperbacks so far.  (Book two released May 31.)

WHERE ARE MY READERS?

I'm doing a book blitz via blogs and social media... Zero sales have come from it, though MAYBE the readers who are adding it to their TBR really will decide to read it in the next weeks/months and not forget about my book once the $15 Amazon gift card prize is over and done with...

I NEED HELP :)

I clearly don't understand how to best utilize the 7 keywords on Amazon, though I've read countless posts on why this is important and how to zero in my niche.  Nope, unless someone tells me the magic keywords for my books, I guess it's not going to happen! Though I did add paranormal angel romance to my title yesterday to help reach my niche readers...

I have a newsletter with about 500 subscribers (1000 more to be added this month through a Ripley Patton giveaway), but I'm not sure THEY even read what I write.  I had a survey and about 15 responded and they prefer paranormal to realistic fiction (good there) and free/cheap books, mostly paperbacks, though... so they're library readers.  One, I repeat ONE subscriber wanted to join my street team and THREE joined my ARC team. One of those readers reviewed book one for me.  Not the hundreds Derek Murphy recommends.

I have my book up for reviews on the same site running my blitz... so far nothing coming from that either.

The first book in  my series is free today, so I'll see if that gets readers for book two, but I put it for free last month on the first day book two was up for pre-order and those 200 readers haven't reviewed or moved onto book 2 (Well, except for the 31 that may have been the ones pre-ordering.)

I'M TAKING A BREAK

So, for this month, in addition to reading and blogging about the books I'm reading, I'm going to try to be more transparent about my self-publishing journey, blog more on my author blog, work on a free book in my series (book 1.5) to give away to my subscribers and try to reach out to readers more about books in general and less about my series specifically.

I'm done doing giveaways and tours and plopping sale images up on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Anyone else struggle with finding, and keeping, your readers?

So, I'll keep writing and publishing, but not "marketing". I'm going to reach out to readers by reading and sharing the books I'm reading and reaching out to other authors who are taking the same path I've decided to take, to share what I've learned along the way, to share the resources I've saved up.  My time will be better spent and the outcome more fulfilling.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Christy

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!

June 7 Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG will be JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!








4 comments:

  1. Get out the next book. Book 2's are notorious for not doing much. Here's the deal, once an entire series is out, people are willing to jump in. However, finding your audience is tricky. The trickiest. You will find them, but it can take a long time...and many, many books. Most anyone will take a chance on a first book, but to get them beyond that point can be very difficult. Reviews are always tricky to get too, so just keep chugging away there. Ask everyone to review it. Eventually, you'll find you have enough reviews. Oh, and there are review exchange groups on Goodreads, but keep in mind, it will be a one-for-one kind of deal.

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  2. Wish I had answers. Sometimes our readers hide where we least expect them. Sounds like in person you are doing really well though.
    Take a break and recharge. You'll feel better and something new might strike you.

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  3. Hello! I found you from IWSG. My question: are you looking for actual teen readers or adults who read YA? If your book has romance and some crossover adult appeal, I found some success with boosted Facebook posts and ads targeted to romance readers and various other keywords. Indie writers I know are HUGE into Facebook reader groups, group takeovers etc.

    If target is teens--are you on Instagram? That's where YA readers are. If you're thinking Oh no another platform to learn, think of it this way. When you go online, do you want to be sold to? Instagram is visual and a fun way to share what you're reading. You can still use it strategically as an author so long as you are making yourself available as a person who is relatable vs spamming with Buy My Book posts that look like ads. I used Instagram as a way to get early readers last year for my debut which I new would be a challenge--I'm with a publisher but ebook only for a YA that skews younger (and is technically "clean" though I have a personal aversion to that term). I knew I'd need to build my reader base since I wouldn't have the benefit of print books going out to libraries and schools.

    I started a Facebook group for authors wanting to use Instagram to reach readers. Feel free to join! https://www.facebook.com/groups/Instagram4Authors/

    Here's my IWSG June post: how to survive the 'little quits'

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  4. I think everyone--self-published and traditionally published--struggles with the marketing. You've done a lot and that's all you can do. Sounds like taking a break from it for yourself is a good idea. And maybe some advice from that new anthology of IWSG will give you an idea of what to do.

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