Its that time, I think. That stage in a writer’s career we all hit at some point. That moment when cold hard reality slaps us in the face.
I admit it, before I published I may have been a little deluded. I may have been awash with a bit more optimism than was called for. Despite having read about all those authors who sold next to nothing having self-published, I thought it would be different to me. I convinced myself that if I got a decent cover, if I hired a professional editor, if I produced not just a traditional-publisher quality piece of work, but a quality novel with a great story, then surely people would buy my book.
Erm, no. They won’t. OK, fine, some people will. I’ve managed to get a few sales. My graph is above. If the two-month trend to April continued, I’d be doing great right now! But then May happened and sales dwindled again. Why? Well it’s because in April I went a bit mad on a few Facebook groups I’m in. I managed to persuade a good number of people in one or two of those groups to buy my book. I also bribed a load of Officer Cadets in my Army unit to buy it, too. This approach briefly got me to #10 in Science Fiction Adventure on Amazon.co.uk…see post on 18th April. I had optimism, back then.
I’ve exhausted those options now; I can’t get the people I’ve persuaded to buy my book again. So now I’m left with trying to sell it to total strangers. How the hell do I market to them?
Mmm, so I had a bash at Facebook ads. I read up on them, apparently, they work better than Amazon ones. I made an ad that loads of people said looked cool. I got loads of clicks as a result and um, no sales. Lots of people clicking my ad, but when they got to where I sell my book, they decided not to commit their cold, hard cash.
Now I’m trying Amazon ads, again. I tried them a while ago. I wasted money on them. This time I’ve paid an agency to run them for me. I’ve tweaked my blurb and my bio on Amazon too. I’m hoping it might help. We’ll see.
I keep spending money on my books. I’m not making much back. Between sales of paperbacks, kindle, including the kindle version on offer at $0.99 or £0.99 and pages read on Kindle unlimited, I’ve made a grand total of £264.04. That doesn’t even cover what I’ve spent on ads and ad agencies. Not by a long shot, never mind what I’ve spent on covers and editors.
Cue big, long sigh.
I’ve been told Amazon ads take a while to work. Mine have been running for nearly two weeks. Let’s see if that changes. If not, well, I just don’t know how much longer I should throw money at selling books – all suggestions welcome.
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Charlotte Goodwin is the author of the Gallantrian Legacy series. A set of six books (and counting) set in a universe where magic is real, there's just not much of it on Earth.