I’m not here to get my name on a list.
Sometimes I need to remind myself of that, particularly when my KDP reports look like this:
It’s difficult, though. I’m not going to lie. Now, I know what you might be thinking. “You’re not promoting enough.”
You’re right. I’m not promoting enough. But when I was promoting and posting book links and begging people to buy/read my book … I wasn’t writing.
Jasinda Wilder was recently featured along with other authors on the blog Become A Writer Today where the question “What’s the biggest challenge facing new writers who want to sell or market their first book and how can they overcome it?” was posed. This was just a portion of her response:
You just have to write the best damn book you can, put it out there, and write the next one. Don’t waste time or money on elaborate marketing campaigns for your first book.
Spend that time writing a second and a third and a fourth. The best advice I can give is that when push comes to shove, the best marketing you can do is to publish the next book.
There’s a lot of really good advice in that post for all of us starting out, but I’m taking a page from Wilder’s book without really realizing that’s what I’d done over the last few months. The last big push I did to increase sales or visibility of any sort was when I reduced the price of my first book for Labor Day. I don’t regret doing it (the sale or focusing so much on promoting it), but sometimes I feel like it was a wasted effort. Then as the kids were gearing up to start a new school year, I made a big push in the other direction … I’ve only on occasion dropped into the groups I joined to toss around my buy links.
Instead I’ve focused almost all of my attention on writing and finishing my second novel. Like a lot of writers, I have various ways to keep myself accountable – I use digital sticky notes to track my word counts, write the same information in my daily planner, started using this app called Write-O-Meter, and made sure to sign in for this year’s NaNoWriMo (even though I was close to finishing To Hold, NaNo was more about me keeping myself accountable). Making sure I was spending my “writing” time actually writing was important to me. If you read my last post (which was forever ago), you know I have the equivalent of about 10 hours a week to write without the kids at home. That’s not a lot of time. Then to add in trying to do some sort of promoting? It’s exhausting and rarely do I see anything from it.
But I’m not writing books to make a list. I may never write a best seller, and I’m not going to panic over it. I don’t plan to be a household name. Sometimes I wonder if the people in my own house know my name, so why would I let myself worry at this point if the people in yours know it? No, I’m writing books because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I think I’m kind of good at it. I like telling stories. I like giving people a happily ever after that you can believe in.
Even still, the best form of promotion is to focus on the next step, the next book, the next HEA and The End.
I started writing To Hold on March 18 and wrote The End on Nov. 19. Eight months + 1 day and 82,542 words before the editing started. Since the kids started school, though? I somehow was able to fit 57,602 words into my life that wouldn’t have happened if I had continued worrying about promoting the hell out of a first book. Why? Because promoting stresses me out.
And when I get stressed I am not writer productive. The house would have been fucking spotless, though.
With all of that said:
Coming sometime Spring 2016, To Hold will share Stephanie’s story. She has issues. She’s angry. She’d like to shut everyone out. She’s been hurt in enough ways that would make some girls become permanently broken. Steph isn’t the kind of girl who breaks, though.
Oh, and there’s this boy …