whiny wednesday

I will try to not let this evolve into a pity party.  Instead, it is meant as a self-assessment of sorts, as well as a friendly call for help and/or suggestions.

Last month saw my poorest performance in e-sales.  And I’m talking bad.  Now, 12 days into October, this month is looking to end up even worse.  I have no idea how to view this.  Maybe it’s just marketplace fluctuation.  Maybe it’s the fact that I suck at self promotion.  Maybe it’s a lot of things that I don’t even know to name.

The one common thread I keep reading from successful indie/self publishers is that the most important thing is to keep writing.  With each new title released comes another potential reader, another resource to get your writing noticed and stimulate sales of your other titles.  This makes sense, but unfortunately for me, my writing has lately been centered around a series.  Due to accountability, I will likely not release Book 1 until I am at least half way through Book 3 (and I am currently about 75% done with Book 2).

I have another short story collection I am piecing together and maybe even a chapbook.

Which, hey, brings another point.  Let’s look at my offerings.  Aside from the novel (The Masks of Our Fathers) and my collection (13 Broken Nightlights which continues to be my best seller), let’s look at what I have released via self publishing: a poetry chapbook and an experimental graphic novel to which it is taking far too long for Issue 2 to be released.  Given the nature of these releases, maybe I am setting myself up for failure.

The e-version if The Bleeding Room will be available in a few days and I hope to market it in a way that grabs some attention (particularly around the Halloween season).  I have (naively) high hopes for it and plan on studying how the release of a new title affects current releases.

How about everyone out there?  How are sales and do you have any sage wisdom or condolences to share?

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5 comments

  1. Mostly condolences. When we started writing, we had no idea that marketing would be the biggest challenge and time-consuming activity. In short, this is not what we want to do. We love writing we hate promotion. But what are we doing? You got it. So, you read everything you can on marketing, develop your “platform”, join writing blogs, facebook, twitter, goodreads, develp a website and blog, figure out some “author events” and book signing-and hope. Somehow, someone will discover your novel amongst all the others out there promoting their own.
    So my advice? Keep in touch with like-minded folks and pray a lot! OK, true we don’t pray, but you get my drift. Hope you will take a look at our blog. http://www.thelongroadtoparis.wordpress.com. We have just posted the first 5 pages of second novel.
    And, hey, good luck.
    J&E

  2. I’ve heard rumblings about indie e-book sales way down across the board.

    Wonder if it has anything to do with Amazon getting into the publishing fray.

  3. Everybody’s sales are going to be different. A month or two ago I was selling about 40 units a day. Now it’s down to a little over 30. Next month I’m releasing a new thriller, so hopefully that average will pick up. My advice is yeah, just keep writing and stay away from message boards. Readers don’t lurk there, only other writers trying to sell their books too. Also, novels seem to sell the best, at least for me. Short stories and novellas and collections don’t sell nearly as well. But again, everybody’s sales are different.

  4. I’m not doing well, either. The worst part is that we’re horror authors and it’s October.

    I’ve realized that my blog is mostly a place to talk to other writers, and I’m trying other avenues of promotion trying to reach consumers.

  5. I think the same thing goes for doing it with a publisher, too. No matter what, it’s a craps shoot, and all we can do is write the next thing. Painful. But I think bad months always happen — you’re kicking some ass, getting your stuff out there in multiple venues, too.

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