Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June's IWSG

I'm pretty sure you're all just sick of me replaying the same fears over and over again, but my insecurities are tough to shake. They're like demons who just won't let go of me. Since May 12th, guess how many ebooks I've sold across all platforms...

ZERO.

Yes, I know that I need multiple titles and such to help boost sales of my debut novel. I have things I'm working on to build that up, but in the back of my head, there's that little voice that tells me that all of this is a waste of time. A VERY expensive hobby that sucks my time and my money.

Dragonfly Warrior peaked at #12 on Amazon's Bestsellers List for Science Fiction - Steampunk, and has hit the top 50 a couple of times since I published it in December. But it's been sinking like the Titanic the last couple months.

Yeah, it's pretty disheartening.

In the last 21 years, I have started and stopped this whole writing thing so many times. The only thing I've done somewhat consistently has been blogging the last nine years.

So despite some little successes here and there, there's a part of me that wonders if my resources are best spent doing something else. But I know if I quit yet again, that I'll probably end up giving it yet another try sometime down the road.

And I'm no spring chicken!

If you have time, please check out my last post and sign up for my newsletter. I plan to just shoot out quick announcements and contests in the near future. It'd be nice to have somewhat of a captive audience that I know I can reach out to directly.

Also, I'm featured on Nutty's Wednesday Wrtier's Workspace. Take a look where I write my crazy stories. There's even a picture of me playing tennis. That's worth a quick gander right there!

41 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My first book didn't take off until ten months after its release. (And when it did - whoa!) So don't lose hope. Just keep writing.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm sorry to hear you're so disheartened, Jay. Maybe try not to focus as much on the sales and the numbers and focus more on things like good reviews and positive responses from readers? (I know, easier said than done, but maybe give it a try?)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

L. Diane Wolfe said...

This is a slow season for many genres, so don't let it get to you. Keep writing and keep marketing. It's all about priming the pump. And more books sell more books. Sounds dumb, but that's how it works.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've written a similar post in the past Jay. It's hard to know what marketing will or won't work for a particular title, or which title will take off while others fail. But don't give up - write because you love it, publish because you want to share it and eventually you'll find the right audience, or the right reviewer that will set the book on the right path.

Pk Hrezo said...

It's a tough market out there, Jay. You're not alone. April was a real slump for me, then it picked back up in May. We are competing for visibility in a very saturated market, so don't let it get you too depressed yet. I just took a marketing course and the best thing you can do is build that email list, which it looks like you're doing, so kudos for that.
Also, I've noticed GB and Twitter parties with other authors has been a huge help. Matter of fact, some of us are having one in July for series... and i'm pretty sure yours is a series, right? I'll email you. :)

Jay Noel said...

Alex: Wow. I didn't realize it was 10 months. Seemed like it took off right away!

Madeline: I'm really happy with the 11 reviews I have. But I'm slumping even in that department. I got one review in the last three-four months. Just can't build momentum.

Diane: It's tough to see the bigger picture, and I'm trying my best to claw out of this dark cloud over my head.

Annalisa: Yeah, I know you're frustrated too. There's a lot of frustrated writers out there!

Pk: Maybe I need to take a marketing course too. And yeah, it's a series!

Diane Burton said...

I feel your pain, Jay. Hang in there.

Melissa said...

Don't give up. Your covers are fantastic, and I'm sure your writing is, too. Like Alex said, it can take off anytime. What if you quit before that?

IWSG #215 until Alex culls the list again.

Jay Noel said...

Diane: The pain runs deep!

Melissa: Thanks for your encouragement....and helping with IWSG this month!

Miranda Hardy said...

You will not give up... I won't let you. This is your year, trust me! Lol

Julie Flanders said...

I can totally relate to this and I'm sorry you are feeling so disheartened. But please don't give up!

Pat Dilloway said...

Having multiple titles definitely helps. What's helped with some of my series is making the first one free. Then people tend to pick up the other titles. Not necessarily a LOT of people, but some, which is better than none. Obviously you need more than one book to use this strategy. I'd wait until you have at least 3 to try it. So try to be patient until then.

I don't consider writing that expensive a hobby. Mostly it just costs me drinks at Panera Bread/Starbucks while I type. And occasionally I suppose there's a cover graphic or something, but it's a lot cheaper than my brother's Legos and RPG card games and such. I spend a lot more reading books than writing them.

David P. King said...

I have a feeling that sales will increase with your second book release. I've seen it happen. They say you don't start seeing any real money until your 3rd book is out. The ball is rolling. Slap more titles on that thing to make it bigger! :)

E.E. Giorgi said...

We all hear that nasty voice that says, "It's a waste of time." Tell teh voice how much you enjoy writing, how much you couldn't live without writing, and then the voice will shut up. You are doing this because you just can't stop writing. Keep pushing. Your second book will be even better than the first and once you push it out, your sales will pick up on both books. :-)

Jay Noel said...

Miranda: I won't give up. But there's that little voice back there that speaks more loudly at certain times than others.

Julie: I have my ups and downs. Right now, I'm in a down phase.

PT: I think I'm going to have to try that strategy. I think it will help me down the road. Thanks!

David: I heard it's your 3rd book, another author says it's NINE. Yes. Nine books. Lol. This is a long, crazy road!

E.E. One way or another, I'll always be writing Who knows. If I ever decide to give up the whole novelist thing, I'm sure I'll still be blogging.

Charity Bradford said...

I think I've mentally stopped and started a thousand times too. Outwardly I keep pressing on because that's what gets my brain back on board. Don't give up if writing is what makes you feel whole!

Southpaw said...

Oh, I think I've started and stopped a thousand times just this month.

Southpaw said...

But hey, you got something done and that is always worth celebrating. Zero is a nasty number, but it won't stay around for long.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Don't give up my friend. I only sell about two books a week. I love your stories and think that they are so original and refreshing. To hell with the world if it doesn't appreciate your genius. I know I do.

cleemckenzie said...

This is a tough business, Jay. Starting and stopping is kind of normal among writers, but you're doing the right thing. You're trying another tact. Good for you.

Jay Noel said...

Charity: You're right. Writing does make me whole. Thanks for visiting!

Southpaw: That's true. Only one way to go from here, and that's up.

Michael: That means so much to me. Thanks for everything

C.Lee: VERY tough. Not so easy to keep those insecurities and fears in check

DEZMOND said...

pffft are you a tiny dragonfly or a warrior? :PPPP

Crystal Collier said...

Sales are all about connections. The more stuff you get out there, the more connections you make. Remember, you can have the best product in the world, but if no one sees it, it's not going to sale. If you want a couple quick ideas about gaining visibility, I've got one or two up my sleeve. Shoot me an email.

Jay Noel said...

Dez: Lol. You crack me up.

Crystal: I will for sure!

farawayeyes said...

Hey buddy. Hang in there. Know your own worth and to hell with the sales. After all is said and done we write for ourselves, don't we? Know that this too shall pass.

Jay Noel said...

faraway: You bring up a good point.

mooderino said...

I think you'll see more business once the second book comes out. These things take time to hit critical mass,you just have to keep rolling until you get to that point.

mood
Moody Writing

Robin said...

Jay, I am still endeavoring to save my Monday or Tuesday posts for All Things Writing. Next week Carol Kilgore will be visiting to promote her new release. She wrote up something special to go along with the cover reveal.

I strongly believe that a cover reveal all by itself is hovering just above a futile effort. Readers are bombarded with cover releases. They NEED something else to make them stand up and take notice. It is extra work for the author to create something new and different to accompany each cover release, but I think it will actually work. I know that I tend to actually write down the name/author of the book if something other than just a cover and a blurb appears on a blog.

That said, I would be glad to feature you any time you would like on my blog for that Monday or Tuesday post. You can write about any topic. You, your writing, your journey on the publishing path, or just something that you think that is interesting about you that will make someone think "I like this guy." And they give your book a second look. Pretty much anything goes. Email me if you would like to schedule a date. I don't have a huge reading audience, but I do have a fairly loyal one. And quite a few of them don't follow all of the author sites, so it would be some different folks for you:)

Tracy Jo said...

Understandable about how you feel but don't give up! Sounds like you are on the right path and so close, just have to keep on keeping on. :-) Push through, it will be worth it.

Jay Noel said...

Moody: I'm a pretty impatient person. I'm pretty sure that one of the major causes for my depression.

Robin: At one point, blog tours were the thing. Then cover reveals. With all this bombardment, you're right. People are wanting something different. Thanks so much for the offer! I will take you up on it for sure.

Tracy Jo: I've come so far, so I don't have a choice!

River Fairchild said...

I think there are many of us paddling beside you, Jay. Write for your own joy of it. The rest will come if you keep at it. Right now the market is saturated but there will be fallout when some realize they didn't strike it rich. Time is still in your favor, you spring chicken, you! You're my kids' ages. Don't quit. Soldier on.

Lynda R Young said...

These things definitely take time. And you still have some spring in your chicken, so don't give up.

Christine Rains said...

It's hard sometimes when we realize this is a marathon and not a sprint. So many ups and downs. But we just have to keep on writing. I also feel old at times. You and I are the same age. Other times, I feel like we're beginning the best years of our lives. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

That is tough Jay, but it's still early. You just have to find your audience.

S.P. Bowers said...

I think that's an insecurity many writers have. The thing is, if you've come back to it that many times then I think you should stay with it. You obviously have a passion. And it seems like your book did pretty well. I've heard most books only sell in the first two months after release. If you've been going since December you're already beating the odds. Focus on getting more titles up there, as you said that will help. And good luck!

M Pax said...

Does it help to know that industry-wide sales are down? I noticed a drop since around that same time... right before Mother's Day. You needed to come to lunch yesterday. Many of my local writing friends are struggling, too. We have to find the strength to keep going and believe in ourselves and trust that if we keep at it, it'll work out. Your story isn't yours alone. My one book hardly sells at all. I don't think I've sold any of it since then either. I agree with the getting more titles up suggestion. Think of yourself as your own private publishing house. Some books will do better than others. They don't know what's going to sell either. So, you're in good company.

Melanie Schulz said...

Thanks for your transparency. It is hard when you see the outgoing expenses outweigh the incoming and I'm not just talking about money. There's time; especially time away from your family. It can't be about the money or the success, because those aren't a given. It has to be about doing what you love, and if the success follows, then that's a bonus. That's what I have to tell myself almost every day.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I feel your pain, Jay. I really do. I've had 4 sales of my new book. 4!!! Aagh! It's a good thing I like writing. And I had a teacher years and years ago who told me that it would take 5-10 books to begin making a living. It helps to know that it's going to be a long haul, even if it is painful.
I think the thing that really gets me is that although I have doubts about my own writing, I think your writing is awesome. I love your first book! I'm waiting for the second. Let me know how I can help! Guest post, interview? Twitter rampage? Let me know.

Mr. Shife said...

Hang in there buddy and keep fighting the good fight. You are a great writer and it just takes that one big break before the world discovers it as well. Take care Jay.

Milo James Fowler said...

Don't lose heart, man. Think about getting some short stories out there set in the same world as your novels, spread your name around with links to your longer work. Worth a shot.

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