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Archived Marketing No New Posts > I really don't know what to do

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message 1: by Elí (new)

Elí Freysson (eli_freysson) I've published five novels in my native Iceland, but the market here is tiny, so I started the hard work of translating them into English and published the first one last February. It met largely with a thud. It currently has five reviews and I have yet to turn any actual profit from it.

But I sought out advice while translating the sequel, and I set up an author page, a Facebook page, got a Twitter account and signed up on Goodreads.

Didn't help. The sequel is doing worse than the first, which was a nasty shock. I mean, I figured I would at least get as many random clicks as with the first book, coupled with some of my first readers. But no.

I've moved the books to KDP, tried free promotions and countdown promotions, and forked out 100 dollars for an Amazon ad campaign, to next to no effect.

My writing is basically the one thing I'm passionate about and consider myself good at, but it's just costing me money, which I don't have a whole lot of to begin with.

I know indie writers face an uphill battle, but this failure still hurts. The advice I see again and again is market, market, market, but I don't have a good grasp of social media or really what to say beyond "I wrote a book".

Well, the straw I'm currently grasping at is a short story serial, which I'm going to submit to online magazines in hopes of acceptance and some exposure. But I'm not holding out great hope.

Speaking of hope, I sure hope I'm not being whiny here. I'd just... appreciate some advice here, as I feel I'm out of options.


message 2: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) Are all 5 books from the same series? Our veteran indie authors have suggested that series tend to gain traction after 4-6 books have been released. The only advice I could really give is don't give up. Get them all translated and published, then maybe run a Facebook ad campaign targeted to the US and Canada. Also, don't be afraid to find an English-speaking friend to help edit it for things that might get lost in translation.

Hang in there!


message 3: by Elí (new)

Elí Freysson (eli_freysson) Joe wrote: "Are all 5 books from the same series? Our veteran indie authors have suggested that series tend to gain traction after 4-6 books have been released. The only advice I could really give is don't giv..."

I appreciate the words of support. Though a part of my problems is that I did pay for quality proof-reading, and I have yet to get any of that money back.

Yes, it is all one series, which will end up being 10-11 books.


message 4: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Meeker (christophercmeeker) | 3 comments Elí wrote: "I've published five novels in my native Iceland, but the market here is tiny, so I started the hard work of translating them into English and published the first one last February. It met largely w..."

Eli,

Contact me at thehawthornebooks@gmail.com


message 5: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) I'm in a similar boat. My series is planned for 13 or 14 total books. I'm fortunate to have a "staff" (meaning my wife and a couple of close friends) who do all my proofing and editing for nothing, so my covers are the only real expense. But I'm in the red, same as you, and just trying to stay patient.

Post in different groups here on Goodreads and you should be able to find plenty of free reviews, some of which may be very in-depth and border on being editing. There's plenty of resources here that could save you some money on the path to publishing all of your works. And then, if your series finally does get traction and start selling, you'll already have a great fanbase to thank and dedicate books to.


message 6: by Elí (new)

Elí Freysson (eli_freysson) Joe wrote: "Post in different groups here on Goodreads and you should be able to find plenty of free reviews, some of which may be very in-depth and border on being editing..."

Er, do you mean I should put entire chapters up on these forums? I don't think I quite get what you're getting at.


message 7: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) No, I meant post in the different groups offering free copies for reviews, etc. Also, look at some of the Free Services folders (particularly here) and you can find some people that will do proofing and even line editing for free.


message 8: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Wall (goodreadscomnathanwall) | 37 comments Elí wrote: "I've published five novels in my native Iceland, but the market here is tiny, so I started the hard work of translating them into English and published the first one last February. It met largely w..."

I feel your pain. I'd like to help. After all, that's what this season is all about. Being selfless and helping others.

I have a spot open for a Preview Review for my Holiday Give Back Book Blast.

I've currently blasted out 2 Q&A sessions, and the first review is going live today at facebook.com/evolutionofangels.

I'll read your book, per the rules found here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

So what does this mean for you? Free exposure to my market, the market of other indie authors who've done a great job sharing my book blast, and market of the blog series co-host. Pretty much, it's free advertising.

If that's something you're interested in, check out the links I gave you and hit me up.

I hope to hear from you!


message 9: by Elí (new)

Elí Freysson (eli_freysson) Nathan wrote: "I feel your pain. I'd like to help. After all, that's what this season is all about. Being selfless and helping others.

I have a spot open for a Preview Review for my Holiday Give Back Book Blast...."


Oh. Thanks. I've responded on your Facebook page.


message 10: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Hipwell (adelaidehipwell) I would highly recommend NetGalley if you need reviews as part of your marketing plan. It doesn't work particularly well for some genres, but for fantasy, paranormal and romance, it seems worth it.


message 11: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4333 comments Mod
Comment deleted for negativity. We're here to be supporting, not to point out flaws with other authors.


message 12: by K. (new)

K. Kidd | 49 comments Elí wrote: "I've published five novels in my native Iceland, but the market here is tiny, so I started the hard work of translating them into English and published the first one last February. It met largely w..."

Eli, it sounds like you are taking the right steps with social media to get your book out there. I found that my blog has had the best results, but it takes time for people to find you and your books. Don't give up, hang in there and keep putting forth the effort. It will pay off!

I just read a few pages of The Call on Amazon. Nice job!! Keep writing. Keep marketing. For reviews, I like The Reviews Initiative for Indie Books here on GoodReads.


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments I was where you are when I published and... I'm still where you are, actually. Pretty much no sales of my book whatsoever.

But as others have said you can't give up, because getting your book out there takes time and patience. There's been a lot of discussions about marketing and the consensus seems to be that finding the right marketing strategy is kind of like writing and editing, in that you have to keep working on it until you find what works. There are people who've used Facebook and Twitter and had success, and people who used Facebook and Twitter and had no success what so ever. There are people who marketed like crazy that had no success, and people who barely marketed at all and had success.

All you can do is keep at it until you find something that's both doable and that gets your books noticed. Speaking for myself, I'm currently trying for the "get as many books published as possible" route. This includes posting short stories and novellas online, because my social media experience is also lacking (most especially because I'm not a fan of social media).


message 14: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Think of it this way, success doesn't happen overnight for many people. For most, it's a long slog to reach their goals.
Don't let the mud slow you down. Every step is one closer to your destination. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you are bound to travel somewhere.


message 15: by Jess (new)

Jess Erin (theadventuresofmsfortune) | 1 comments Thanks for the words of encouragement!


message 16: by Mark (new)

Mark (goodreadscommarkgillespie) | 27 comments Don't give up. You never know - the 'right reader' might be just around the corner. The one who falls in love with your characters and storytelling. The one who tells other people about this great new writer that no one's heard of. The one who helps your wheels turn that little bit faster. These things can happen. Just turn up to work and do your best.


message 17: by Ceanmohrlass (new)

Ceanmohrlass Ceanmohrlass | 69 comments Don't get discouraged, you got this! Just keep writing and keep putting your work out there. Times are slow right now for us all and things run in cycles. Keep your ideas flowing and when the tides turn again, (and I believe they will) you will be ahead of the pack with plenty to offer readers!


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul Emery I've had similar problems marketing my two books - particularly the one that is very English. The most success I had was with my first novel (Sci-Fi) on Ereader News Today. It does cost, but it's not super expensive (I have very little money to put into this as well, so I completely understand where you are coming from). It needs that book to be on a Kindle Countdown Deal or free - maybe go with book one. Those that enjoy that will then continue.

It's very easy for me to type "keep writing and keep believing", but I do know as a writer it is much harder to actually do it. I do hope the supportive comments in this thread help, though, and I wish you every future success.


message 19: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 727 comments I've linked to this page several times across GR, but its content is so valuable to struggling authors.
http://tlclarkauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2...

Just don't give up! It takes a very long time to get a foothold.

But being a bit more confident with Twitter and fb should help you. You can try ad campaigns (to varying levels of efficacy). But more than that you get to meet more authors. It's great having a network of fellow indies; we all have our moments of doubt but there's usually someone around who knows exactly what you're feeling and therefore exactly the right words to comfort you.

xx


message 20: by K. (new)

K. Kidd | 49 comments T.L. wrote: "I've linked to this page several times across GR, but its content is so valuable to struggling authors.
http://tlclarkauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2.... Just don't give up..."


T.L. - I'm glad you provided the link again. I missed it before but caught it now. Excellent advice for new authors! Well done, thanks for sharing...again. :)


message 21: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) Eli, what is your first book about? I really have a heavy workload and books lined up to review, but if it interests me, I can put it on my list and give you an honest review.


message 22: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Standafer | 60 comments It's so easy to get discouraged when you've poured your heart and soul into something and then no one seems to appreciate it. As everyone else has said, this is a long, slow process. I'm guessing you didn't write your books in a day, a week, a month, or maybe even a year. Bear that in mind when you're waiting and hoping for sales to take off. I did find that when the second book in my series was released it helped generate renewed interest in the first. That was encouraging. Of course, maybe I'm easily pleased...a dozen downloads and a couple thousand pages read on Kindle Unlimited send me into fits of glee :)
If writing is what you love, hang in there.


message 23: by Elí (new)

Elí Freysson (eli_freysson) Adelaide wrote: "I would highly recommend NetGalley if you need reviews as part of your marketing plan. It doesn't work particularly well for some genres, but for fantasy, paranormal and romance, it seems worth it."

NetGalley, eh? Would someone care to give me a brief description of how that one works?


message 24: by Elí (new)

Elí Freysson (eli_freysson) Morris wrote: "Eli, what is your first book about? I really have a heavy workload and books lined up to review, but if it interests me, I can put it on my list and give you an honest review."

Well, this first one is this teenage girl who has always been haunted by strange visions and an inherent need for battle. The novel starts shortly after she slays a rampaging demon that attacked her village. A mysterious woman shows up and offers Katja the answers she has always longed for, and states they share the same gifts and duties. Desperate for a chance to satisfy her urges, and finding a purpose other than being a violent misfit, Katja follows her out into the wider world, stepping into an old shadowy war that has raged between several factions for a very long time.

I know this sounds like pretty typical fantasy, and the problem with summarizing novels is that they can sound very similar while being quite different. But what I focus on, and what my readers praise, is going into the characters and keeping a quick pace.
Several people have also noted the rarity of having two warrior women as the lead.


message 25: by Elí (new)

Elí Freysson (eli_freysson) T.L. wrote: "But being a bit more confident with Twitter and fb should help you. You can try ad campaigns (to varying levels of efficacy). But more than that you get to meet more authors. It's great having a network of fellow indies; "

Yes, I really should be more active. I have just never been very active online and don't feel like I have much of a grasp on it. Any advice?

Anyway, sorry about the late replies, but I truly appreciate all the words of support. This really does seem like a good community here.


message 26: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Kaufman (ruth_kaufman) I often see posts about lack of sales...not seeing all of the work we put into each book we release translating into readers is tough.

If anyone's interested, here are my thoughts on some reasons why books don't sell:

http://rjkaufman.blogspot.com/2015/10...


message 27: by L.F. (new)

L.F. Falconer | 63 comments Good article, Ruth. Thank you for sharing. It really is hard to get noticed when you're just another drop in the bucket...I'm not very social-media savvy nor do I have a huge support team, and even with good reviews, awards, and magazine credits on my resume, I still find it difficult to find readers willing to take a chance on a book priced less than a cup of Starbucks coffee.


message 28: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Kaufman (ruth_kaufman) Thank you. I know what you mean.


message 29: by C.B. Matson (last edited Dec 08, 2015 10:01AM) (new)

C.B. Matson | 143 comments It's not your book (that wonderful first book that you opened two veins, an artery and both lacrimal glands to produce), it's yourself as an author that you need to sell. Okay, some readers browse for catchy titles or covers; others haunt the genre shelves. However, most readers that I know search for authors first. Only when they don't find a favorite, do they revert to title/cover/genre.

So, no bookwhacking your friends, family, fellow struggling authors, dog, friend's dog, strangers on the elevator; no bookwhacking, it doesn't work (I've tried it and annoyed oh, soo many people in the process). Ya gotta sell yourself.

Margaret wrote: I'm easily pleased...a dozen downloads- That translates to a dozen readers who will be looking for her next book. L.F. wrote: -readers willing to take a chance on a book priced less than a cup of Starbucks coffee. True, but they are less likely to risk four to six hours of reading time on what may or may not turn out to be a ho-hum novel. Your readers have to trust you as an author to take them on magical trip and deliver them satisfied at the end.

All of the above is my opinion and I only wish I had some marvelous personal sales record to back it up. I don't... but I'm working on it. Several on this forum have done it, and done it well. I'm taking notes...


message 30: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno C.B. Matson wrote: "It's not your book (that wonderful first book that you opened two veins, an artery and both lacrimal glands to produce), it's yourself as an author that you need to sell. Okay, some readers browse ..."

I'm ready for self-sale instead of bookwhacking, but how do I do that? -:)


message 31: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Nik wrote: "C.B. Matson wrote: "It's not your book (that wonderful first book that you opened two veins, an artery and both lacrimal glands to produce), it's yourself as an author that you need to sell. Okay, ..."

By creating a brand. Like #SupportIndieAuthors, it's more than a board on Goodreads, it's a brand we're trying to expand in order to help other authors. Branding yourself makes for a MUCH easier time in Marketing in my opinion, because then you're not marketing just one book, I'm marketing everything I am.


message 32: by C.B. Matson (new)

C.B. Matson | 143 comments [Cue stentorian voice and mechanical respirator] Come to the dark side, Nik...

See Comment 35


message 33: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno C.B. Matson wrote: "[Cue stentorian voice and mechanical respirator]
Come to the dark side, Nik...


See Comment 35"


Saw comment 35. Sounds reasonable. Hope the strategy you've outlined works for you and anyone who'll follow suit


message 34: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Blum (joshuablum) | 5 comments Eli, I'm in the same boat as you, like the other posters. Definitely a long slog and the part that keeps me doing it is that writing and creating world for characters to inhabit is enjoyable (which is why I got into this in the first place). For better or worse, my attitude is that if someone else likes what I've written, bonus, but my primary audience will still be myself first. However, that doesn't always translate into a very good marketing plan :). Hence, the day job.

However, one thing that really helped me is finding a group of local writers. It's really interesting to be able to talk with them face-to-face, hear their experiences, see what worked work, see what didn't. Some folks there can't use a computer to save their lives, have no idea what a blog tour is, how to get on Facebook but are still very successful locally. They write something that a small niche of people enjoy and support. That's inspiring to see and helps in some way take the pressure off the online rat race of numbers, rankings, and social proof (aka reviews). Is that a possibility for you?


message 35: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 153 comments Elí wrote: "Adelaide wrote: "I would highly recommend NetGalley if you need reviews as part of your marketing plan. It doesn't work particularly well for some genres, but for fantasy, paranormal and romance, i..."

Eli, there's a thread on this forum about Netgalley - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 36: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 153 comments Also, this post gives some tips about writing your blurb to aid in discoverability of your book - http://insights.bookbub.com/critical-...


message 37: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Miller (lindsaymariemiller) | 3 comments Elí wrote: "I've published five novels in my native Iceland, but the market here is tiny, so I started the hard work of translating them into English and published the first one last February. It met largely w..."

Hello Eli,

I totally understand how you feel. When I got into publishing, I never realized that writing the book is such a small percentage of the work. Marketing is so time consuming, but unfortunately highly necessary. I came across a couple of articles recently that have a wealth of information that may be overwhelming at first, but there are some great tips here: http://www.digitalpubbing.com/7-strat...

My last bit of advice would be to not give up. Patience is key and it simply takes time. I hope the above article is helpful to you and I wish you all the best.

LMM


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