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Writers Workshop > **I'M DONE!! SO DISCOURAGED & READY TO QUIT**

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message 1: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Gerard (ryandavidgerard) | 2 comments I'm just tired of the industry. Getting the next big "lead" and having hope grow up inside me again, only to be let down again, over and over. Sitting at show after show, watching hundreds of people walk by, see them look at my books and promotional stuff and go "meh" and keep walking. Reaching out and engaging people, starting conversations, asking if they're interested in trying a new book series, getting shut down...OR, actually grabbing someone's attention and thinking, hoping they may be interested...thinking you've almost made that sale and then getting that awkward pause and smile as they walk away...
I know the thing is to get reviews but how we get them!!??
Where are the readers!!!??
Where are people who actually want to read books!!??
Where is the niche market!!??
Book signings haven't worked.
Book shows, conventions, fairs have not worked.
Even fanexpo, where millions of people come through and it's such a huge draw of people, not ONE sale!!!???
It's emotionally draining and just literally sucks everything out of you to sit for 4 days, smiling, saying hello, having conversations, and getting zero interest...
I am so ready to be done with writing, which sucks because I really do love it!

Any advice at all!? Any pointers?

I guess my stuff just sucks! And my content is not interesting to anyone...

RDG


message 2: by Whitney (new)

Whitney Rines | 14 comments Have you done a website or guest posts of different articles? Maybe just offer so writing classes or create a group? It helps to get more than just books out, short stories help too. seeing versatility in an author is also a contributing factor, it's not just about the reviews.
What do you build your fanbase on? How do you draw attention to yourself, rather than your book? As a reader what would you want to know about a writer before you actually tried out thwir work for yourself? these are things that are worth thinking about when planning out what you do for your visibility. It's a slow process but, the ball does roll.


message 3: by Whitney (new)

Whitney Rines | 14 comments you're selling you, so you need to get something out there that can do that. Something that can show of your full skills and value in othwr arenas of writing and interaction with the community.


message 4: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Gerard (ryandavidgerard) | 2 comments check, check, check, check


message 5: by Dwayne, Ay-yi-yi (last edited Aug 23, 2019 11:00AM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 3786 comments Mod
Straight up, honest reactions here...

This is a tough, tough industry to make it big in and it very, very rarely happens. When it does, it rarely happens quickly.

I know some people have moderate success at shows, but I really don't know how they do it. I have never attempted it as I'm sure it would be a waste of time and money, unless I start making a modest success without it.

Reviews are nice, but I've never seen any proof that they sell books. They might help, but I would say it's marginal help at best.

People don't read as much as they once did. More and more people are deciding to be writers these days because they think it's an easy way to make a buck, yet fewer and fewer are reading. And most people that still read are only interested in top selling authors and whatever Oprah says we should be reading now.

If no one is buying or reading your book, no one will come to a book signing.

Some questions and suggestions:

Your first book seems only available in paperback. Why not ebook form?

I don't like the disclaimer at the beginning. It ends with "Happy Reading!" but the rest is off-putting. So, your book might offend. Good! Don't apologize and don't be a wimp about it. Put your book out there and be proud of it! If someone gets offended, let it be their problem and don't feel bad over it. And definitely don't feel bad before it even happens. Get rid of that disclaimer.

Your blurb has a few typos and needs some work, too. Feel free to submit it to the blurb workshop sometime.

Sometimes people assume that this game is all about marketing. That's part of it. But, we need to pay more attention to the products we're marketing.

Bottom line, this is not something to get into unless you love writing. No, I mean, LOVE IT! Bleed for it. Die for it day after day and be happy you did. Whatever sales and reviews you get should be a small reward compared to how satisfied you are after a good days' writing.


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (sammydogs) | 950 comments In my humble and uneducated opinion, I believe another reason people don't read as often as is because they are watching movies on TV or playing video games on their phone, computer, tablet, etc.

I notice this because I've had frequent doctor appointments all my life and I've noticed the change over the years. Now they have TV's in the waiting room if you don't like their pile of magazines. I think it's sad, but it seems to be the way of the world.

However, this has not deterred me from writing. I write every day and post articles on an online website. Plus I'm working on a paranormal romance novel.

If you want to be a writer, don't give up... don't EVER give up!d
Hugs, Sam


message 7: by Dwayne, Ay-yi-yi (last edited Aug 23, 2019 12:01PM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 3786 comments Mod
Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) wrote: "Now they have TV's in the waiting room..."

Yes. And they're always tuned to the most pointless, mind-numbing programming out there. And always turned loud enough to be distracting to those of us who are trying to read.


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (sammydogs) | 950 comments Dwayne wrote: "Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) wrote: "Now they have TV's in the waiting room..."

Yes. And they're always tuned to the most pointless, mind-numbing programming out there. And always turned l..."


Yes! Exactly!! I forgot to mention that. Hugs, Dwayne


message 9: by Kitty (new)

Kitty | 5 comments I feel the same way


message 10: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 393 comments first of all, it is a game of getting your name out there. Have you tried a free magnet book like a novella or the first of a series? Do you have an email list? if not, get one by putting a free book on one of the sites that have list builders. Does you website had a popup that asks for their email address to join you newsletter or email list to be notified of new books? Are you offering them something to sign up? Have you done ads for over three to six months? What have to you done other than personal appearances? Have you had your books read by beta readers? what did they say? What about your covers? if they aren't getting the reaction you want, that may be a big problem. Do you have that 15 sec blurb down which will interest people in your book?

There are a lot of variables. Remember, most writers take 5-15 years to get noticed. All those who are making money have been doing it for a while. There is no magic wand other than stamina and continuously getting yourself noticed. As others have said, it isn't easy no matter what you do.


message 11: by V.M., The Gentleman Ninja (new)

V.M. (vmsawh) | 782 comments Mod
RDG, It can be disheartening, yes but remember this is a long game. Overnight success is usually 5-10 years worth of struggle doing exactly what you are doing. Take this time to reflect on a) the quality of what you're putting out - can anything about it be improved? b) the amount of money you're spending on getting readers - pace your spending by finding out first the demographics of who would be interested in your books content and where they are likely to be and c) if your book is a gritty crime thriller with sci Fi elements, then play up the parts of your bio that might lend some weight to your writing ie. your policing background as it states in your GR profile.

My fellow mod, Dwayne is right in saying that our Blurb Workshop is open to giving you feedback on the first bit of writing any potential customer is likely to see.


message 12: by J.S. (new)

J.S. | 7 comments Just my opinion, but I also thought your author bio could use some work. It feels like you’re giving way too much information. I think less is more. Don’t give potential readers a reason NOT to read you, but also don’t apologize for what you write. It’s fine to give them a heads up that there will be language and violence, but keep it brief and to the point.

Most of all, keep a healthy perspective. Very very (very!) few of us are going to be able to quit the day job and support our families on our writing alone. But those who do make it are among those who didn’t give up. We can dream, but there are no guarantees. So it’s probably best to try and enjoy the journey regardless of the outcome.

Good luck!


message 13: by Jude (new)

Jude Hayland | 22 comments Book shows can be so depressing - smiling all day long at potential customers who look at one's novel and seem to think it looks so interesting and say things like 'just my kind of story - oooh lovely cover - oh sounds SO good' then 'I'll come back later and buy it' and then disappear forever.
As far as I can see, people in the UK are happy to spend huge amounts of money on eating out, on mobile phones, on tv packages - but not on books!! The idea of spending money on a book seems almost subversive to most - I don't know how we get around this. It's true - people on trains and buses these days stare at screens - they used to read books. How do we change this!


message 14: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 153 comments When they asked Stephen King why he was writing in the horror genre his answer was 'Do you think I have a choice?'
I feel the same about writing in general. I've not made a dime of it so far but I couldn't do without it. Since I'm rubbish at promoting myself I concentrate on what I like doing - which is writing. I wish more people got hip to what I produce, but even if they don't I remind myself I write because I have to...


message 15: by Gina (new)

Gina Karasek | 5 comments For those saying "everyone is staring at screens" - Many of those people might be reading. I can't carry a physical book around in my crazy harried day, but I carry my phone everywhere. With Kindle app on it, I can read anything I'm in the mood for at anytime. My kids are the same. So, not everyone staring at a screen is a "non-reader".


message 16: by Gina (new)

Gina Karasek | 5 comments For original poster, Ryan - hang in there. The best thing you can do is to get feedback from objective people about your writing, and about how you are marketing your works- just as some of the people here have given feedback about your author bio, etc.


message 17: by Leah (last edited Aug 24, 2019 11:56AM) (new)

Leah Reise | 263 comments Ryan, don’t give up if you enjoy writing. I’m not getting any sales right now either. I hear you have to publish more books to get noticed.

Btw, there’s an error in your amazon description. You might want to fix it. It’s one of those “Then/Than” errors. I figure you might want to know, since it’s the first thing people see. 🙃


message 18: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 760 comments Be careful about posting things like: discouraged, depressed, feeling bad, etc.

There are 'Honest Johns' - lots of them - looking for just that and ready to 'sell' you helpful solutions.


message 19: by G.A. (new)

G.A. Wilson (gailawilson) | 9 comments Ryan wrote: "I'm just tired of the industry. Getting the next big "lead" and having hope grow up inside me again, only to be let down again, over and over. Sitting at show after show, watching hundreds of peopl..."

Ryan, I can empathise with you, as I've been on the same journey. My third novel is currently available as a paperback and ebook, but I will soon stop printing the book and sell my trilogy in ebook format only. From a marketing point of view, I find this slightly less stressful and more economical than promoting paperbacks at shows, etc.

I think we can all agree that writing is a hard (and sometimes thankless) way to make a living. Over the last six years, I've spent a lot of time and money promoting my novels. I haven't made a profit, and probably never will. But I will continue to write because I love it.

Perhaps you could allocate a certain amount of time each week to marketing and stick to a specific budget. Write and produce the best novel you can, and be proud of your achievement. I wish you all the best.




message 20: by Dhae (new)

Dhae (dhae7) | 2 comments Magnus wrote: "When they asked Stephen King why he was writing in the horror genre his answer was 'Do you think I have a choice?'
I feel the same about writing in general. I've not made a dime of it so far but I..."


Magnus wrote: "When they asked Stephen King why he was writing in the horror genre his answer was 'Do you think I have a choice?'
I feel the same about writing in general. I've not made a dime of it so far but I..."



message 21: by Dhae (new)

Dhae (dhae7) | 2 comments I hear you 100%, Magnus. I continue to tell myself to keep writing because it's what makes me me. There is not much that's better than getting to really know my characters so well that I'm using shorthand to keep up. Once I'm there no writer's block; just pure magic.


message 22: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Jones | 9 comments B.A. wrote: "first of all, it is a game of getting your name out there. Have you tried a free magnet book like a novella or the first of a series? Do you have an email list? if not, get one by putting a free bo..."
Sorry to butt into this discussion with a stupid question:
I'm not familiar with 'sites that have list builders' can you give me an example?


message 23: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 215 comments You can always remember that YOU actually wrote a book. I saw a stat once that something like 81% of people feel they COULD write a book, but a much smaller percentage actually do.


message 24: by Neil (new)

Neil Milliner (nmilliner) | 1 comments It's not a book cover problem is it? Just from what you have said it sounds like they are losing interest on sight. Try changing the cover or finding a way to get them hooked into your story.
You can A/B test with an ebook without it costing you heaps.
I'm only a newby but this seems to be the method of getting a book out of a slump. If you could pin down exactly where they are jumping ship it should be easy to rectify that area, Hope this is of some help.


message 25: by Robert (new)

Robert Reid | 3 comments My first novel was published 4 months ago and I can share your frustration Ryan. Paid for PR, lots of emails - most getting no reply. I never expected to make a lot of money from my novel but I wanted people to read it. Then a wise friend said "be proud you have completed a novel, be pleased that friends have enjoyed reading it." I have really enjoyed just giving away copies of the paperback and seeing friends and colleagues reaction. This caused me to pause and reflect. Trying to push the first novel was taking all my time and the follow on novel was not making any progress. That drew the following conclusion - if what I enjoy is the writing then get on with the new book and don't worry about the first one. It is out there in the world and it will need to look after itself. That decision has been quite liberating. The follow on novel is now at 40,000 words and I am not even checking how the first one is doing. I am still gifting copies to friends. So my mind set has changed - good luck baby one I hope you make it out there but I need to concentrate on my next baby.


message 26: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 393 comments There is Prolific Works, (used to be Instafreebie) and Author cross promotion (AXP) which are the ones I've used.. You there are several options with each site and they are $40-$60 per promotion. I've gotten over 1000 subscribers which only one promotion per site. I'm getting ready to go another on with each site. Just remember you will have a drop out rate of ate last 20% but those that stay, I have had around a 40% open rate which is good.


message 27: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Jarrett (dmjarrett) | 2 comments Hi Ryan,

We've all be there. It is a case of taking some time, thinking about your aims again and regrouping. I must have done this a dozen times already.

I'm not claiming to have the answers. More to encourage a review of what has worked and not worked. What has not worked won't unless something is changed. This might be a combination of the following - your call.

I have also sat in a hall for hours and had no interest. This led to a rethink about visuals, pricing, and which events were worth considering. I came to the conclusion that online is more time efficient.

A new book
A new cover for older books
E-book versions
KDP & Ingram availability
Better online book blurb
More social media presence - twitter, facebook, here, Amazon
Speaking engagements
A self-help for authors article - to build profile
Galley review copies to drive more interest
A fresh edit of the work not selling
Free ebook giveaways
A competition
Paid Amazon Advertising
Paid print advertising
etc.

There are dozens of people blogging about similar ideas. It's worth drawing up your own list.

I have found that it takes time and loads of repetition. And I'm still looking at a trickle of sales and website hits.

As is often said - write for yourself first and think about how to promote at least as much. It is a tough market out there.

Best of luck with your next steps.


message 28: by Roxanna (new)

Roxanna Piedrafuette | 46 comments Dwayne wrote: "Bottom line, this is not something to get into unless you love writing. No, I mean, LOVE IT! Bleed for it. Die for it day after day and be happy you did. Whatever sales and reviews you get should be a small reward compared to how satisfied you are after a good days' writing."

That is inspiring. Intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic one. I agree.


message 29: by Roxanna (last edited Aug 28, 2019 03:53AM) (new)

Roxanna Piedrafuette | 46 comments Gina wrote: "For those saying "everyone is staring at screens" - Many of those people might be reading. I can't carry a physical book around in my crazy harried day, but I carry my phone everywhere. With Kindle..."

You are absolutely right. These days whenever I see a person in the metro looking at a screen and I can discretely see what they are doing, 90% of the time they appear to be reading. I cannot tell what kind of reading it is, of course, but they are not scrolling down and clicking continuously which is what social media users and gamers do. That gives me hope.


message 30: by Roxanna (new)

Roxanna Piedrafuette | 46 comments Robert wrote: "My first novel was published 4 months ago and I can share your frustration Ryan. Paid for PR, lots of emails - most getting no reply. I never expected to make a lot of money from my novel but I wan..."

I agree with you, that is a really comforting way of putting it.


message 31: by Roxanna (last edited Aug 28, 2019 04:25AM) (new)

Roxanna Piedrafuette | 46 comments And Ryan, you might want to populate your books section in your profile. As an avid reader, I like to see what a writer read before as a way of better understanding their influences and how hard she works at her craft (or he in this case). I also want to see how diligent a writer is when doing their research. After all, "good fiction is a monumental lie that could be true." (I wish I remembered who I am quoting, but I don't.) This is just a suggestion, of course.


message 32: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1004 comments When I've reached that point I've had to stop and ask myself why I'm doing it in the first place. Books, music, art … it's all the same when it comes to the making a living at it: It ain't easy (nor likely).

So why are you writing in the first place? For the sales or the adoration of others? Or because you feel compelled to write?

What I gain from writing has always come during the writing process. After a work's done, I feel disconnected from it and have nothing else to gain from it. Sales would be fantastic. Adoration by adoring fans would be ego-stroking (but probably a bit annoying too).

That's not to say I've never reached that frustration level before. The cards are certainly stacked against anyone who attempts to move in this industry. In the end, though, it all comes back to that first question: why write at all?

Only you can answer that question.


message 33: by Dollis (last edited Sep 28, 2019 01:29PM) (new)

Dollis Hill (dollishill) | 2 comments Unless you have an independent income and treat writing as an amusement (you can afford) the outlook is very grim. And generally without appeal.

The average earnings for 'published' writers with book deals, but no big publicity behind their print books is $12,000 pa

Want to feel really depressed? Go to ebook tracker on kindle nation daily and set up to track so-called all time 'best sellers'. It will take you months to build up the stats but you will be sickened by how FEW sales are made on Amazon of print and/or ebooks

In the last 10 years the world is awash with so much ebook trash the authors can't even give away.

As for freebies - people who buy free books ONLY buy free books. With the amount available on any given day you'd need ten lifetimes to read them all

Contemptible shysters will happily take your money telling you building a following on social media will sell books. Total BS. All you do is cater to time wasters INSTEAD of writing.

Twitter won't get you where you want to go. Paying for ads even less so. Same to pay Facebook.

Google "Attracting Readers To Buy Kindle Erotica Ebooks" where the real deal seems to be using key words for your book on Amazon. That applies to ANY book not just erotica.

You have to know what book buyers are searching for to deliver it

You need a reputable agent with years of industry contacts to get to publishers. With a 'product' those publishers will make the real money on - selling the 'rights' to Hollywood.

Your agent and publisher need to be convinced you have a few more books where the first came from. And you are 'presentable' to the media and public for publicity stunts and promotion.
And won't become suicidal with 'writer's block'.

Stick with your day job.

The saddest thing I ever read was some hopeful saying she had 400 copies of her book sitting in her garage.

Don't let that be you


message 34: by Lyvita (new)

Lyvita (goodreadscomuser_lyvitabrooks) | 19 comments Ryan,
Is this what you want to do...write?
Then WRITE.
Why are you writing?
To SHARE________
Why do you write what you are writing?
BECAUSE __________

The writing community is a gracious one. You have received many suggestions and thoughts surrounding your question. I'd like to add my suggestion. Find your niche and then follow those authors and professionals on social media who are within that niche. See what they are doing and converse with them. Start there, but whatever you do keep going.


message 35: by Sam (new)

Sam Luna (samluna) | 3 comments @Dollis love your comment and outlook.


message 36: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 393 comments #1 that hopeful should have never gotten 400 books printed and delivered. 50 is probably too many unless you are going to conferences to sell them or you are doing a lot of in person signings.

#2. You can self publish and do well. Social Media isn't the answer. Email list is. Most of your sales will come from you list which is the reason you cultivate that list and keep them opening your emails. It's the cheapest way to sell book. All you need is an email provider like Mail Chimp, Mailer lite or Convert Kit.

#3. you can get an agent and sell to publishing houses, but you will need to do your own marketing (You still need that email list) and what little bit of an advance you get will be spent on ads with BookBub and Amazon, B&N, etc. so don't think of it as income, it is business funds for you to use to make your book move visible.

#4. This is a long term 'job' (or passion.) When you begin, you know very little. Like anything else, you need to learn your craft. There are tons of things to learn that you might not even think about. I've been writing for 3 years and am finding out new things every week. Most of your famous writers took 5-15 years to learn their craft and get that best seller book.

#5. Writing is hard work. It isn't easy putting out those books that will sell. Even if you have a great product, you now have to push it so that you can get sales. The actual overnight successes are very, very rare and frequently only are a flash in the pan (cliche alert) who last for one, maybe two books. Look at is as learning how to become a best seller over 5-10 years.

Bottom line...don't quit your day job until you have that best seller and know who to keep writing more best sellers. That doesn't mean you shouldn't treat writing as a job...you should but don't expect it to support your family for a long time, if ever.

Side note....many of today's writers who are making a living wage are doing it by expanding into teaching courses, speaking engagements, and other businesses which add to their writing income. Think Joanna Penn, Derek Murphy, Nick Stephenson, and Mark Lawson who earn substantial income though the things they do on the side beside writing. (hint...that is were most of the money is, not in writing alone.)


message 37: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Callens | 193 comments B.A. wrote: "There is Prolific Works, (used to be Instafreebie) and Author cross promotion (AXP) which are the ones I've used.. You there are several options with each site and they are $40-$60 per promotion. I..."

Those are really impressive stats! Thanks for sharing the info.


message 38: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Chapman | 107 comments When I first started self-publishing it felt like I read a lot about how it's going to be impossible and you're never going to get anywhere, but I really don't think this is true. It is hard though.

Social media is massively important for me. Apart from sales that are happening organically on Amazon, or people who have read one of my books and then buy the others, Facebook is where most of my new sales come from, as I use Facebook adverts. I think this is something that is probably more effective if your books fit into a clear genre, as you can target people who like that genre. You do have to invest time in designing ads. There is a lot of trial and error in finding the right ads and the right audiences. You will probably lose some money to start with, though you can (and should) start small. You want to aim for the lowest cost per click that you can while also getting sales from that ad. To make sure you really are getting sales from the adverts you ideally need to use Amazon associates to track your sales - I have different tracking IDs for different ads and I can see exactly what people bought after clicking. People don't just but the ebook editions after clicking, I have readers buy paperbacks and audiobook editions of my books after clicking on my adverts, too, which is really nice. One of the really great things is that people comment on my ads, or tag their friends who they think might like the book. This is one of the main ways I get feedback from my readers, and I sometimes politely ask them for reviews, in a very non-pushy way. If they seem really interested in my books I can let them know what else I have published, or invite them to join my mailing list / facebook group. When I am running price promotions on my books I increase my facebook ad budget, and for a while I lose money, but I get the benefit of a higher amazon ranking and usually make the money back fairly quickly.

If you are serious about investing money in adverts, make a spreadsheet of your spend per day, royalties per day, income from KU pages if your books are in KU, earnings from amazon associates (you earn money if people buy products after clicking on your ad). Then you can see how much you are making per day, and your return on investment. If you use other ads like bookbub or AMS include what you are spending on those too. I use AMS ads sometimes, but it can get expensive and you need to keep a good eye on them.

For the most part, I don't give away free books, as it seems like people don't often read them.

I don't do any face-to-face marketing of my books, so I can't comment on books shows, or signings or anything like that.

As for a mailing list, I have one but I pretty much only send out emails about new releases. I’m just not the right sort of person to keep thinking of interesting emails to send out - I think everyone would get very bored! I know some authors find mailing lists really helpful, and I think it’s worth having one.

Apart from that, it really just takes a lot of perseverance. I also have times I feel like giving up. But I don't want to stop writing, so I stubbornly carry on!


message 39: by M.L. (last edited Sep 24, 2019 09:14AM) (new)

M.L. | 760 comments @ Dollis - This was refreshing, and humorous too! :) (still chuckling)

Don't forget publicists. I've seen people recommend publicists and think they can't be serious. I mean they are expensive and often recommended when the person has 1 book. One.

I write for the enjoyment. And publishing is fun. No way am I going to keep a mailing list. :)

Adding: It does depend on each person's temperament (know thyself) and goals. But the writers who I know are successful have lots of books out there, usually a series, and they market. Now, their bottom line is another matter. If you have to spend 10K to make 3K? Then they have to be doing it because they like marketing, and if they do, that's great.

Adding more: The people who seem to make money are the ones selling to writers and most of what they are selling is BS.


message 40: by W. (new)

W. Boutwell | 138 comments Ryan,
The posts I've seen above generally suggest you do something MORE or tell you that nothing will work.
Time for a sabbatical.
Choose an arbitrary duration of time during which you promise yourself you will not write anything but a signature on a bar bill.
Go somewhere you have not been. (I keep a bedroll and one-man tent for the purpose). Heal your soul.
When you come back from exile you will be able to think more clearly.


message 41: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Vaagen (crystalvaagen) | 1 comments Don't give up. It took many famous authors many attempts. Believe the work you do matters or can help someone. When you write, do it for the right reasons. Not for money or fame, but for others. Find your base. Relax. And stop putting so much pressure on yourself.


message 42: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Lagarde (deb_lagarde) | 32 comments Check this out, Ryan--With no money at all--NONE--spent on advertising I finally broke even last year with the first two printed books. No ads, no marketing plan other than selling to locals using press releases in print newspapers (this is the 90s we're talking about) and a free ad campaign on a friend's news website. With the new three-books-in-one printed trilogy and ebook of the same I have spent money getting it out and marketing. I had the money to spend and I think I spent it wisely. Unless you are a celebrity you are going to have to spend something, but if it is any good and you have the faith, you will earn your money back and then some. If I could make money selling books with no advertising in a time we had no internet (late 90s and when we did it was strictly dial-up...I live in a rural area), then do not be discouraged. The way I see it is this--if I can do it, anyone can!


message 43: by Blue (new)

Blue Raven (theblueraven) | 15 comments Ryan wrote: "I'm just tired of the industry. Getting the next big "lead" and having hope grow up inside me again, only to be let down again, over and over. Sitting at show after show, watching hundreds of peopl..."

I so understand how you feel. After some years of chasing after agents, I gave up and went self-publishing. I published by first science fiction novella nearly three months ago, sold nine books, got a review and two five-star ratings, one here and one on Amazon. And then nothing. I have over 1000 followers on twitter, which is small but not too small, and I advertise my book there. All my followers know about it and tweet about it but no one is buying it. I have two more novels coming up next year but I think if things don't improve I might quit writing after that. But yes, it sucks doing it. I don't know what to do. I always say that writers don't write for themselves. They write for people. And people aren't reading. Maybe reading has become too much for people.


message 44: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 743 comments I've been there and I'm still where you are. I do things that don't work but I keep finding new ways to promote my works and new things to try. Its a hard business and success doesn't come over night and if it does its because you put tireless effort and work into what you do everyday and it takes off slowly then hits a slight boom. But we all can't hope for a slight boom we must keep working.

I looked at my Amazon sales all time for the 7 years I've been selling on there and the sales were so sad that if I was depressed and didn't think I could do it I'd quit after seeing those sales. What I've made in 7 years a best seller makes in an hour..but as eye opening as it is I don't wanna quit because I love what I do and I strive to succeed. Don't give up!


message 45: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Moorer (sherrithewriter) | 63 comments I feel your pain, especially since I just got the notification that I'll be getting my 20 year service award at my "day job." Boy, I thought I'd be a full time writer by now, or at least cutting back to working outside of the home part time!

The truth is that ALL of us go into writing with unrealistic expectations. We know that making a full-time living out of it is a long shot, but we're convinced that we'll be "the one." The truth is that it's a brutal industry. Ebooks have made it easier to at least get published, but that doesn't guarantee readers. Many here have mentioned that there's too much competition with visual forms of media (TV, movies, YouTube, etc). That's true. The market is saturated and standing out amongst all of that (because it's also our competition, along with other books) is difficult.

The truth is that a "true" writer keeps writing because they have stories to tell, and they love telling them. It has frustrations, like everything else in life, but we keep at it because it's in our soul. We HAVE to be writers. Hopefully, readers will follow. Maybe so, maybe not.

I did better with self publishing than with the small epublishers, but I think that has to do with the fact that I picked up my marketing efforts online when I started to self publish. Honestly, I get more interaction with the writing community on Twitter and I've seen my sales go up running Amazon ads. But I have most of my books in ebook format (the paperbacks never sold well, so I quit with them). Of course, you have to spend money to make money with the Amazon ads, so I'm always checking my stats to adjust the campaigns, or to close out ones that are only costing me money and not yielding sales.

In the end, reaching readers is like that trick where you threw jello at the wall in college: sometimes it stuck, sometimes it didn't.

Only you know if you really want to pick back up and keep at it. Maybe you do need a break to evaluate whether this is right for you. I take breaks from writing occasionally, and find they help me tremendously.

I say don't give up completely yet, but maybe take a break and consider whether this is something you really want to see bear fruit in your life. If it's too frustrating, let it go. If the passion to write is still there, dust yourself off and keep at it.

Best of luck to you!


message 46: by Dwayne, Ay-yi-yi (new)

Dwayne Fry | 3786 comments Mod
Blue wrote: "I so understand how you feel. After some years of chasing after agents, I gave up and went self-publishing. I published by first science fiction novella nearly three months ago, sold nine books, got a review and two five-star ratings, one here and one on Amazon. And then nothing. I have over 1000 followers on twitter, which is small but not too small, and I advertise my book there. All my followers know about it and tweet about it but no one is buying it. I have two more novels coming up next year but I think if things don't improve I might quit writing after that. But yes, it sucks doing it. I don't know what to do. I always say that writers don't write for themselves. They write for people. And people aren't reading. Maybe reading has become too much for people."

If no one told you before that overnight success is extremely rare in the self-publishing game, let me be the first. Overnight success is extremely rare in the self-publishing game. You have one book out and it's only been out two months and you're ready to quit? It can take years to find success at this, if it ever comes to you.

At least, that is, the kind of success you seem to be striving for - sales and reviews. It could happen, but probably not this year. Probably not next year. In five years? Maybe. Ten? Maybe.

If you're only in this for the money, there's millions of ways to make more money much faster.

There may be writers who don't write for themselves. I only write for myself, though, and I know many other writers do the same. I wouldn't have a clue how to write for people I haven't met and probably never will.

Yes, reading is on the decline and it seems that there are more and more people writing these days. It takes a lot of time to get noticed and if your only passion is to get reviews and sales, you're going to be disappointed.


message 47: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Cline | 14 comments Sherri wrote: "I feel your pain, especially since I just got the notification that I'll be getting my 20 year service award at my "day job." Boy, I thought I'd be a full time writer by now, or at least cutting ba..."
I like Sherri's comment about true writers having to write because they have stories to tell and love to tell them. If you don't love it, why do it?
One thing that we always have to keep in mind is that we are basically entertainers. Our books represent discretionary purchases to readers. Unless you write a nonfiction book that somebody has to read -- like a textbook in a college class -- people are usually buying your work for its entertainment value. And they have lots of competing choices in that realm!
If my car breaks down, I have no choice but to go to a mechanic if I want to remain mobile. If a pipe bursts in my house I'm going to call a plumber right away. I can't think of many books that fit in that critical-need category. We Indie writers should keep that in mind or we'll always feel disappointed and frustrated at the market turning a cold shoulder to our work.
Think about all the street buskers that you pass by without tossing a coin in the hat. Do you feel any obligation to support them and their music? (I don't, unless they're really good)


message 48: by Blue (new)

Blue Raven (theblueraven) | 15 comments Dwayne wrote: "Blue wrote: "I so understand how you feel. After some years of chasing after agents, I gave up and went self-publishing. I published by first science fiction novella nearly three months ago, sold n..."
I realize that overnight success is rare. And I wasn't looking for it. I am just disheartened by people's lack of interest in reading. I guess it is like this: my brain says to keep going, while my heart says why bother. Maybe I am just too depressed right now and can't think clearly. As a writer you put a lot in your work and you want people to read what you have written.


message 49: by Jason (new)

Jason Howl | 12 comments Sherri wrote: "The truth is that ALL of us go into writing with unrealistic expectations. We know that making a full-time living out of it is a long shot...
I agree. I try to not to have any expectations at all and just try to enjoy it... but the reward (not necessarily money but strangers reading and enjoying what I've written) is at least some of the reason I write. Some days it's 10%, other moments 50%...


message 50: by Jason (new)

Jason Howl | 12 comments Hearing an interview with a new author on NPR or wherever is actually a little hard some times. It can be hard not to get bitter. A tiny bit.


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