I have been writing for a little over six months now. I had always wanted to write a book/novel but life (as usual) got in the way. I would always bitch about how poor some of the books I would read really were, and my wife would always tell me, “well then, write one better yourself.”
Well, I finally retired and tried to move from the USA to Spain during the COVID pandemic (look up the definition of disaster in the dictionary). It didn’t work out how we had planned but that journey prompted me to write about our adventures on that trip. The result was “Mistakes Were Made.” I self-published after not a single literary editor responded. I published through KDP and on the morning it went live I sat looking at the dashboard, refreshing the interface every five minutes waiting for the orders to roll in and waiting for Hollywood to call.
Ok – so I was ridiculously naïve. I knew not a jot about categories, blurbs and effective book covers. It sold a couple of hundred copies and I still get an occasional sale. It always gets good reviews, with the exception of one lady from the UK who called me “a little full of himself,” which might just be true!
I finished my second book, a paranormal thriller called “A Surcease of Sorrow” (still not sure that the best title, a little too esoteric I think), and self-published again on Amazon. Pretty much the same result except even fewer friends and family bought this one. I started to delve into what really sells books and began to peel back the layers.
I think this is where my real journey as an author has begun. I have ideas for books and after wandering through the genres a little I have landed on Sci-Fi. But the true work is that I have finally begun to unpick the deep mysteries of Amazon and Facebook advertising and the combination of pre-release launches, mailing lists, and the myriad support sites that can drain a wallet: Bookbub, Patreon, BookLife, Goodreads and Pubby to name but a few. With the website finally built and MailChimp integrated I feel like I am finally in a better place to support any future release. I even have a Tik Tok and Instagram account I don’t know what to do with, and don’t get me started on the nuances of Facebook and Tik Tok tracking pixels.
This is where the real work lies. It’s a shame in a way that it detracts from the time and pleasure of actually writing, but for the indie writer, it’s the game that has to be played. Every day is a school day as they say, and as my journey progresses it will be interesting to see where I am as an author in another six months. In that time frame, I will definitely be in a much better place to publish and support the release of my first Sci-F book, and for that, I am truly excited.
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