1. Doing The Same Thing Over And Over Again And Expecting Different Results
I’ve been on three book blog tours. I’ve had my book tweeted hundreds if not thousands of times. I’ve spent innumerable hours writing guest posts, answering interview questions and creating song lists for other people’s blogs. I’ve been featured on over sixty blogs and online media sites. Guess how many sales that translated into? Less than 200. That’s right. You do the math: 8% royalty from a $15 book = squat. Even if some of those sales were ebooks, the profit has been completely eclipsed by the upfront cost of the blog tours (roughly $400). Yes, this is the definition of crazy.
2. Writing A Blog Not On WordPress
I’ve been writing blog posts for five years, with little to no success. I’ve blogged about everything I can possibly think of, hoping to drive traffic to my books. I’ve offered up 50 free ebooks on Rafflecopter. I’ve given away short stories. I’ve blogged about things I think reflect my “brand” (“Why we are addicted to characters with Arrogant Assitude Disorder”, “Bisexual and gay characters in mainstream fiction” and even, “How to dress like a real author”. My website traffic goes up during those posts, sometimes getting 500+ hits. But does that translate into sales? NOT AT ALL.
3. Chipping Money In For Another Author’s Giveaway
I’ve been asked a few times to chip in $20 for a kindle fire as part of a book release giveaway. My name and books were listed as part of the contributors, as well as a link to my facebook page, and twitter profile. The promotion lasted about two weeks. In that two weeks, my facebook page likes didn’t change. Actually, no, that’s a lie. I lost likes. My Twitter followers went up, but I believe most of them had a twitter handle something like: @loseweightfast. Now I wish I’d spent that $20 on an Amazon book like Make a Killing on Kindle. Actually, for $20, I could have bought nineteen more as gifts for my awesome indie author friends.
4. Hiring a PR firm
For a sweet low price of just $180, you can have the Awesomeness PR Firm write you a press release, crafted by journalists and industry professionals, and, for that one low price, they will distribute it to over 2,000 media outlets!!! This is far better than an advertisement, because it is a real endorsement! Simply tell them all of the fabulous things about your novel, and, despite you being a writer yourself, their writers will make it super awesome! Fine print: there is no guarantee any of the media outlets will run a story on your novel.
Save yourself the $180 and focus on the fine print. Seriously. After having my press release written (it wasn’t that awesome, anyway. Read it here to see) and reportedly submitted to the over 2,000 media outlets, I watched my sales rank on Amazon with baited breath and waited on pins and needles for a Google alert to notify me of all of the media outlets who’d written about my book. I got one Google alert and zero sales. ‘Nuff said.
5. Buying A Whack Of Your Own Books With the Expectation That Friends and Family Will Want One
You know those people who say, “Wow! So cool – you’re a writer!” or “Tell me about your book – ooh, sounds exciting!”? Yeah, well, those questions are the author equivalent of “How are you?” in the sense that the questioner often doesn’t give a rat’s ass about how you’re doing, it’s just the polite thing to say.
Friends and family might care about you, they might want success for you, but they don’t want your success on their dime. Because, Geesh, $15 is a lot to spend on a novel they might not like! But, they’re always sure to say to your downtrodden face, “Hey, good luck with your writing career!”
5. Giving Away Print Copies For An Honest Review
Since friends and family didn’t purchase aforementioned books, I had a lot to spare. I thought there was little point in keeping them under my bed, collecting dust, so I decided to give them away to potential readers for review. I gave away ten of them. That was roughly a $130 dollar outlay that I’d hoped would result in at least eight reviews, because, heck – they got a free book! Guess how many followed through? Two.
Now I give away exclusively ebook files.
About the Post Author:
Joanne Brothwell lives in the country where her stories are inspired by the dead things that appear at her doorstep on a daily basis. Of course, her two pets, a retired police dog with titanium fangs and a feral barn cat missing two toes, make the safety of surrounding wildlife, at best, uncertain. Joanne is the author of two urban fantasy novels, Stealing Breath and Silencing Breath, published by Crescent Moon Press. Joanne self-published Forest of the Forsaken, an eerie adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, and is currently hard at work revising her next project, The Eve Genome.
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