By Amy Collins
Another year, another set of chances for you and your book! While I usually focus on authors and publishers in this column, this month, I am the one guilty of committing the errors in DO THIS NOT THAT.
What I Did
I got discouraged. I mean I got REALLY discouraged by the onslaught of news and stats coming out from the media.
- Author earnings are way down on average.
- Book sales are becoming more and more consolidated at Amazon.
- Amazon is “hiding” new authors in favor of their own published books.
- Kindle Unlimited no longer offers fair compensation for page reads but drives ebook shoppers to their platform…
The list goes on and on. In addition, current economic, political, and global news is driving non-essential purchases down. There are more books than ever being published, but fewer people are buying books. Goodness, it is enough to drive a girl to drink.
The discouragement I was experiencing caused me to say “What is the use?” I stopped promoting my books for a while. I stopped dead in my tracks and figured that writing and promoting books was a waste of time.
What I Should Have Done Instead
I should have kept going. I had a job to do, and I let the negative press stop me from doing my job. It is not the media’s fault that I turned into a wilting flower. I should have kept DOING my job.
What I Am Doing Now
Okay, rest time is over. Times have ALWAYS been hard for creative types. Making a living with talent IS hard, but it will NEVER be possible if I quit.
Great books were written and sold during the Great Depression and WWII. Authors made their way during the mid-60s when assassinations were reported every few months and war was ripping our country apart. If books can be sold and authors can be successful during some of the darkest days in our history, then books and authors can be successful today.
Is Amazon not playing fair? Too bad. I need to find other ways to sell my books. It was fun and easy to depend completely on Amazon a few years ago. Authors could make big money just selling on Kindle. Those days are over for most authors. Time to accept that and explore some of the other venues I didn’t need to deal with before. I am naturally lazy and don’t want to have to explore multiple sales venues.
It is hard and takes a lot of time. But what are my other options? Working at ANY job is hard. Selling books is work, but I would rather work at publishing than at a movie theater or in a doctor’s office.
Only famous authors and celebrities are getting media attention and hitting the bestseller lists? Then I need to spend time each day advancing my platform so that I have a CHANCE TO BECOME a famous author or celebrity.
Are my words and writing not selling in the form of my books? Then I need to find other venues to host my words. Apps, subscriptions, audio, video…. Time to learn all the ways people read and absorb stories and content now.
Economy going to pot? What can I do to get my writing out there in a way that entertains or educates readers in a format they can afford? Wouldn’t it be better to get my writing out there for less and have a LOT more readers?
Having a hard time getting attention for my book? What can I do each day to attract attention? Am I ACTUALLY doing those things? Or just thinking about doing them? I am often guilty of confusing my DESIRE to promote my books with actually promoting them.
Perhaps the current book world and the publishing industry are the problem, but I have the solution. The publishing industry is not going to fix my problem, that is my job. But I will never, ever, succeed if I give up. Every day that I decide to spend a few minutes promoting my writing is a day that I get closer to becoming a best-selling author.