But It Would It Have Been Worth It After All?

Over the weekend I finished up the editing and formatting of The Worms Of Heaven. I’ve uploaded the files to Amazon and Create Space.  They are checking them over now, I should hear back on any problems early this week.

What I am thinking this morning is, Thank God that’s over with.

I started writing seriously in the summer of 2011.  I launched Catskinner’s Book in summer 2012, Cannibal Hearts in summer 2013, and now The Worms Of Heaven.

This might be the year I break a hundred books sold, total.  Maybe.  All books, all formats combined.  I average selling about one and a half books a month.  I think my absolute biggest month was August of last year, when I launched Cannibal and sold eight.

I’ve been averaging losing two to three hundred dollars a year, comparing what I’ve spent on promotion versus what I’ve made in sales.

There are more expensive hobbies, I suppose. But it’s clear that the idea of ever making money doing this is absurd.

Honestly, I don’t understand why.  I get a lot of positive feedback on my books, my reviews are very positive.  There are a lot of people who are very enthusiastic about my work.

None of that translates into actual sales, though.  I’ve tried different promotions, GoodReads, and a couple of different e-book promotion sites, I’ve done author interviews and author spotlights and guest posts.  I’ve done giveaways for the e-book, the paperback, and the audiobook.  I’ve given away, at a guess, three or four times as many books as I’ve sold.

I don’t know.  I’m going to keep writing, but I’ve given up on the whole promotion circus.  I can’t afford to keep throwing money away.

Anyway, The Worms Of Heaven should be out by the end of the week.  I’ll post the links when it is.

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in Cannibal Hearts, On Promotion, On Publishing, On Writing, Worms Of Heaven and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to But It Would It Have Been Worth It After All?

  1. Dave Higgins says:

    Most of the advice I have seen from authors who are open about their sales, suggests reviews, promotions, advertising, and other promotion kicks in once you already have a reasonable core audience and back catalogue. So the cost to result ratio is very wobbly below five books.

    So – while big publishers could do some promotion for every author and the wobbles balance – writing more and letting most of the promotion occur as a side-effect of being yourself is probably the most stable model for author-publishers.

  2. I hear you. I’ve been having some similar thoughts to my similar sales data.

  3. kingmidget says:

    I agree with Dave Higgins. The only promotion that has done anything for me is EReaderNewsToday. Other than that, none of them have worked. I think we have to rely on word-of-mouth, patiently growing an audience, and putting more work out there. Volume and patience are the keys.

  4. Jade Reyner says:

    I hear and understand your frustration. This business is certainly a lot more tricky to negotiate than I thought. I wish you luck with your new release.

  5. sknicholls says:

    I’m with Mark on ENT! I get a good day or two of phenomenal sales, which translates into some good exposure, then it trickles off over the course of a week. Once you find your audience through whatever promo works for you, I’m sure your books will begin to sell themselves 🙂 Keep writing 🙂

  6. Foxfier says:

    My experience is with hobby-sized craft shops, not books– let alone books that can be delivered anywhere on earth near-instantly– but it’s generally not a good idea to spend more than very nominal amounts until you’ve got a variety of stock. For example, my mom makes horse shoe coat hangers. Until she also had candle-holders– two kinds– wreaths, three kinds of coat hangers and some blacksmithed stuff, she didn’t even get business cards.

    That said, business cards might be a good idea. It’s less than twenty bucks for Vista print (pick a small batch, they’ll offer a lot of upgrades at lower price), and you could probably get a URL shrinker for your amazon code so you get money from that if they go and look at your books, but don’t buy.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Not sure what I’d do with business cards. To date no one has shown up at work or knocking on my door at home with any interest in my books, and I very seldom go anywhere else.

      • Foxfier says:

        *wry* I’ve done some guerrilla advertising for Ricochet.com where I stick a couple of cards in the “advertising” section at grocery stores. Sometimes coffee shops will have areas, too.

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