Welcome to Monday Musings, where I ponder some aspect of writing that has popped into my head over the last week or so. These posts aren’t intended to provide answers, they are more just a brain-dump that perhaps might generate discussion. This week, I wanted to talk about the tension that every self-published author has experienced between promoting the book/s you have out already, and getting the next one written. When you’ve got a day job and other commitments outside of writing, you are left with few hours in the day to devote to writing and publishing.
I published A More Complicated Fairytale in April 2016. Since then, I’ve done the occasional bit of promotion, but for the most part it has kind of languished on Amazon. I’ve made more money selling hard copies to friends and colleagues (which is totally fine, by the way, I don’t care if it’s only people I see every day buying my book, as long as someone is!). I did consider doing a re-launch when I re-published it under Emily Wrayburn, but ultimately decided not to. It occurred to me that one fairly slim volume is not much to really invest in. Particularly when I think the things I’m working on now will be better products.
There are so many promotion options out there that it can be difficult to decide what might work. I’ve seen a lot of people say that for the amount of work that goes into a blog tour, it’s not worth the small return you get in sales. I have used Facebook sponsored posts both for writing promotion and other events, and have not been impressed by the results in either case. And even when it is effective, it’s hard work in the build-up.
It seems that the best ways to get your books out there is to generate those early reviews, which can be hard for someone doing it on their own. But I figure it’s even harder to attract a growing audience if they read the one book you have on offer when there’s nothing else on the horizon. For me, the priority at the moment is getting more books written. Dare I say it, getting better books written, as part of me feels if A More Complicated Fairytale were written by someone else and I were to read it, I’d probably give it 3.5-4/5 (but that’s a post for another day).
At some point, if I continue with self-publishing and actually want to really make something of it, then the time will come when also doing the hard yards of promotion will be a requirement that I’m not able to shirk. But that time isn’t here yet, and I think it’s some time off. And in the meantime, I will enjoy the writing experience, even if it is the “easy” (I use the term loosely) part of self-publishing.