I know I am not alone in this regard. There are hundreds of fantastic writers out there – I know because I have read them – who, like me, are straining to be heard.
There is plenty of advice out there, a lot of it contradictory, but how much of it actually works?
In my opinion – zilch!
Use Social Media – don’t use Social Media – only use Social Media for being social – don’t mention your books on Social Media – do blog tours – do giveaways – don’t do giveaways.
I have heard it all and I have tried it all.
I have even run giveaways that have had no entrants – probably the most disheartening thing to any writer is discovering that you can’t even give your books away.
But I digress.
It seems to me that some authors simply have “the knack”. Readers flock to them and they have a huge following, seemingly without even trying.
- They are the authors who can release (or even re-release) a book and see it shoot to the top of the charts right away, staying there for weeks.
- Readers review their books on the day of release and the reviews keep coming during the weeks following.
- They are the ones who post good news on Facebook and a flood of people rush to congratulate them.
- They are the ones who can release their very first book and it is an instant hit.
- They are the ones the rest of us compare ourselves to all the time – and we really shouldn’t.
Comparing ourselves to those who have “made it” serves no purpose save to depress us and make us question whether we are in the right industry.
I see it on my social media again and again. Good writers who are on the verge of quitting because they can’t market and their books don’t sell.
We waste time wondering what the secret is, when what we should be doing is remembering why we started writing in the first place.
I didn’t start writing for the money or the sales and I am willing to bet most of the rest of you didn’t either.
I write because I enjoy it. Simple as that. I share my stories because I hope others might like them too. A single reader telling me they liked one of my stories makes my day so much brighter. It means publishing the story was worth it.
When it comes to marketing, sales and promotional work, I have heard only one piece of advice that ever really helped.
So from now on, that is what I am going to be doing. Each time I see a writer I am tempted to compare myself to, I will be reminding myself of this advice.
I suspect you might be seeing a lot of the above image!
NB: For the animal lovers in the UK – the monkey is at Woburn Safari Park. Or at least it was a few years ago when I took the photo.