It’s that time of the month again. No, not that time of the month, you goon. It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group time. And believe me, I’m pretty insecure this month. For any particular reason you may ask? Why yes! The reason that I’m feeling especially insecure this month is because of book sales…or rather, the lack of them.
“Nowhere to Hide” was my first complete novel, my first self-published book, and is thus far the only published book that I have that is actually for sale. When I was writing it I knew that it wasn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea; when you’re dealing with a subject matter like zombies you’re not going to float everyone’s boat. And I definitely didn’t think that my book was going to be any kind of breakaway hit or anything, because I’m a brand new author and the statistics on something like that happening are astronomical. So, basically, I wasn’t expecting to have a great number of sales.
But I was expecting to have some.
When I first officially announced the publication I had a small rush of sales as interested family and friends happily grabbed a copy. I ordered a box of print copies myself and sold them to those who wanted me to sign it for them, and I managed to sell a few more this way to some coworkers. At the same time there were random sales popping up in Kindle, I can only presume from the kinds of people who like to check out “What’s New”. Over the course of about three months I made approximately $200 profit, which I didn’t think was half bad, all things considered.
And then everything went completely dead.
I encouraged my friends and family to rate and review the book on Amazon or Goodreads in hopes of enticing more readers to buy, but while some did, most didn’t. I really had to scrape and beg for over half a year to work my way up to thirteen reviews (five on Goodreads, five on Amazon Canada, two on Amazon US, and one on Amazon UK) and as near as I can tell none of it really did any good at all. My sales haven’t budged since that first influx in the very beginning. I’ve gone multiple months without selling a single print copy, and my average for e-book sales in the past six months has been approximately two per month. I even permanently reduced the price of the e-book to $0.99, but it doesn’t seem to have mad any difference at all.
On the one hand, I’m happy whenever anyone buys my book. On the other hand, whenever I log into my Kindle dashboard and see that one sale that netted me a whopping $0.35 for the entire month, it gets pretty depressing. I never expected to be successful, and the fact is that I write mostly just because I love it so much, not because I expect to actually make a living from it, but… I guess it’s just a little disheartening. I’ve gotten excellent reviews on the book (and not all of them from relatives, thank you very much), but those reviews just don’t seem to be enticing new readers to check out the book.
The key, of course, is to write more books, because only an exceptionally tiny percentage of writers actually become successful with their first book. Sometimes it’s just really hard to convince oneself of that fact, especially when some of the most popular books out there right now are utter crap and are inexplicably making their authors millionaires.
But I guess I can online whine so much before it all comes back down to, “Buck up, deal with it, and keep writing!” So that’s what I’ll do!