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How The Self-Publishing World Has Changed (since I entered it)

I recently encountered a book about book-launching that was being promoted for free. As during the past year I have monthly watched my royalty income dwindle away to a distressing and pitiful amount, I decided I had nothing to lose. I wanted the answer to my constant inner cry, “Why do so many other authors have books that sell consistently, and to the extent they make thousands of dollars every month?”

The book is entitled, The Holy Grail Of Book Publishing by Mimi Emmanuel.

She has answered my questions

I knew things weren’t exactly the same, BUT…

Back when I first started publishing books to the Kindle store (2012? 2013?), there were few enough people doing it that all you had to do was a free promotion just through Amazon, without marketing the promo anywhere else, a couple of times a year and you would get a ton of downloads and consistent sales for at least the next couple of months afterwards.

Boy, was that a long sentence! The jist of it is, up until three years ago or so, you didn’t have to spend a lot of money and schedule a bunch of e-mail/social media blasts to promo a book and get sales moving. Now, you do.

I don’t generally take detailed notes from non-fiction e-books. But from this one, I am. I am determined never to have a dud e-book, whether fiction or no, again. It’s not that I NEED the money, but I write because I have a message I believe is important to share, or a story I believe a lot of people could enjoy – even take inspiration from. So I don’t want my creations to sit around and do nothing!

My main take-aways from Mimi’s book: First, when you write a book, don’t launch it until you have given away Advanced Reader Copies so you can get some reviews before setting up promotions. Second, within the first month or so of it being published, set up as many paid and free promotions as you can afford. That way, it will get a lot of momentum from the very beginning, increasing its sales rankings which will, in turn, increase its ongoing sales once the book is back to full price.

Third, I need to put in more money to ongoing promotions than I have been doing. Mimi provides links to three good places for doing ongoing promos, for which I am grateful.

What about my writing projects?

I can’t finish the novel I mentioned several months ago. I just can’t. It didn’t end the way I wanted to, and now I’m wondering if the whole middle needs to be rewritten. Anyway, I’m not touching it again until I figure out exactly how it’s supposed to end, and how it is supposed to arrive at that end.

I have been working on short stories the past couple of weeks. Short short stories – around fifteen pages long, some a little longer – and so I don’t have to rack my brain trying to come up with plot twists and how to “raise the stakes” for the main characters.

However, one of the short shorts wants to be a novel. I am very slowly outlining a possible story. I decided a few weeks ago that I’m not going to write any more novels unless I flesh out all the details and plot twists first, so I don’t feel like throwing the story out the proverbial window when I hit the halfway mark. (This has happened with every other novel I’ve written.)

Soon I’ll be able to price my book Mastering Minimalism to free on Amazon. After I do, number one, it will show up in the sidebar, probably at the top of the other books; and number two, I will set up a promotion for it so that I can drive sales for my Crazy Simple book (the main purpose of the Minimalism book).

So, that’s my writing life right now. Kind of sporadic, flitting around and trying to figure out where to land. Do be sure to download any of my freebies that are in the sidebar, including the “click here for more freebies” link at the bottom.

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