Another year has passed on this self publishing journey. As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t written much over the past twelve months. That’s for a few reasons which I’ll outline in this post, but know that I haven’t given up. This little train is still chugging up that hill.
Before I get into this past year, I thought I’d look back at my predictions and promises made last year:
12 books in 12 months: Achievement unlocked: 3 Novels, 1 Non-fic book, 2 Novellas, 11 Short Stories, 1 Collection (Bundle)
Earn $16K or more: Achievement fail. Income was a little higher than year 2 (around $9k) but nowhere near the 16K I predicted.
Author Ranking in Top 500: Achievement fail. Even publishing numerous books under my main pen name, I couldn’t budge it much. Around the 2,000 mark she stays.
As you can see, apart from writing and publishing a bunch of books, nothing much happened. My income and rankings stayed about the same. This was one of the reasons I haven’t blogged much. Nothing I did really worked, so I couldn’t report on anything. Did you really want to read a post titled, So I Didn’t Fail, But I Wasn’t Much of a Success Either. No, I didn’t think so.
But I must have learned something, right?
- Novels, even in the uber popular romance genre, aren’t a guarantee of riches. My standalone novel is lucky to sell a few copies a month, even with good reviews.
- Series/Serials sell. The short story collection I wrote eons ago is still my best seller. The only thing I can determine about this, is that they are in a series. Go series.
- Non fiction (for me) is my bread and butter. This is unfortunately true even though I want to be a fiction writer. It’s clear that readers want me to write more non-fic even though I’m resisting.
- Changing covers,blurbs,pricing doesn’t always work. I’ve heard it on all the popular forums, book not selling? Change the cover! Still not selling? Lower the price! Nope. Nothing I’ve done here has made much of a difference to my sales. High/low price – it sells the same.
- Free isn’t as effective as it used to be. I was a huge proponent of the perma-free model. I still like it in theory, but I have noticed it’s not as strong as it once was. Recently I took everything off free. I’m making more money. Go figure.
- I suck at smut. Yes, I tried my hand at erotica. I failed. It is not the cash machine that I’d heard about. At least it was fun to write.
Of course, your experience may (and probably will) vary. Everyone has an opinion on what works and what doesn’t based on their experiences. But really, no-one knows. Even those who are successful don’t really know what it was that made a particular book reach the stars. Some books take off, some don’t. You just have to do everything you can to give it the best chance – good writing/cover/title/blurb/price etc. Then cross your fingers (and start the next book, because that one might be the one.)
And that’s another reason I haven’t blogged here. I don’t know much more than you do. I thought I did. But I don’t.
So what now? What’s up for the next year?
I’m not entirely sure. Obviously what I’m doing now isn’t working, so I plan on changing things up. I’m going to go back and write some sequels, prequels, and freequels to those books that aren’t selling. We’ll see if putting them in a series makes a difference (worth experimenting with at any rate).
I am contemplating going back to non-fic for a while. It’s where the money is for me, even though my heart’s not really in it. Maybe.
I’ll limit my time on forums and blogs. They confuse me with all the conflicting advice. I see a good theory and get all gung-ho on it, only to find it doesn’t work quite as well as promised. (ha, shades of my internet marketing adventure days – is that something new and shiny over there? scamper, scamper).
But mostly, I’m going to take things easier on myself.
- I’m not a success? Oh well.
- I missed a (self-imposed) deadline? There’s always tomorrow.
- I didn’t write today? Have a nap instead.
Goals for the next year:
Ha, ha, ha, Tracey, you are so cute. Goals? I don’t need no stinkin’ goals. So no goals. I’ll take everyday as it comes.
And if I DO find something that works for me, I’ll blog about it.