Posts Tagged writer


It’s been forever since I’ve posted anything. What can I say? Sometimes life gets in the way. And it certainly has over the past couple of months. But, it’s really more than that, I think. It seems like forever ago, but I posted a while back about my adventures in marketing. Well, these past couple months have shown me what happens if I don’t market my book. Nothing happens. Absolutely nothing.

But, that’s actually good in a way. That will give me a chance to see what individual channels do. Before, I was trying to market every way I could. I was doing Facebook, the Goodreads thing, and, of course, my blog. There was some other stuff, but those were probably the main channels. This time, I’ll take a little more structured approach, I think. Maybe just start with one, add another one in, and so on. Remember, as much as I (might) sound like I know what I’m doing, I’m still figuring this stuff out.

And that point brings me to what I really wanted to post about today. I was having a conversation with a guy the other day who wants to be a writer. I’ve known the guy for a really long time. I don’t know him well, but… Okay. I guess you can say I’ve worked with him for a really long time. Anyway, we were talking in the hallway, and he started drilling me with questions about writing. He’s got a gazillion ideas floating around in his head – more than he knows what to do with (I wish I had that problem), but he can’t get any traction with an actual story. Actually, it might be better to say he gets traction for a few chapters and then stalls.

So, he wanted to know how to do it. He wanted to know how to get from the idea to the finished book. Never mind publishing and marketing and all that junk, he wanted to know how to bring order to the chaos. His biggest challenge is to not jump ship to another story when he gets stuck. As a result, he has scores of unfinished stories and books, and he has no idea how to start finishing them.

So, I remembered my blog. That’s exactly why I created it. Because I believe there are lots of people out there with a genuine talent for writing, but without the confidence or know-how to move to the next step. So, here I am, writing another post. This one doesn’t have any grand words of wisdom (as if any of them do), but it’s a start.

And that’s the best lesson I can teach people like my colleague. You have to start. Then you have to keep taking steps, and stay on course. Refuse to listen to the Siren Song, calling you off to the next shiny thing that is surely going to be easier than what you’re working on.

Until next time…



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Hard Lessons in Marketing

I have a confession to make. In the month since my book launched, I have been obsessing over its performance. I was extremely excited when my book first launched. My launch day giveaway yielded over 1,200 downloads with 20 to 30 sales a day for the next few days. But it didn’t take long for everything to change.

As the days and weeks wore on, I started watching my Amazon sales and rankings with a keen interest, feeling almost sick as I watched them plunge into nothingness. I felt discouraged and helpless as my sales dried up and my rankings dropped. I went from 7,000 to 15,000. Then I dropped from 15,000 to 30,000 to 50,000 to 80,000, and so on. I found little solace in the idea that a sales rank of 80,000 is still in the top 8%. You see, I had the unrealistic expectation that my sales would at least stay flat, if not increase a bit each week.

What made it even worse was that nothing I tried worked. Tweeting about my book didn’t help it recover. Neither did Facebook or Goodreads ads. New four and five star reviews didn’t help either. It seemed that nothing could slow my ranking’s steady decline and it just didn’t make sense. Scores of people on various Kindle boards felt the same way about their own books: surely, something is wrong with Amazon’s reporting. We can’t possibly have dropped off a cliff into obscurity, could we have?

The simple answer is this: Yes, we could have, and we did. Of course we did. You see, the real problem is that I didn’t understand how book marketing works because I’ve never done it before. But now, I’m smarter. I know more than I did a month ago. Read the rest of this entry »

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