Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG: Running in Sand Circles


Have you ever run in sand and experienced how it sinks beneath your feet so that every step takes extra effort?

Have you ever felt like you've been running in circles?

Now, imagine that you are running in sand in a never-ending circle.

This is what my marketing strategies feel like to me: running in a never-ending circle in sinking sand.

That's right; I pretty much suck at marketing. I've tried giveaways, four paid services (not the hugely expensive ones), twitter posts, limited time only type sales, and just being plain obnoxious.

All of these have either drained me of time or money, or both.

Despite the fact that my profit margin is nil when I consider expenses and it's only coffee money when I don't consider expenses, I am still writing. I am still submitting short work out there. I'm still noveling. I'm still re-pubbing short stories that I plan to use as kindle select giveaways.

I keep hoping that this is my strength training time, that eventually, my writing muscles and my marketing muscles will be hardened enough to head down the actual beach of semi-success.

This month, I have two book signings scheduled.

So, I'm still working at it. I'm not giving up, even though on some days, I think about quitting. It's part of the reason I've been having trouble finishing Champion's Destiny. Despite a 4.6 star average rating at Amazon, I'm beginning to wonder if my trilogy totally sucks.

What about you? What does writing/marketing feel like to you this month? And do you have some super secret amazing marketing advice to share?

Oh, and do you think that offering the first book in a trilogy permafree is a good idea if the last, third book isn't out yet? Or, should I wait until the third book is out? Or, should I not do this at all? Please, please, give me your wisdom.

Meanwhile, I'm off to  finish that trilogy . . . for the twenty dedicated fans who have been asking me to. And, on my crabby days, I'm spending some time with Captain Wrath because his attitude makes me happy in those moments.




32 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd wait until the last book is out. Check with author M. Pax. She's been very successful with promoting her series.
Just keep at it. You don't know when you will hit that magic tipping point.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I agree with Alex. My advice is not to get discouraged. In my romance writing persona, I had modest to pathetic sales for my first seven books. My publisher stuck with me and it was my eighth book that hit the bestseller lists. Few writers have instant success and you never know when it will happen.

Juneta Key said...

I haven't even got to the marketing yet and feel that way sometimes. I am learning about and there is so much info out there. It gets overwhelming. I have read self-publishing sometimes do start making a small profit till after their 10th book, so keep writing. No author was made over night. It took 3-5 years, even for the traditionally published on the average.

Juneta at Writer's Gambit

Cathrina Constantine said...

Tyrean, I'm in the same boat with you. Marketing is my downfall. And in marketing I far exceeded my measly royalties! If you find the answer let me know! Good Luck and have fun at your book signings!!!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Alex! You are so right about M - she's been successful and determined. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Susan - I would never have guessed that - your writing is so good. I should know that I'm in it for the long haul, but there are days when I guess I get impatient and whiny . . .

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, it does get overwhelming, and I know I should know those facts about 10th books and 3-5 years even for the trad published . . . I've even quoted that to others . . . sigh. I guess I'm just impatient these days.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Cathrina!!!

Cherie Reich said...

I completely get this, Tyrean. You can do everything right and still not get many sales. I recently put a title on sale and did a couple ads (not expensive ones). Even at that, I don't know if I'll make my money back. Yet I will still write and keep publishing when I can.

And I'd wait to have the third book out before putting the first one for permafree. They also say that having a series/trilogy completed helps bring in more sales since people wait until the series is finished before they buy and read. Good luck!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I haven't reached this point in my journey either, but my advice is to keep going. Sometimes things are making a difference even though we don't see it.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the insight and tips!!! I appreciate it.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Jenn!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Marketing sounds like the hardest part about being an author, but it's great that you're sticking with it Tyrean. All the best for your Wednesday.

David P. King said...

I'm getting my hands into the marketing arena for the first time, and I'm finding that a steady pace works wonders. Trying to do it all at once would drive me up the wall. You will find your groove, Tyrean. :)

Feather Stone said...

I totally relate to the sand saga; except being that I live inland and in the north, I'm in wet clay, slipping and sliding onto my ass and getting nowhere. Being that I started barely understanding facebook, I'm not too hard on myself for being a late bloomer. It's been a huge challenge just understanding the terminology of all the social media stuff. When my book was published I understood that being published was huge - like f...... huge. And that only a few get to quit their day job. I do what I can in marketing and make connections. Connections seems to be the magic mantra. Still working on it. C o n n e c t i o n s Ommmm

NASHVILLECATS said...

I know the feeling of running in sand and ever decreasing circles all too well, but I plod on thinking of the quotation"To every negative problem is a positive outcome.
Good luck with your writing and book signings.

Kendra E. Ardnek said...

Even after three years as a published author, and with three books and seven short stories under my belt, I'm still not seeing nearly the success that I envisioned when I started. I have a small following, and I've made some money, but it's still can feel like I'm swimming in a pool of quicksand. One wrong move, and I'll be pulled under never to be heard from again.

But keep up the writing! I thoroughly enjoyed your first book (and I really need to review it), and I have your second on my kindle waiting for me. You're a good writer. Don't give up just because you feel like you're not going anywhere.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I like the idea of the "strength training" and think that's a good attitude to have. Keep writing! Keep going! :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

M Pax said...

I'm no expert, my friend. It's shark-infested waters out there these days. It's rough. Sales have slowed down across the board. Try not to take it personally. If you want to talk more about it, feel free to email me. We can then be a bit more blunt, etc...

Emma Adams said...

I completely understand - that's part of my insecurity this month, too. I'd say wait until your series is complete - often, readers want to wait until all three books in a trilogy are out before buying. Keep at it! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Once you've built up a name for yourself, books will sell. That does mean writing more books - you want a fire, you have to keep adding wood.

Some authors do well with one book free, but it's still a risk to give away something you worked so hard on. Discounting the first book is also an option, but I'd wait until the last one is out.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Maurice!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, David! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wet clay - ugh. Connections seem to be key, but which places are the right places to find them? That's the question.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thank you!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Kendra - thank you so much for your vote of encouragement! I really appreciate your thoughts on this.

Let's both keep our heads above the mire and keep on swimming! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Madeline!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the offer, M! I'll be writing. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the good advice! I appreciate it. And thanks for the encouragement!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the advice, Diane! I appreciate it. I needed some answers on that one, and I think I had a good consensus - a level-headed, good consensus to calm my impatient panic. :)

LD Masterson said...

I'm not at this point yet but I already fear it. I think you've gotten some good advice here.

Juneta Key said...

I have not gotten to the marketing yet, but it is the monster on the horizon for me. In one group I am in they recommend Wesley Dean Smith as avenue to learn to market. They think very highly of him and his advice. This book by Sean Platt was also recommended to me "Write, Publish, Repeat". http://www.amazon.com/Publish-Repeat-No-Luck-Required-Self-Publishing-Success-ebook/dp/B00H26IFJS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417670936&sr=8-4&keywords=sean+platt+writing

Juneta at Writer's Gambit