Saturday, January 21, 2017

It's All Boring Stuff...

Okay, so not everything I've been reading is boring. I have been nibbling at a bunch of books, all in the same genres as I talk about every time we do this topic. But my main reading lately has been non-fiction material which would be boring to the great majority of people.
For as long as I can recall I've been whining about how difficult it is to work from home as a writer and cover artist when people around you treat it like it's a hobby. Always interrupting when you're in the middle of it, asking you to stop so you can run an errand, organizing deliveries that coincide with your chief concentration time. All that crap. First world problem, for sure, but a problem nonetheless.
What I've come to realize, though, is that I'm causing it. Because I'm doing it myself.
I've been working as if my writing and cover art are hobbies. I'm not learning all the parts of my job description.
So what I've been reading lately has been essentially the posts in many marketing groups, the tips from the pros, and the success stories of those who've come from the same kind of meager beginnings as myself but are now making a decent living from this writing caper.
After all, that's what I'd like, as just a basic achievement. To earn enough from the hard work I've been doing that it pays me as well as a day job would. If that means I have to read information that my brain rebels against absorbing, then so be it. Nobody else owes me the knowledge, experience or wisdom that it takes to succeed. And if I'm not willing to put in, then I should probably get out.

10 comments:

  1. Hmm. Interesting observation ("I've been working as if my writing and cover art are hobbies.") With regards to cover art, I suspect that tips from the pros will help. After all, you don't need thousands of people to commission covers from you--you couldn't handle anywhere near that volume.

    When it comes to making one's living writing, however, I am not sure anyone can really tell you how to do it. Everybody has a sure-fire system (especially people who write books about how to become a best-seller) but the publishing industry is a moving target.

    Still, if you're finding useful nuggets, that's clearly worthwhile.

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  2. Apparently there are ways to promote efficiently, but I think they have a shelf life. They'll work once. F'rinstance, nobody's gonna promote much better than FSOG along the same lines. Could the same set of opportunities occur twice? Perhaps we have to either plan something brand new or happen upon it and surprise ourselves.

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  3. Yeah, it's not so much about "do this and I guarantee your book will be a HIT HIT HIT!" Simply an acknowledgement that my complete failure to advertise my stuff anywhere just MIGHT be a mitigating factor in my continued lack of sales. So I've been looking for examples of advertising and promo activities which have yielded good results for others, and I'm dipping my toe in.

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    1. Yep. Back when the internet was in its infancy, a colleague in the antiques business ventured that advertising on the internet was like paying for a cruise and while you were out in the ocean you put a note into a bottle, squeeze in a cork and throw it overboard. Perhaps the ticket is throw a shitload of metaphorical bottles out there?

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  4. I hear you. I also like to think of my writing as one of my day jobs, but all the domestic to-ing and fro-ing constantly get in my way. And I let it happen. What's the point of working for myself, working from home, if I'm as regimented as when I was a wage slave? The point is books, sales and making a living.
    Promo is hard, I want to write, not trumpet-blow. Is it better to write less and dedicate more time to promote? I do know of writers who take that decision, consciously, but I reckon I'd have to be a lot better at promo than I am to make that work.

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  5. I've tended to be a skeptic about marketing books, and to think that the best way to make money on books is to sell books about marketing books, but I don't really know enough about them to have an opinion. I just know that trying to find and read the good ones would mean that I'd spend even less time on actual writing than I do now. I lucked into having a publisher with an established reputation and distributorship, but that was then, and everything's different now, so I'm as much at sea as anyone, with the faint traces of having been published and distributed fading gradually away.

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  6. I am in the same boat. Selena Kitt (who runs the Erotic Readers and Writers Association now) seems to have faith in Twitter promo sites like Bookbub. I have clicked on several of those sites, and they promise to send news about your book to a zillion followers. I havent tried that yet, but it might be better than nothing.

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  7. I'm currently in the middle of a tweet-based campaign for my latest book, through a different company. This particular package worked wonders for my bestie and her MC erotic romance book. For me, for whatever reason, it's currently not working at all. It's tough to nail down the hows and whys. Mine is a different sub-genre (rom-com), and it's twice the length of hers. Timing could be part of it... her campaign started at least two weeks before mine, mine started right around a certain inauguration. Who knows? There's always the possibility my book is just sucky, or at least is in a genre not enough people read.

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  8. I love what you say about taking responsibility for how others are treating your work. I notice people have seized on marketing, but for me a great step is/has always been, "No I can't run that errand for you because, while I may be working for myself during that time, I'm still working." You're insightful to observe that thing about letting people treat you like your writing is a hobby. I've done that, too, and it's important to train them otherwise. I wonder if some of why I've done that is that I have my own fears and insecurities, and that dynamic plays into them.

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    1. Yep, it can be pretty damn scary to suddenly be all adult about your writing. Because if it doesn't end up fulfilling me in whatever way I need it to, then what the hell am I going to do with the rest of my life!!!!???? It's a big part of where procrastination can come from, and certainly I've allowed that fear to prevent me taking it as seriously as I need to.
      But, as marketing-fu remains elusive to me, all I can really control is what I write and the covers I make. I just need to keep producing in the hope of me striking gold, or lightning striking me.

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