I have two complete Fantasy novels in the wings, and I doing some thinking as to when to release them. This June/July, I’ll be releasing two novellas, which will hopefully give my sales a boost. Right now, I’m usually selling between 9 and 17 books a day, which still isn’t enough to make a living on, but sales are slowly increasing. I sell mostly in the double digits these days… and it’s month seven. And most of those sale are from “The Bear That Fell From The Stars” (156 at this point).
I’m no longer submitting my books to reviewers to “get the word out.” Why have I stopped? Because, there are too few reviewers, and there are simply too many eBooks wanting reviews. Red adept, a popular site that does reviews, just informed the public that they are swamped with request for book reviews, and won’t be accepting any more until further notice. SFBook Reviews ( http://sfbook.com/the-troll-hunter.htm) where I got my only review from an independent reviewer, has also informed me of their backload. With so many books for them to read, it would take months to actually get a review up on line anyway.
So the way of reviews to “get the word out” has temporarily been saturated. I don’t think this is going to lessen. I think this is going to get worse as more and more people release their eBooks and approach these guys for reviews. Twitter? I use it sparingly now. I don’t think it’s a very effective tool as there are rules to observe when tweeting. I got the feeling that my tweets were just being lost amongst all the other tweets promoting their work.
Some writers advocate participating on social boards to gain readers–“to get to know your readers” first to boost sales. I participate on Kindleboards, and while it is a valuable place for writers to gather and share information and thoughts on matters of writing, I’m not one to stay there for a long while. For one, it takes up time that could be used better (i.e. writing the next book or going over second drafts) and I’m starting to form the opinion that focusing one’s energy in one place, as a means of advertising, is probably not wise either.
So, how will I promote myself? By getting out the next book. Like I mentioned earlier, I have two coming out soon. I potentially have two more coming out this summer. I say potentially because I have to pay for the editing on these. My beta readers are wonderful folks, but that last polish done by a legitimate copy editor is needed. That needed edit costs money, and depending on the size of the project, it could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand.
That’s the problem I have now. I’m electing to promote myself by getting more books out there, and each book costs cash. The two books I have waiting, well, I can pay for their editing by dipping into my savings, and hoping that the investment pays off sooner rather than later. Now, if I had cash to spare, I could pay websites for banners and advertise my work–that might work. But after thinking about it, if a person buys one of my books, likes it, then that person will probably try something else by me. If I have another book there, that’s great. If I don’t (because I spent the money advertising the first book and not on editing the second) then the reader will go looking for something else.
It’s come down to a question of cash now–I’m producing the material faster than I can afford to get it ready for readers. I’m for having that next book out there,. so, I’m trying to come up with the funds to get the next books out there. I’m still doing okay financially–rent and food has been paid up until March–so I’m fine in that respect. Not much spending money per se (especially when you have editing to pay for), but that’s fine too. I can concentrate on my work. I’ve said it many times before, August is right around the corner, and if sales continue to improve–as they have been–then I can probably make it to Christmas, and then March. And then… hopefully, beyond.
This is still the year where I either become a full-time writer… or I don’t.