My name is Andrew Joyce, and I write books. I have no day job; my books sell well enough to keep body and soul together. The same for my dog. I mean the royalties frommy sales help keep his body and soul together also, not that he writes books. He only writes short stories, but hasn’t sold any as of yet.
Nancy has been kind enough to allow me a little space to vent and/or rant. Take your pick. I’m an old man, and if I didn’t live on a boat, I’d be the guy out there shaking my fist and yelling at the neighborhood youngsters to “Get off my lawn you damn kids!”
My rant today will be about what I dislike about writing and some assorted tangential matters. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like to write, and to a lesser extent, I don’t mind editing as much as I used to. As I see things in this new and scary age, there are three essential aspects to writing:
- The writing itself
- The editing
- The marketing
Today, I’m going to bitch about the marketing.
I know you’ve all heard this before, but I’m gonna say it anyway. The prevailing wisdom is that you have to be on Twitter, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram to name just a few. I know I’m showing my age, but WTF! (At least I know that acronym.)
If I’m posting on all those sites, then I’m not writing. How many times can I tweet that I’m a genius and that you should buy my books? And what else is there to tweet? Who cares what I had for breakfast. And I really don’t care what is “trending” and couldn’t care less about commenting on it. The same goes for the rest of those social media sites. I told you I was old!
I’ve given up on trying to sell books on social media. Instead, what I do is beg book bloggers for reviews. And believe me, it ain’t easy. For my last book,REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, I had to go through a list of 3,500 bloggers. After visiting each blog individually (3,500!!!) to read their review policies, I found 300 that would maybe give me a review. Thirty responded, and I got thirty reviews. It only took two months of eight to ten hour days. But it worked! Sales were good because of the exposure I received from those initial reviews, and the book—two years later—is averaging 4.5 stars out of 300 reviews(132 on Amazon).
I’ve also tried advertising on various blogs. Some work and some don’t. Do your research and find out from other authors what worked for them. I could tell you what worked for me, but I won’t because I’m a mean old man. Alright . . . I’ll tell you about one of them because you asked so nicely.
BookBub is great. I sold almost 10,000 copies of my last book by using them. However, they are expensive. If you discount your book to $0.99 it will cost you around $500.00. A little less if you give it away for free. But . . . and there is always a BUT . . . the days of getting traction by giving your book away for free are long over. Once again do your research. Also, they only take 20% of the books submitted. You better be well edited, have a great cover and some five star reviews under your belt before applying to them.
In conclusion, all I’m saying is that the most difficult part of writing nowadays is the marketing (at least for me). But it has to be done. Even established authors with traditional publishers have to go out and market their books. No one can do it for you. I can’t wait to sit down at the computer and bang out my next book. I already have half of it written in my head.
Now you crazy kids, get off my lawn, go out and buy MOLLY LEE and give me an honest review!