Post Holiday Recovery

I am exhausted in every way a human being can be. The holiday rush, the familial blitz, our daughter’s first, true Christmas, starting book 2, promoting book 1, Xmas eve promotion, being a husband, my day job–I feel like my head is going to cave in. Somewhere in there add a zombie short story for an anthology submission and general cover thumbnails for the Sage and Jorah series. Pretty sure I had a similar list a few weeks back but even though I’ve knocked some things off it doesn’t even feel like I put a dent in it. But I must be doing something right, because I’ve nearly doubled the first month’s sales and the promo blew it out of the water. Maybe after New Years I’ll do another two day freebie. Which reminds me I have to get everything ready to submit the Creepers for amazon’s breakthrough novel contest. Yet, I’m still a good 50 copies off my goal for monthly sales. There is a lot of work left to do, and a few days left to tack on some more sales.

Being the everything guy is hard, I’m not going to lie, it’s time consuming, grinding, and you can’t lapse or else your rank is toast. I’ve been getting a lot of direct messages and emails about what can be done to sell books, or my rank has plummeted help? My answer is simple.

Wear many hats and take each position as serious as your writing. If you haven’t been serious about the previously mentioned you might as well pack it in. It all starts there.

1: Write a good book. Don’t go for the serial gimmick and drop .99cent turds into the indie bucket. If you’re thinking, if I sell x amount of copies at this royalty percent I can make a million bucks easy. News-fucking-flash nobody is buying a terribly written self-help or inspirational memoir, or even badly written erotica for that matter.

2: Dip your toes into the traditional channels for some honest, professional feedback. It’s worth it and it will only help your work in the long run.

3: Cover art, cover art cov–I think I’ve about beaten this horse beyond recognition but it’s worth mentioning again. Your cover is more important than the book itself. When I get these kinds of emails: my sales have tanked and my book isn’t selling what do I do? The first thing I do is pull up the link and look at the cover, before I even hit the reviews, and I always find the same mess that looks like it was made in mspaint with a .gov public domain photo and times new font with no fx.

A few notes about cover resources. First, if you have no skill, but want a nice cover you can get one for around 200-300. A nice basic cover, which is already leaps and bounds over the shitty meme quality one I’m currently looking at, will add to your rank simply by drawing the eye. Check out createspace for some options and ideas, but if you live near an art school see if you can nab one for even less. Fonts can be purchased relatively cheap, and in some cases, if you’re doing your own indie publishing, they’re free. Check out blambot for some really eye catching ones. For photos check out shutter stock. You can buy usage rights for up to 250k copies for under twenty bucks. Less than ten copies sold and it pays for itself. If you need more detail or guidance drop me a line and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

4: Think about doing a paperback version. Not everyone has a kindle or nook. Plus it gives you expanded distribution options which help with exposure.

5: Exposure is key. Tell everyone, think about strategic advertising. But don’t do it all at once. Pick a site or publication, time it according to your reader base, then monitor it to see how successful it was. Start thinking about review copies and who you might send them to and be prepared for an honest review. I am almost at that stage now. Waiting for the writer copies to come in the mail.

And don’t forget to proofread. More than once and then again…

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