I want to begin by thanking Natasha Larry for inviting me to guest blog on Paranormal Wire. I’m very fond of this site and very honored to be asked to write for it. My blog today is talking about the reality of what we fiction writers believe or pray isn’t true.
Attention all indie fiction authors in the room, if you would please raise your hands so we can take this very small moment to recognize you’re here. Sorry I can’t see all of you as there are some mainstream writer’s sitting in front of you blocking my view. Raise your hands a little higher if you wouldn’t mind. Oh yes hello Mr. Five Kindle sales for the month of March. How are sales going for April Mr. Five? Oh nothing so far? Wow that’s not good. Oh Mr. Five I meant to ask you where is your best friend Mr. Three? You were sitting next to each other at last month’s meeting. You’re not friends anymore? Why is that? He’s now Mr. seventy-five? How do you think that happened? Is it because he’s a better writer? He has more friends on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and a book cover with a hot babe on it? Is he better looking than you are? Whatever it is, it just isn’t fair.
Okay so how many of us fall into this trap of self-abuse? Do you imagine everyone is selling more books than you are? Living a far more interesting life than you. What’s their secret? Are they just popular people to begin with? Because only good things happen to the pretty people, right? Wrong! I know, their book sales are sky rocketing because they did a deal with devil.
There is no rhyme or reason why some books with lousy covers make huge sales over books with gorgeous covers. Then you have some books that loaded with bad grammar and offend the English language so much you can barely get through it, but they sell books like mad. It doesn’t make sense in fact for some of us it tortures us. You will drive yourself crazy if you think there is a magic formula for becoming the next super author.
It’s kind of like being in a casino. How often have you spent hours at a slot machine and everywhere around you, the sounds of slot machine bells keep going off. People are winning all over the place, but not you. You tell yourself if I keep chasing the bells this has to pay off eventually. You run from this machine to that machine until you’re out of money and you go home angry and hurt you spent it all trying to get something for nothing. If you do win you’re not really winning you’re usually just getting back what you put in earlier. So how is this like writing? Because we all judge winning differently. Some of us are really excited about the process of slowly building a following and seeing our sales increase gradually. So getting five sales this month is five more than I had last month. Others view it as a personal insult and become beaten down so quickly they give up too soon.
All of us would love to do this for a living and get movie deals and hang out with Johnny Depp, but how many of us are truly willing to fight for it and not give up. That’s why there is only a tiny percent of huge movie stars, NY Times Bestsellers. Because they didn’t give up when they were Mr. Five sales. I have had my share of rejection letters. Hang on to those babies. They are your medals for the battles you’ve gone through.
You want me to read your book? You want me to know your name? Then you need to find out if I read books you write. Don’t send me something about sports, or how to be a vegan. I’m not interested in those subjects. I like ghost stories, true crime, and really good scary stories. I’m kinda worn out on the whole vampire/werewolf thing, so stick with a good serial killer.
Basically what I’m saying gang is make sure you’re preaching to the right choir and be professional always. No matter how much someone else pisses you off, let it go, be nice, we live in a time where your career can end based on as little as 140 characters and you want to do this for the rest of your life, so remember when your mom said, if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all. Big mouths and offenders usually end up ruining their own careers, they don’t need your help.
If sales are slumping, ask yourself what more could I be doing to improve this instead of feeling defeated and saying, no one wants my book. Network; pay it forward, because this is a gamble worth waiting for the jackpot.