It’s been about two and a half months since I released my book, Dark Was the Night, on ebook and printed formats. I’ve submitted my novel for several reviews, and they have been good. I’ve been posting ads on Amazon, Bookbub, BookLife, and Publisher’s Weekly, which have resulted in precisely one sale. I’ve promoted my book on Facebook, Instagram, and my website. I’ve opened a Twitter account just to have another platform where to promote the darn thing. I’ve even had a book trailer made, which has garnered maybe 30 views. Granted, I’ve yet to promote it on YouTube, but still.
And what have all those efforts yielded? How many book sales to my name? Well, let’s do the math, shall we?
Twenty-one books (a mix of ebooks and printed books) sold on Amazon, and seven of those I bought.
Two ebooks sold on Kobo. I bought one, and my best friend bought the other.
Two printed books sold on Barnes & Noble, bought by yours truly.
And who the hell knows what’s happening in Google Play.
Right now, I’m scouting bookstores in my city that would be willing to display my self-published book. I sent emails to 15 of them. Two replied. One to tell me they don’t care about indie authors. The other said they liked to help local authors, but self-published books don’t get prime real estate in his bookstore. Hey, I’m not picky. At this point, any real estate will do!
Next week, I will physically present myself with my book to the other 13 places that didn’t bother to answer me because that’s what you do, right? You keep trying, and you keep pushing. But this is a full-time job, people. One I have been doing since my book came out on October first between the hours of midnight and 3:00 a.m., sometimes 4:00 a.m.
I’m exhausted and overwhelmed at the amount of work this is turning out to be. And if I’m being sincere, disappointed at the little results I am getting.
There are piles of laundry in every room of my house. I’ve been ordering take-out three times a week for several weeks now. I feel like I am neglecting my family, and the guilt is eating me raw.
But then I remind myself that many authors started out this way, and then one day, they hit gold. It’s a long shot. I know. But it’s what keeps me going.
I will not sit here and pretend that I write just for the sake of writing. That what matters is the story. If the only thing that mattered was the story, I would keep a journal and keep my personal essays to myself. I want to make something out of this. Otherwise, I would not be here blogging in the middle of the freaking night to the ten people who were gracious enough to follow a nobody like me.
Having said all this, I am well aware that the odds of my book not being forgotten in the dark corners of the self-publishing world are stacked against me. Yet, every time I look at my name in print on the spine of my book, I smile. I wrote a book and published it! How many people can say that?
It turns out, a lot of people can say that! According to Amazon, around one million individuals can proclaim the same thing each and every year.
Check your ego at the door of the book publishing business and grab a number. You’ll be waiting longer than Beetlejuice in the Neitherworld Waiting Room before your number comes up.