This is a tough question to answer. In the beginning of one’s writing career, it is often normal to suppose, “Oh, writing the entire novel and prepping it for publishing is the hard part.” FALSE. Marketing and waiting on sales is the hard part. TRUST me.
My book has been published just a little over a month now and though I’ve been pleased with my sales so far, it is still tough to sit and wait on people to take a chance on Night Bells. All these crazy questions will run through your mind like, “Is my cover art super bad? Is THAT why people aren’t buying?” or “Is it priced too high?”
While these are normal questions, at some point you must be confident in your novel, your decisions, and your ability to market the book. If you need some marketing tips, this is a good post to check out. SO! In the time you’re waiting on sales (assuming you are committing a portion of each workday to marketing already), what can you busy yourself with?
>> WRITE THE NEXT BOOK! This is imperative. You should be writing everyday -regardless if you’re in the publishing process or not. While you are waiting on sales for your currently published title, you must absolutely be working on at least one story if not more. The key to success as an indie author is to have multiple titles available to your target readers. Having trouble concentrating on your writing when there is so much marketing to be done? Unplug. Go write on the couch with a bit of good music, your favorite pen, and a sturdy notebook.
>> READ IN YOUR FREE TIME! Not all your free time, of course, but when you have a half hour to kill, pull out a book that you love and dive in. Writers who make reading a priority in their lives will be better authors and storytellers, trust me. Reading should be enjoyable to you, but as a writer, it’s part of your JOB.
>> SUPPORT OTHER AUTHORS! Follow your fellow indies and traditional peeps on Twitter and Facebook! Join in conversations about books and review them on websites! It helps you to spread the love and perhaps someone will check out your stuff in the process! We are all in this together. While you’re waiting on personal gain, go out there and be generous with your own time and money.
>> LEARN FROM THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE! Check out amazing authors like Lindsay Buroker, Daniel Arenson, and J.A. Konrath. These folks have seriously awesome websites with tons of great articles on marketing and book selling tips. As well, they have great advice about writing which is what you need to focus on, even in this crazy “waiting for sales” time.
>> BE ACTIVE AND CONSIDERATE ONLINE! Don’t constantly spam people to buy your book. Instead, be a contributing member of great online places like Twitter and Goodreads! Make connections and form friendships! Comment on other writing and reading blogs! If you join in the fun on these other sites (without whining, “Buy my book! Buy my book!“) maybe someone will check you out. Even if they don’t, you are enjoying yourself, right?
Hope these tips can calm some of your sales anxiety. It’s hard. Believe me, I need these tips myself! It is a long, uphill climb to the place you need to be with your sales numbers, but with time, diligence, good marketing, and a positive attitude, you’ll get there! We all will!