July 2023 blog post about writing and selling
I’ve started this a little late; it’s a week into August already, but why worry? Fortunately for me, deadlines don’t matter because I’m not one of those writers who are plagued by having to finish a manuscript by a certain date. This year I promised to write five Emma Carney Romance novels, and have completed three, but boy, am I struggling with number 4. I have started the book and am about 15000 words in, but it’s pulling me into a different direction. So far I have only just hinted at a romance between two of the characters, one of whom has barely featured in the book. I’ve no doubt I will complete the book, but will it have any merit? We’ll see.
Looking back over the last month, I’ve done a lot in the garden, what with turning it into a low maintenance garden. I’ve managed to get through, probably, 70% of the project. I expect to have it finished by the end of the year, but for now it’s on hold because of my August plans. Another project, for want of a better word, was an advertising campaign on Amazon. Now I’ve admitted many times that I’m absolutely useless when it comes to promotion and marketing, and once again I have proved myself to be right. I launched six campaigns on Amazon for the whole of July for my three Emily Carney Romances. My daily budget for each campaign was $10 (no, there’s no way I could afford that, but I know Amazon). Having sold no books, I received my final invoice from them for just over $6.00. Makes you weep, eh? If I’d done that on Facebook, I have sold maybe one or two but would have been wiped out budget-wise to the tune of about $150. And the campaign would never have lasted the month.
It's obvious that I need a professional to do the job for me, but that needs careful thought. I often get emails for marketeers telling me they have a plan on which they can put my book in front of umpteen thousand readers on different social media platforms etc., etc. The wording of these emails is usually identical, which suggests they have all studied at the same on-line marketing school. I’ve tried them before and have even tried Fiverr.com. (‘Nuff said!’). But I received an email which was completely different in it’s approach and even invited questions by return to the author of the email. The Company is BeBookSharp. They explained their plans, how much and exactly what they do. I wrote back and asked several questions, all of which were answered within a couple of days. Now, I have a thriller, The Devil’s Trinity, which has been selling every month on Kobo through the aggregator, D2D. This book has averaged about six or seven every month. Not many you might say, but this had been going on for almost twelve months. I don’t advertise it at all. So I thought, why not? I then decided to go with BBS and opted for their middle plan (price around $525) to promote the book. The plan has started rolling but nothing is likely to happen for a few weeks now. I know that if this doesn’t come off, I’ll give up altogether.
I had a lady come round to my house to talk about writing a book a few weeks ago. She’d bought three of my books at our local ‘Fun Day’ here on the Estate. I had a table (sold 24 books). She asked about tuition. I told her I don’t teach writing but I would advise on how to turn a Word doc into a paperback and an eBook. It was interesting couple of hours listening to how she wanted to write a novel, probably a romance, and thought she might be able to use her own life story. She said she was reluctant to write an autobiography, so I suggested she hid herself in a fictional character as well as all the other protagonists in her life. Whether she’ll do it or not, only time will tell. I hope so.
The rest of my daily routines have been about domesticity and hobbies plus missing my lovely Pat every day. I’m slowly improving my piano playing skills. I will never achieve the competence I would like, but at least I can knock out a tune.
That’s it then. I have a busy August coming up, which I hope to tell you about next month. As for my book, The Devil’s Trinity, all I can say is: wish me luck!