I published my second novel and…
Hi, my name is Andy. It has been 21 days since I published my second novel. There are a few learnings in the process of writing and self-publishing two books.
- Almost nobody cares that you write. Besides the nearly obligatory care that friends and family provide, most people have trouble proofreading their own emails much less a 70k word novel. You need to learn to sell your work, otherwise, all your work will be for your own satisfaction and disappointment.
- Writing is easy, selling is hard. While most writers like myself fret over every little word that goes into their work, it’s not the writing itself that is the most difficult. Creating a business system to support your writing habit is much more important than the removal of every single adverb.
- The moment you put yourself out there as a writer everyone has a system for you. Almost everything to help you sell books is a bunch of woo-woo nonsense. There are very few companies or individuals that are actually selling a process to help you. Key tip: if they can’t divulge the entirety of what they are selling before you commit, it’s likely a bunch of woo-woo crap. I feel quite lucky in the guy I found to help. Email me, we can discuss.
- Test, patience, pivot, test, patience, pivot, repeat. Finding an audience takes time, money, and most of all… unbelievable levels of patience. My second novel is really good. It’s way better than my first because, well my first was my first! Yet, here I am 21 days later, watching my lack of sales production and wondering what I did wrong. Well, for starters, I spent my entire holiday updating my manuscript based on my editor’s notes. Then I published it on new year’s day. Nuts, I know. At any rate, it’s been almost a month. Things should start working right? Yes, they will work, they are working, and I just need more patience. My direct-to-sales ad (not to be confused with direct to Amazon) is converting to my cart at 10%. I have more tweaks to do on the abandoned cart issue, but I’m almost there :)
- Tools are friends, not crutches. Grammarly is a good start, AutoCrit is amazing, Pubby.co is a necessity. When I sent my first book to my editor (Susan, found through Upwork) she taught me about my addiction to telling vs. showing and Stephen King’s quote about adverbs. I used the search function in Word to eliminate several words I was using repetitively, then I found AutoCrit. It’s an amazing program for writers to diagnose writing. Post-publication of my first book I found Pubby.co It’s basically an author review exchange. You read mine and review it, and I’ll read yours and review it on Amazon. Pubby follows all of Amazon’s rules for reviews and allows unknowns like me to work with other authors to get a stable of reviews up and running quickly (because zero reviews = zero sales).
That’s it for now folks. Happy selling!