Last week, I was reading an article by a successful author who began as an independent and then soared to the best seller list. She advised starting with friends and family and attributes that to her overall success. Her friends and family attended events, spread the word, read the book and posted reviews. Another article I read on marketing confirms this is the best route. Always one to follow good advice, I contacted everyone I knew through facebook and through e mail and put the word out.
I asked for my personal community to share my posts, to write reviews and to talk about the storyline to book enthusiasts. My social circle is small but I presumed it was mighty. Why wouldn’t, this small group of people, I personally know support this effort.
This is the same group who tell me how inspiring it is that I have risen above adversity. The group who says they are happy to help. The group who tells me how exciting it is that I got these books published against all odds.
A couple of months ago, I blocked everyone who chose not to support me so they would not have to see my posts. I assumed at this point, this group was annoyed with my excitement and with my marketing. This assumption was made because my posts were not shared and not even liked.
When Chance Chasers was published on Thanksgiving 2015, it went by without notice. Not even “Wow that’s great. How did you manage to publish two books on your own in one year with all the challenges you are facing.”
These challenges have now been poured into Challenge Chasers. I plan to release the final book of The Chubby Trilogy on April 20th. There will be the same ten people supporting me who have been my anchor throughout this process. If not for that group, this newest work would not have seen print.
I feel like I owe it to those who identified with Carrolyyn and who followed the drama over this past year to give them closure. Due to the failure of Chance Chasers, I did not want to write this book. As with most endeavors, I didn’t do it for myself. Those ten people who fell in love with Carrolyyn and her quirkiness have pushed me to finish this up.
Chubby Chasers had to come out. The story was inside me and I could not rest until I wrote and published the story. In a way, it was like giving birth to Carrolyyn. In regard to Chance Chasers, I took a chance. It was like buying a lottery ticket except this was an expensive gamble. Challenge Chasers is indeed a challenge to keep going even after the experience with Chance Chasers.
Last week, I created a contest to inspire new readers to get acquainted with Carrolyyn. This is a contest to guess the end of The Chubby Trilogy. Obviously, you have to read the first two books to have a chance but since no one has entered as of today, your chances to win $100 is pretty easy. If you couple that with the free e book promotion that starts on 3/15, grabbing the cash is even more accessible.
Seeing the family and friends (except for the wonderful 10) don’t read or pay attention to any of my posts or blogs, I don’t really foresee this piece making a difference. What it will do is prepare me for the lack of interest on April 20th.
It’s not that the work is not interesting. Those who read the books love the characters, the plots, the bizarre subject matter and the way I weave emotion into each paragraph.
My biggest fans (other than the wonderful 10) are those who don’t know me. There is no obligation attached. The people that know me somehow feel obligated to pick up a book so therefore that task goes on the I’ll do it later list.
I also have one of those lists. It’s a long narrative of things I feel I should do like taking my mom to Walmart in the rain. If I could have put that off, I surely would have.
My 2015 1099 from Amazon showed I made $59.00. That royalty is from all three books. Imagine going to work everyday and coming home with a $1 paycheck. It’s disheartening to say the least. But still I go to that place everyday.
I keep writing, I keep promoting, I dig for new ideas. I figure out applications and keys to promotion. Every day, I push knowing the only way my support network will change is if my work takes off. Then the network will grow. The posts will be shared and the group will say, “I knew her when.”
Then my ultimate joy will come to fruition. It’s not your dollars spent on my efforts. It’s not your time spent on reviews. What satisfies me deep in my soul is my group talking to me about my work rather than avoiding it like a chore. When someone talks to me about Carrolyyn, Derq, JJ Mack and The Fastest Trim Down. I feel so alive and vibrant. I love to talk about The Chubby Trilogy so of course I would love to talk about it to my friends and family, the people that matter the most.
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