What a ride – a day in the life of a newbie indie author.

Holy crap! Not terribly eloquent I realise, but that just about sums ups my Tuesday. Firstly, I had no idea that it was free book day on Kindle. My readers, Paris Lovers (the followers on my Facebook page – search @Paristimetravel) and my lovely supportive friends and fam were just there for me. Possibly if I had done a little more research, I might have chosen a different day but what’s done is done. It’s not like I have a time portal in my basement

It was exciting, seeing the downloads of my ebook tick over. I managed to achieve a highest ranking of #3,785 out of more than 1,000,000 books on Amazon. Are you kidding me? I am happy with that!

Things were looking pretty dire before did the giveaway, but yep, you guessed it, byt the next morning I had dropped back about 150,000 spots! Que sera,sera.

Then I discovered that due to some kind of glitch, some of my customers were receiving the old file and some were receiving the shiny new file. Argh. I am still talking to Amazon about this and hope it will be resolved ASAP. Oh the joys of self-publishing. Is it okay if I say at about 6pm I was saying “I’m over it, I give up, this is stupid…” Hubby talked me down off the ledge and I put my big girl pants on and dealt with it.

What have a learnt from the whole process?

  1. I am still as obsessed with rankings and being rated as I was in primary school. I have been spending far too much time marketing and far too little time actually writing.
  2. Writing books is hard, marketing is harder, ‘Sales’ is the hardest of all. My hubby used to sell much of the hand-made giftware I sold in Cairns. He was once-removed so he could be all proud and say ‘Oh yes, my wife makes this.’ It’s hard to sell stuff when you’re the one saying ‘Oh yes, this is a great book, I wrote it, give me money.’ Well, I didn’t learn that this time around, just further cemented it into my brain.
  3. Dealing with a behemoth like Amazon can be great, then frustrating, then disappointing, then okay, then rubbish, not necessarily in that order and not strictly one emotion at a time. I’d only been singing their praises the previous day. It is easy, it’s cheap; you get what you pay for!
  4. Identifying exactly what success looks like as a creator is crucial. Once again, not strictly “learned” this time, but just another lesson in that area. What did I want from the giveaway? What do I want from writing? I got my sales rank up. So what? I am happy if people are reading my book and enjoying it. Next… End of story, so to speak. Or is it? Because if I’m honest, I’ll say I want to have a readership, an audience and maybe even make some dough, maybe be invited to a writer’s festival one day, in Paris…

What now? I was so thrown by the whole stupid thing that I didn’t post my blog last night. The rollercoaster ended and I plonked on the couch and watched the Block (a home reno show.) Hubby offered to buy me chocolate but I declined. Then this morning I formulated a plan because that’s how I roll. I want to take indie to a whole new level (for me) and work towards selling my books right here on the old website, driving traffic to my site and building my audience, not Amazon’s or whoever. Write more, pitch, query and maybe even enter some competitions. If I am here to write, why on earth am I searching for validation in sales? I am sure I am not alone in this area. My word for the year was focus and I lost my focus. I saw a bright shiny thing and got distracted. Damn squirrel brain. Focus, Christine, Focus.

Having said that, there’s nothing quite like seeing your words in print!


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