The Indie Thing: time for some reflection

So I just discovered (being really slow) that I can check my sales for NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD on Amazon without having to try to make sense of Amazon rankings*. I’m not going to go into numbers and money because A) numbers and money confuse me and B) numbers and money are boring (Although I will say my current earnings for NIGHT AND CHAOS are equal to my last quarter royalties for AFTERLIFE, which tells you we’re not talking much here). But although I will say my sales are … not great … they are increasing. Let’s see. NIGHT AND CHAOS has been out in the wild since January 20th, so just over a month. Looking at my sales for that time, there’s a definite, slow, increase week-by-week. There’s been a few really great reviews, but there’s no way to tell if there’s any correlation between reviews and sales.

I’ve dropped mentions of NIGHT AND CHAOS where appropriate on the Amazon forums, but as I’ve already said, I don’t think this is particularly effective, since the only other people visiting such forums are other indie authors promoting their own work. I’ve given up on Kindleboards. The place scares me, frankly. I know I should make more of an effort, but I can’t be bothered learning the rules of engagement, what I can and can’t say, etc. I don’t really like forums, to be honest. They’re always in danger of exploding into vitriol and Godwin’s Law over nothing and they can be very cliquey.

Anyway, basically what I want to do now is spread the word further and see if I can boost my sales further at the same time. Because, you know, I want to do this full-time one day, so I’m not even going to pretend I don’t want to make money here. (At the same time I still feel weird about asking people to spend money on my books, because what right do I have to tell you what to buy? I need to overcome this. Help me, please!).

First step: new cover. I always knew my own artistic efforts fell way short of “good” and the current cover for NIGHT AND CHAOS was only ever supposed to be a temporary solution until I found a decent artist. And I have! We exchanged some emails on Monday and he claims to be working on the cover right now… Since he will probably be over at my house this weekend to watch UFC and play boardgames, I can actually, you know, nag him about that.

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but that strikes me as an impossible ask, especially online. Covers are the first thing you see, and if the cover doesn’t make you want to look further, you’re screwed. When my writers’ group used to meet in Borders (before they turned it into a TK Maxx and I cried), we made a game of finding the worst covers we could and mocking them. Guys, I don’t want people to mock my book because the cover is crappy. Therefore I do not want crappy covers.

The next step is to get Blood and Bones and Wild ready to go. The more books are out there with my name on, the better, I feel. Progress on both has been slow lately, but that’s been unavoidable thanks to Real Life Stuff. I’ve got a busy weekend coming up thanks to More Real Life Stuff, but the slushpile for Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell is currently empty, so that will free up a lot of time for writing. Yay! I’m planning to start the next Urban Wolf book in May, so I’ve got three months in which my writing time is just mine, and I’m going to use that time to try to build as much momentum as possible.

*Amazon rankings, as far as I can tell, are nothing more than an arcane device intended to trigger mass confusion and wild mood swings.

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About naomijay

Writer, philosopher, secret ninja
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