Friday, October 12, 2018

Writerly Depression

Always on the lookout for ways to boost sales, I read Amazon Decoded by David Gaughran this week.  If you're not familiar with Gaughran, he also wrote Let's Get Digital and Let's Get Visible - two books that were instrumental in my self-publishing decisions early on. 

Now, you can only get Amazon Decoded if you subscribe to his newsletter, but the newsletter is chock full of useful into, so it's a good idea anyway.  Plus you get this book.  I reviewed it on Goodreads.  If you're interested in that, you can see the review over there or you can wait and see it on my Reading Update over on The Writing Spectacle tomorrow.

It's a good book.  It was also depressing as hell for me.  Because I am not anywhere near where I want to be.  He's talking about sales way above anything I've ever gotten.  And ranks I don't know if I will ever hit.  And he's talking about them as if they were old hat.  Not for me, man. 

He's also talking about ads I am not in a position to pay for.  I mean, you gotta spend money to make money.  But you gotta HAVE money to spend money to make money.  Know what I mean?

I don't even want to think about how many spreadsheets I have to do to scrape together $500 for an ad.  One ad.  That may or may not pay for itself?  Ugh.  Not happening any time soon.

Still, the book gave me some ideas.  I'll give them a try and see how things go.  Maybe I'll be better prepared with Unequal launches in... well, whenever it launches later this year. 

I do have an ad going live today with Authors' Billboard.  I have low expectations.  But it's a $6 ad, so maybe I can break even.  Fingers crossed.

On a side note, I saw an author complaining that they only got 50 sales on launch day for their new book.  I kinda hated them a little right then.  Then I hated myself a little because I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  What can I say, it's been a week for the writerly depression to rear its ugly head.  Which is why I've been spending a lot of time in the gardens instead of at the keyboard.


  1. *HUGE HUGS* I do know how you are feeling. It's a vicious circle, and then you add in the scammers, etc. and I just want to...well, you know. I'm a terrible salesperson. I could hire someone to do that for me but like you, $$. Sadly, it's not just us writers. LG is going through much the same type of depression with his profession. He even mentioned shutting down his practice and taking over "author assistant" type duties and sales stuff so I can be more creative. The problem with that is we couldn't survive on his VA and what I bring in monthly. Freaking vicious circle.

    Keep writing. I love your stuff. I talk it up where and when I can. I have to believe that you and I will both find the "magic formula" that takes us to the next level! In the meantime, just keep truckin' on. That's all we can do.

    1. :huge hugs back: I'm sorry you're in a similar place. And so is LG. It's weird that even though the economy is doing so well, we're still scraping the bottom. Yeah, it is a vicious cycle. And we're in the same boat headed down the same vortex. Blerg.

      I'll probably keep writing. I can't see myself stopping. What I see myself stopping is having any expectations of breaking out with any of my books. People still read them. Readers seem to like them. That has to be enough. Thank you for talking up my books and being so supportive all the time. And I'll do the same for you. :more hugs:

  2. I'm not even trying to sell a book (yet) and I'm depressed reading this. I love the process of figuring out how to tell a complicated story. I can see and hear my characters in my head, and it's fun to try to capture that in words. One of my buddies (Jayne Barnard) is currently selling her most recent work, and I've attended a signing and book launch to take photos of her. I'm not sure I could do that, the sitting there waiting for potential readers to buy a book so I could sign it. Trying to figure out ads and build a social media presence is a brutal experience in the face of all the other people trying to do the same thing, plus everything else in the digital world. I mean, really, cat videos, how can a beginning author compete with that?

    1. Sorry about depressing you, Keith. Totally not my intention to add to others' depression. Just getting my own out. Keep writing your stories. Who knows, one of them could be the one that breaks out. My saga might not be yours.

  3. It depressed me, too. I can't begin to do most of the stuff he so blithely recommends.

    I got partway through his newsletter for today and had to set it aside for later. I am soooo not coping. Blame it on the tail-end of my cold. ;-)

    1. Well, at least I wasn't the only one, Deb. :hugs:

      Yeah, the newsletter is still sitting in my inbox. I started to read it, felt like he was targeting me (when I know he wasn't) and set it aside for later. How much later? :shrug: Heh, if it's your cold, what's my excuse? ;o)