What’s the easiest way to sell your book? Write more books. New material will always promote the backlist. I’ve even read arguments against utilizing any other form of promotion before you manage to put at least 5 things out on the market. I happen to disagree with that notion, but the point can’t be ignored. Being prolific pays off.
It’s for this reason that I always find it so surprising when authors simply give up on their self-publishing ventures after the limited success of only one novel. Enter the One and Done Conundrum (because that’s just fun to say).
We are coming up quickly on the one week mark since the release of Samara’s Song, and guys – I get it.
I’d be lying if I said the thought of “taking a break” didn’t pass through my head. In fact it did, as I spent the past two days lost in hours worth of Civ V, happily letting my creativity atrophy during a gaming binge.
I’ve been able to breakdown my hesitance into the following three lines of thought:
- My expectations were too high. Pff, yeah they were. We both know they were. As writers we get this naive, egotistic thought in our head that if we just get our work out there, it’ll sell like hotcakes. It’s easy to get sucked in by the success of the 1% and feel like a miserable failure in comparison. In two and a half days of paid sales, I’ve moved 6 copies of my first book. Why on Earth am I shaming myself about that? That’s awesome!
- I’ve already wasted a significant monetary investment in this thing. When you look at the numbers, it’s discouraging initially. A $300 investment with a $5 return? Yeah. The thought of setting out to invest more in a sequel seems a little questionable. But the fact of the matter is that the book is out there. It’s done. Passive income forever. Returns may be slow, but they will come eventually and once the investment is met, it’s all pure profit – or rather capital to reinvest in more books. (Help. I’m trapped.)
- The thought of writing another book is exhausting. Physically and emotionally. I’ve already put so much energy into the first piece and I got very little in return. So sure, let me bleed all over my laptop again for just the same. It only hurts a little. I had to give myself a few days to breathe before even thinking about the project again. Does the idea still exhaust me? Hell yes. But it also excites me. Cue high expectations and starting this whole business over again.
Despite the slightly pessimistic tone, I am actually satisfied with the progress of this journey thus far, and rest assured I have no intention of joining the mountain of One Hit Non-Wonders overflowing on the Amazon market.
2 thoughts on “The One and Done Conundrum”
It’s overused, but the phrase, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” still holds true. It took me 5 years to finish my first novel. 2.5 to finish its sequel. In between, I wrote my first YA book in 6 months. I still have to write book #3, but haven’t even started as I have no idea how to wrap up the trilogy. Plus, I’m releasing that Ya novel soon, which is very distracting. It becomes a bit like whack-a-mole when you have multiple projects going and sometimes you just want to put the hammer down. Not recommended. Pick the hammer up and keep whacking away. The more books you have, the easier all of it is. 🙂
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I love the analogy! I tell ya what, feels like playing whack-a-mole just trying to juggle writing and promotion at the same time. I can’t even imagine taking on multiple projects (though I have allowed myself to get distracted outlining an entirely separate series, which has been shelved for a hot second). Goodness what awesome accomplishments though!
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