Twenty-one days ago, I launched a Pubslush campaign — basically part pre-order, part crowd-funding — to promote and raise money to further promote my new book, Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two. Now I am officially mid-way through the campaign, and I would like to share with you – especially you writers looking to indie publish — a reality check.
I have posted all over Facebook.
I have mailed out postcards to over fifty people, with the idea that they would pass them on — big thank you to all who did. This was my attempt at viral marketing. I handed out prizes.
I’ve been guest posting excerpts from the book.
I’ve been tweeting and re-tweeting.
I’ve given advance reading copies to people.
I’ve done interviews — and I’ve interviewed others. I’ve tirelessly promoted the work of others at every opportunity — and guess what? Those people, in return, have done the same for me, because that’s what people do — they reciprocate, and I’ve been very lucky to be in the company of some wonderful people.
I’ve got one wonderful sparkly person in particular that is in danger of having people think she’s stalking me. I’m not saying who, but her name rhymes with Lizzi.
I’ve reached out to people whose blogs might not necessarily be in my immediate circle and have had some luck getting them to agree to host a guest post in order to try to get exposure to a new audience.
Before it all began, fearing that my secret identity had become something off-putting, I revealed the truth to the blogosphere, with positive response.
I have people writing reviews, and more excerpt posts planned.
So, now I’m at the half-way point. Twenty-one days in; twenty-one to go.
So, what are the results so far for all the work?
Well, I’m not going to bore you with the monetary progress — if you’re curious, GO HERE (and while you’re there…)
I’m tired. I’m frustrated. If you have ever read any of those “how-to marketing for indie authors” posts or books, I’m doing (almost) everything right.
So why do I feel like it’s not going well? (I ran a successful campaign for book one and so far have significantly less support, even by number of people who have pre-ordered).
All the hard work of writing, editing, formatting, re-formatting, proof-reading, re-editing, layout, design, all the above marketing — and not just me. Everyone who is excitedly promoting and sharing and supporting and contributing in so many ways.
First – THANK YOU. You are all wonderful, and you are all doing everything right! Fuck, what do I know? I’m making this up as I go along, darlings.
This is just a reality check and a cautionary tale — this is really hard. Writing is hard enough, and when you’re finished something, you want to celebrate and share it with a mostly ambivalent world that simply doesn’t share your excitement.
Oh, there will be some that do, and thank dog for them, because otherwise I suppose no one would ever write, and there’d be a lot more writers taking a really long bath.
But I’m wracked with anxiety. True, I suffer from depression, so I can’t tell how much is just that or how much is due to the situation. I’ve tried to follow every bit of advice, read up on every trick, every magic formula. The reality check — there is no magical formula. I’m not here to give answers, because I honestly have no idea. I know you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force people to buy your book.
See, maybe that’s the problem right there. I’m terrible with metaphors. I’m like a… you know… um, one of those people that can’t read — illegitimate. Dirty bastards.
Anyhow, it’s only halftime. Let’s get back out there and show them what we’re made of. (Insert hit the showers joke here).
Available now through PUBSLUSH for just 21 more days:
Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two. A collection of quasi-autobiographical ironic post-modernist…. look, it’s a bunch of good stories. Some of them are ridiculously funny, if a bit absurd. Others are going to make you bawl like a baby. There are love stories, there are deeply personal stories about childhood abuse and terrible violence against women. Overall, there is hope — hope that a person can get past all that and make something grow out of the shit of a terrible past. Plus there’s Penny, and she’s just fucking hilarious. You don’t even know what you’re missing.
Through PUBSLUSH, you can order it as a softcover. A limited hardcover. E-book. Bundle it with Volume One. OH, and did I mention you can also get it signed. Also available are Penelope, Countess of Arcadia — a hilarious new Shakespearean-style play and JESSICA – a collaborative horror novella. Buy one. Buy them all. Buy some of them. Buy multiple copies and get your Christmas shopping done really early. Most importantly, don’t get them wet or feed them after midnight.