So Frustrating

I recently read a blog in which the author describes how she had used Amazon advertising to increase her sales. It was very detailed, with graphs and numbers. Her sales went from about one a day to two to three sales a day. I have to admit that I was underwhelmed. She was promoting a course on how to improve your sales through advertising, on which she would earn commission, so that might have been the driving force of the blog.

 

Self publishing has got to be the most soul destroying activity that anyone can engage in. These are not the kind of success stories I want to hear about. Had her numbers jumped from 100 a day to 200 a day I might have had more hope. Are the millions of us just destined to chase after an ever decreasing slice of the pie? Who knew that freedom to publish would turn out to be freedom to watch your dreams evaporate?

Comments

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    In my opinion, fwiw, a dream only ever dies if you kill it.

     

    We all dream that our next book will be the Golden Manuscript that the masses demand to read; the book that must be convert to film for the Hoi Polloi who do not read. And reality is staggeringly different from that dream. But the key is to look to the long game, the end of one's expectations.

     

    Any book written and published is a step on the long road. Any book written well and published well is a jewel to cherish. And slowly you make progress towards the day when either A.) The World Beats A Path to Your Door, or B.) You realize that the world was never supposed to beat a path to your door. Sometimes the book that you write is for you.

     

    I hope that helps.


  • Brambles a écrit :

    she had used Amazon advertising to increase her sales [...] Her sales went from about one a day to two to three sales a day. [...]  She was promoting a course on how to improve your sales through advertising, on which she would earn commission, 

     


    Well, she begs for the saying: "doctor, heal yourself".

  • Em_PressEm_Press ✭✭

    It took 22 years for Margaret Atwood's book The Handmaid's Tale to be turned into a series and gain such widespread approval. You never know when and which book will succeed. You just have to keep trudging along.


  • Em_Press wrote:

    It took 22 years for Margaret Atwood's book The Handmaid's Tale to be turned into a series and gain such widespread approval. You never know when and which book will succeed. You just have to keep trudging along.


    If being turned into TV series is a hallmark for sucess, than vanishingly vew books ever make it. The fact is that The Handmaid's Tale was very well received when it was inititially published---winning the 1985 Governer General's Award, the first Arthur C. Clarke Award (1987) and was nominated for the 1986 Nebula Award, Booker Prize and 1987 Prometheus Award---and it was largely due to its existing status that it was first made into a film (1990) and later a series (and even a ballet and an opera!). It had also been successfully produced as a play in 1989. In short, it had long been a best-selling book before it was turned into the recent mini-series.

     

    Skoop_Ym made a good point when he added that a book needed to be "well-published." Far, far too many aspiring authors believe that "publishing" simply means getting your book printed. There is a lot more to it than that, as I have been saying for years. I understand that successfully undertaking all the responsibilities of a publisher is something very few authors can do...but, frankly, that's just too bad. Write your book and be proud of the effort you have made. But if you want to publish you have to be able to do it right.

     

    You are right in saying that no one can guarantee which book will succeed and which will fail. But you can certainly increase a book's chances manyfold by doing a lot of things correctly...which traditional pubishers have both the experience and wherewithall of accomplishing. And even then there are no absolute guarantees. On the other hand, their books go into the world without the impediments of sloppy writing, poor editing (if any at all), bad design and formatting, repellent covers, little or no advertising or marketing, etc.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Dreams, both blessing and curse to plague people with the hope they might one day be fulfilled. To be honest, it doesn't matter what field of endeavor you enter, you have to have a definition of success which works for you.

     

    My parents defined success as getting a degree, making money, being respected in your field even if not famous. By their definitions, I am an abject failure, suitable only for the only role they could envision for me (the odd child who crafted stories and wooden swords), disposable servant.

     

    I have no advanced degree. My writing is never likely to be well-known. I'll never be famous. As for sales, don't make me laugh. The odds are against me even finishing all the works I have waiting.

     

    On the other hand, my writing has gotten a few people to view their world with an altered perspective, as intended. I have changed a few lives for the better, even if without fanfare or recognition. The replacements I'm helping as they grow and learn now, will only be able to glimpse who I am or was (by that point in time when they care to know me) through my writing.

     

    If you define success based on money, the odds are you'll never be either happy or satisfied. If you define success by what you accomplish, even when you're bucking the odds, then success means a bit more.

     

    By my definition, I am at least marginally successful, even though I have days when I too wonder why I bother writing what so few will read. Then I remember, it's about the quality rather than the quantity.

     

    Perhaps it's beyond time for people to redefine their measure of success.


  • SphinxCameron wrote:

    Dreams, both blessing and curse to plague people with the hope they might one day be fulfilled. To be honest, it doesn't matter what field of endeavor you enter, you have to have a definition of success which works for you.

     

    My parents defined success as getting a degree, making money, being respected in your field even if not famous. By their definitions, I am an abject failure, suitable only for the only role they could envision for me (the odd child who crafted stories and wooden swords), disposable servant.

     

    I have no advanced degree. My writing is never likely to be well-known. I'll never be famous. As for sales, don't make me laugh. The odds are against me even finishing all the works I have waiting.

     

    On the other hand, my writing has gotten a few people to view their world with an altered perspective, as intended. I have changed a few lives for the better, even if without fanfare or recognition. The replacements I'm helping as they grow and learn now, will only be able to glimpse who I am or was (by that point in time when they care to know me) through my writing.

     

    If you define success based on money, the odds are you'll never be either happy or satisfied. If you define success by what you accomplish, even when you're bucking the odds, then success means a bit more.

     

    By my definition, I am at least marginally successful, even though I have days when I too wonder why I bother writing what so few will read. Then I remember, it's about the quality rather than the quantity.

     

    Perhaps it's beyond time for people to redefine their measure of success.


    Well said! 

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Ron,

     

    Perhaps the OP should consider that so many of the blogs and adverts about how to be a success are done by people who define success by money. Much like the articles that purport to divulge the secret of how to earn fabulous wealth or protect assets, it boils down to a closed loop based upon fear that ultimately leads to avarice.

     

    That drive to amass trade tokens far beyond what anyone actually needs is an aspect of the human condition I don't think I'll ever understand. Then again my paradigm hearkens in part back to the commons. I don't understand why one of my replacements is teaching herself Farsi among other languages, but she appears to enjoy learning what she's learning, and that is the important thing.

     

    The long and short would be as long as a writer has readers who enjoy what they're reading, then the writer has achieved some level of success. Who amasses the most trade tokens in the process is both irrelevant and far beyond the control of any one individual. I'd say do what you do because it brings some sense of accomplishment and maybe a sense of pleasure as a result.

     

    I Gcónaí Réidh – Aonaibh Ri Chéile

  • It seems to me like a lot of people's get up and go got up and left. Whatever happened to ambition? The world would a much poorer place if everyone had this attitude to life. Wanting to sell loads of books need not be all about the money - think validation, engagement, giving pleasure to others - but even if it is, so what? Would it be so bad to earn a living from doing what you love? The posts here have proved useful, but not in the way that might be imagined. I am beyond selling a few dozen books a year, and could never be satisfied with that. I want to move from selling a few dozen books a month to a few a week and then a few a day. I've got my fighting spirit back. So thank you, everyone.


  • Em_Press wrote:

    So true. Yet,

     

    the-handmaids-tale-tops-book-charts-after-tv-series-uk-debut

     

    And a great interview:

     

    MargaretAtwoods-the-handmaids-tale-soars-to-top-of-amazon-bestseller-list


    Indeed true, but it was just another upswing in the history of an already immensely successful, popular book.

     

    However, there are many examples of little-known books that became much better known after inspiring a popular movie or TV series. M*A*S*H comes to mind right off the bat. And, of course, there are hundreds of books that were made into popular, and even famous, movies and which still remain obscure. See if you can guess the movies these books or stories inspired:

     

    Mute Witness

    Nothing Lasts Forever

    Farewell to the Master

    Lottie and Lisa

    The Short-Timers

    Oil!

    Q&A

    Who Goes There?

    The Sentinel

    Wise Guy

    The Greatest Gift

     

    None of these were by any means bad books or stories---many were in fact excellent---but they also demonstrate that having a movie or TV series is not necessarily a guarantee of best-sellerdom or fame.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Ah, ambition and validation as motivators, and the world being a poorer place.

     

    Ambition can be a positive factor when individuals and societies focus it in a positive manner. Ambition without limits or positive guidance is a real-life horror story waiting to repeat itself.

     

    Some of my ancestors had the ambition to avoid extermination at the hands of other peoples' ambition. My ancestors' ambition was validated by the fact enough of their descendants survived to carry on their lines.

     

    The ambition of those other peoples was validated by the wanton slaughter and destruction of entire cultures, which included the cold-blooded murder of women, children, and infants.

     

    Work I did roughly twenty years ago has been validated by a few people worth a ridiculous amount of money, people who are finally getting the point of what I was saying then and seeing the results of unfettered ambition.

     

    When you speak of ambition and validation, you need to remember those concepts can hold wildly divergent connotations for different people. Good luck with your ambition.

     


    Brambles wrote:

    It seems to me like a lot of people's get up and go got up and left. Whatever happened to ambition? The world would a much poorer place if everyone had this attitude to life. Wanting to sell loads of books need not be all about the money - think validation, engagement, giving pleasure to others - but even if it is, so what? Would it be so bad to earn a living from doing what you love? The posts here have proved useful, but not in the way that might be imagined. I am beyond selling a few dozen books a year, and could never be satisfied with that. I want to move from selling a few dozen books a month to a few a week and then a few a day. I've got my fighting spirit back. So thank you, everyone.


     

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