As a self-published author, there are some realities that I am forced to deal with every day. While all I want to do is write, I cannot, I have to also be my own publicist and promoter. Yes, I can spend money on having my books promoted by others, but if you look at the statistics, the payoff is less than the cost in almost every case.
It honestly doesn’t matter how good the book is or how great the cover, the vast majority of authors don’t come close to breaking even. That is a sad fact. So, why keep at it? Many don’t, they give up and let that creative portion of themselves wither and die. Others have to write, it’s simply something that they need to do. The question then becomes, why bother promoting your books at all, why not just write and publish?
This is the point I am currently at. The amount of money that I have spent in trying to promote my books for the return the I have received is pathetic. There are only two promoters that I know of that gives any sort of guarantee, one gives ‘store credit,’ and the other does offer a refund. Still, what good does getting your money back do other than allow you to go and waste it on another method of promotion that won’t work?
So, why isn’t promoting working? Saturation is one factor. There are between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books being published every year. The competition has become insane and, unless you are a large publishing house with massive resources, most authors get lost in the sea of written words.
Book blog tours, podcasts, social media, etc., etc., etc. are all being tried by these authors in an attempt to get you to at least look at their books. I have seen television ads for books, most of which are pretty bad and don’t entice me for a second. So, what does it take? There is no easy answer, no magic formula.
In my own case, I will continue to write as long as I have the enthusiasm to do so. I cannot, however, afford to continue to pay out large sums of money to advertise my books. Announcements for my books will be made here, on my Facebook pages, and Twitter. If you, as a loyal reader, want to spread the word, I am grateful. Other than that, I hope you will continue to enjoy what I write.