It’s so easy to self publish these days – which is great but means that there’s a lot of competition. The crowd won’t come to you since they have too many things competing for their attention. You need to bring them to you. Many self-published authors often spend more time on marketing than actually writing stories. Being successful is a full-time job between all the writing and marketing.
The first struggle is in driving traffic to the places where your book is being sold. The second struggle is in getting readers to buy your book. If your blurb and cover aren’t perfect, they’ll move on to another book. Having trouble with your cover? Hire an artist or designer. Having trouble with your blurb? Hire an editor.
Oftentimes, people won’t want to buy from a first-time self-published writer. Don’t let this discourage you. Utilize goodreads, give free copies to your friends (hey there’s some possibility of good reviews), market on twitter, instagram, and facebook. The most important thing to focus on when marketing is not what you’ve done but how you can help your reader. They’re going to want to know the journey that they will also go on when they read your book. Focus on that.
If you’re able to get readers to read your one book, keep writing. Not putting out new content may lose readers. Creating more work keeps you in peoples’ minds more regularly. Some authors solve this by writing a series so the publications are staggered but there is new content every few months. The next best thing to do is to start your next book, as readers are more likely to discover you if there’s more to be found. And, if you treat each book as the opportunity to practive some aspect of the craft, such as adding depth or mystery, you should keep getting better. Keep producing and produce as quickly as you can; however, don’t sacrifice good writing for the quantity of stories. If one of your works is poorly written but gains traction, you’re not likely to see those readers again. Hiring an editor can help with any worries over this step.
Don’t hold out too much hope for your first book to go very far, due to the volume of already available books. No matter how good the writing is, it is almost impossible to convince readers when their attention is moving quickly. A good option to combat this follows suit with the prior option, which is to write a bunch of short stories or even revise some of the shorts you’ve already written and then self publish them (or use an indie press like us!) individually over time. This creates more content under your name and makes you more visible. When googling your name or the title of your work, you should be able to find your book.
Lastly, remember why you’re writing in the first place. If you’re in it for the money, you’re going to fizzle out. It’s okay to want your work to be recognized but let your passion for the written word drive you.