Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#IWSG for November 2016


The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Joylene Nowell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and me!

The IWSG question for November: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

There's so much I love about being a writer. The two biggest things are: telling stories and being immersed in those worlds. I'm always making things into stories whether I'm playing a card game or cleaning the bathroom. Oh the creatures that have crawled out from my drains in my mind!

I honestly cannot imagine not making up stories. It's something that comes naturally and helps me cope with the mundane and the rough times in life. I might have went crazy long ago if I couldn't escape into my head.

This month's insecurity: Marketing is tough. I've been trying some new things recently with the release of my Totem series, but they haven't made big changes in my pitifully low sales. So this leads me to believe that perhaps it isn't that I'm not promoting it right, maybe it's because my books suck. Part of me realizes this isn't true, but what if it is? Those naughty what-ifs, gnawing at you from the inside out.

How do you vanquish the dreaded what-ifs?

61 comments:

  1. Marketing is a tough game, agreed. I haven't had to market my own book yet, but I'm busy building my author profile in the meanwhile. I'll be refocusing my blog on book marketing and author platforms soon actually. Good luck!

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  2. Hi Christine - you are great at creating stories ... so keep on and as you do the pleasurable bit ... keep marketing and trying new ares - good luck - Hilary

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  3. It's not the product, Christine. You are a fantastic writer!! Never doubt that. I'm still working at the whole marketing thing - nightmare! I think if we all continue to share 'what works' then we can build up a solid marketing strategy, which will constantly need adjusting due to the ever-changing publishing world. It's a tricky monster. Have a fab November.

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  4. Ah, those dastardly "what-ifs". I spent the Halloween weekend promoting my #99c book sale along with other authors. One of my books I can't seem to even give away! It's my favorite one. I've decided it isn't my writing (or yours) that sucks. It is the marketing skills that need honing.

    Best of success with your writing and your marketing.

    And thanks for co-hosting #IWSG this month!

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  5. I don't think low sales means your books aren't good. The reality is that there are just so many books out there now. It's hard for everyone. The most important thing is that you love writing.

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  6. Christine, I can tell you for a fact your writing doesn't suck! You're a fabulous writer!! And I just heard from my publisher just yesterday when she was emailing royalties that the market is fickle right now. All sales are in the dumps. Like Natalie said and my publisher said, there's just so many books out there to chose from. But hopefully with the holidays, things will pick up.

    Thanks for co-hosting and have a great week.

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  7. You've put your words, your stories out there in the world - now let them go do their thing. Yes, help them along with some marketing but also have faith they will be found and enjoyed. :)

    Oh, and I hear you about things crawling out of the drains. Sometimes I wish I could shut my imagination off so I could really enjoy a good bath. :)

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  8. At first I read that as creatures crawling out of the drains OF your mind!
    No suckage. You just haven't hit your readers yet.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  9. I love this line - "Oh the creatures that have crawled out from my drains in my mind!" That cracked me up and really rang true. There are a lot of creatures living in the drains in my mind too :-) Thanks for co-hosting.

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  10. So first of all, your books don't suck. FAR FROM. LOL. Actually, they're pretty darn amazing if you ask me. I think it's just hard to get people's heads turned--especially a whole mass of them. That's why they say to build your audience one person at a time, eh? Slow and steady wins the race. You've got this.

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  11. Promotion is difficult (not to mention expensive). I keep trying different things to see what works the best. Hang in there, you'll find the best thing for you and your work!

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  12. I can't imagine being without my imagination. I've been dreaming up stories long before it ever occurred to me to be a writer. Wish I would have developed my writing skills at a younger age.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG.

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  13. I think I have yet to meet anyone who likes the marketing side of things. Crystal's advice tops anything I could offer - hang in there and keep winning readers one at a time.

    (And I knew there was a good reason for not getting the drains cleaned - there's a whole ecosystem of new stories fermenting down there!)

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  14. Marketing is incredibly difficult. There is so much out there and people have less and less time to read with busy jobs, kids, and the distraction of screen time. No easy answers, but you don't have to blame yourself.

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  15. Writing is a journey, not the destination. Enjoy that journey. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  16. Marketing can be a crap shoot. Finding our target readers isn't easy sometimes.

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  17. I wish I knew why sometimes marketing seems to work and sometimes it doesn't. There are so many choices out there that it's as much luck as anything for readers to discover your books.

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  18. Marketing anything is hard. Just when you think you've got it right, when you've got lots of new traffic and new readers or buyers something happens and they fizzle. Working close with small business owners throughout most of my working career has taught me a lot about marketing and there's only ONE thing that shines through: KEEP AT IT. I know that's rote and cliche but it's the only way. Slumps happen, even in the marketing world, and we have to keep putting our work out there in new, fresh ways. Even just a refresh on a website or page can perhaps catch a new eye or inspire an old fan to return.

    Best of luck to you! Don't give up!! And thank you for helping us co-host this month :D

    <3 Jen

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  19. Marketing sometimes takes the joy out of writing for me. I get so discouraged when I post a link to my book or an online publication and get no responses. Facebook's ever changing algorithms make it tough to keep interest in my Facebook author page too. But, I try to remind myself I don't write for fame. I write to keep me sane.

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  20. Thank you all for visiting today! And for commiserating with me. I'll keep writing even if no one ever reads my stories. :)

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  21. I am feeling you on the marketing front. Later this month, I'm posting a ton of marketing ideas. With that said, I am personally struggling with it. It seems the more I publish, the less reviews and sales I get. I think it might be because so many books are out there, and so many come out each month, that it's hard to get noticed. What used to work for me, isn't working. And what I try that's new has no impact. *sigh*

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  22. I know that feeling about marketing and book sales. All the freaking time. I think last week I had that thought. Too bad I have no advice on how to not fall into that pitfall.

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  23. Marketing is one of the most difficult tasks in publishing - It's constantly changing, and I don't believe there's any tried and true method anymore, with the exception of word-of-mouth. Just keep plugging away, it'll happen. Your covers are GORGEOUS by the way! So that's a definite marketing plus :) Cheers!

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  24. Getting lost in a new world is the best! I always figure I'm doing something right when I get lost in my own story. ^_^ I don't imagine creatures crawling out of the drain, but I totally should! That would definitely make cleaning the bathroom more fun.

    Marketing was the thing I was most worried about when I started my publishing research. Have you tried reaching out to book bloggers? I know that helps a lot of people generate reviews, which can help increase exposure. I know Goodreads has a group designed for connecting authors with readers.

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  25. I had to chuckle at the image that danced before my eyes when I read your line: Oh the creatures that have crawled out from my drains in my mind!
    Your books suck? NEVER! You are a great writer.
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Happy IWSG Day!

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  26. It's easy to blame ourselves when we don't get all the results we thought and planned for, but there's not a more challenging or competitive market than book publishing. Getting any sales is remarkable these days. I'm sure you'll see a upturn. It just takes a while.
    Great job co-hosting today!

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  27. Marketing is tough and don't I know it because I live it a breathe it as my day job. What-if's can kill dreams if you let them! I think you've got some promising momentum with your books. Keep at it!!! :)

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  28. I know I've really failed at marketing over the last two and a half years. Some of the other indie writers in my local writers' group have been encouraging me to not feel discourage, and to keep putting myself out there and marketing to readers instead of only other writers. As soon as one of my friends in the writers' group revamps one of the two covers I'm having redone, I'll finally be making physical copies of all my books, and hopefully things may finally start turning around then.

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  29. I like your books. I'm insulted as a reader that you say they suck. Don't do that again. I'll kick your butt. :)
    *Don't be fooled by the smile, I mean it.

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  30. The what -ifs are nasty bats in the closet and I am not sure how to banish them. I think writing friends help. :)

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  31. Your writing is awesome!!! Marketing is tough. My book sales tanked in October, but I've been tracking my sales the last three years and I've discovered a terrible pattern. My sales are always bad in April, August, and October. November and December sometimes are good and sometimes are terrible. I've tried extra marketing during those months, but it doesn't really seem to help that much.
    So . . . believe in your creativity and your writing! Keep it up!

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  32. I like to imagine things too, but not creepy things in the bathroom--then I wouldn't sleep at night.

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  33. You just never know how marketing will go. But writing is more a marathon than a sprint.

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  34. I'm with you on the marketing insecurity. It's tough getting people to notice your work, and even more so to convince people to give your book a chance.

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  35. Getting lost in another world really does give me a break from mine. What a great place to recoup and recharge. :-)


    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  36. Marketing is kryptonite to most authors I know, myself included. I just try to focus on what made me want to write int he first place...I love books and book-reading people:)

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  37. Having ready many of your books, I can tell you it isn't because your books suck! Marketing is really hard. There are thousands of new books being published every day, so just getting noticed is almost impossible. But all it takes is one magical moment and your sales will rocket.

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  38. Oh my, marketing. Even just thinking the word leaves a bad taste in my mouth! Lol. This whole marketing thing is still so new to me, but I'm driving through it full force. I wish I knew the one secret to marketing—I'd share it with you if I knew!

    And you must stop those "what-ifs". You are a talented writer, so don't let your insecurities tell you otherwise!

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  39. Writing helps me cope with the mundane and the rough times in life, as well. So funny, I thought escaping into my head was proof that I'm crazy. Good luck with the marketing and thanks for co-hosting today.

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  40. Your books do not suck. I mean that. The market is changing again. It is flooded with Indie authors with giveaways, freebies, and promotion. I know because I am a voracious reader. My fave authors could not keep up with me say even 5 years ago.

    I like even more now and new ones that interest often are also good, so I can no longer keep up with reading what is available and how much. I wish I was as prolific and productive as some of the ones I enjoy reading. I read at least 5 books per month for fun, plus more for other reason and I cannot keep up.

    I think its timing, Logline-catch phrase in copywriting for the blurb, Ads with catch words or phrase that is the hook, and how you categorize the book plus spreading the book out over many platforms.

    Multistream income by audio, different language translation hitting the market in other countries which takes research since ALL of that is Always changing. Including some affiliate marketing and if you like teaching creating that kind of product can really add to the income because of people LIKE ME. Putting them on more than one platform than Amazon despite it being the biggest. I hear KOBO is really growing right now and taking off.

    Top 10 Best Ways to Sell Digital Goods Online

    October 2015 – Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Google: a look at the rest of the ebook market

    How to Use Categories to Drive Book Sales


    Okay too much for a comment so stopping. Hope you like the links. I found them interesting. Of course, this is all knowledge aquired thru reading and webinars and writing websites, and no practical hands on experience as you have so take what you can use or discard it all. I hope it helps with ideas at least if nothing else.

    Juneta

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  41. Marketing is tough. Don't let it fill you with doubt about your writing. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  42. We must be twins. My answer to this month's question mirrors yours. But we keep going anyway, because the stories in our heads wouldn't be silenced, would they?

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  43. I can't imagine not making up stories either - I've done it ever since I can remember, and I love doing it. Sometimes I stop listening to a conversation I'm having with someone, because I've gone off into my own writing world in my head, and I'm making up a new story. Whoops.

    Marketing is so tough - I do it for my day job, and I can tell you, it's not just books that have a tough time! The key is to just keep going and keep trying new ways to market your book :). Thanks for co-hosting!

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  44. As an unpublished writer, I'm stunned at the amount of hard work, ingenuity, and determination it takes to promote a new release. Part of me screams, "That's not fair!" And I guess that's part of the game.

    I have plenty of insecurities. In fact I'm highly insecure right now. I'm putting all my energy into trusting the process and be proactive.

    Thank you for co-hosting IWSG. That is a nice proactive step you've taken. New doors just might open! Stranger things have happened.

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  45. Marketing -- I agree about the toughness. It's hard to know what works and some of it just comes down to luck, I think.

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  46. Christine, we all feel like our writing sucks once in a while. But you have published books. You are way ahead of me. Marketing is the hardest part of being a writer, I think. All the power to you, my dear.

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  47. Marketing is a beast. Ads have always been incredibly frustrating to me, and I can guarantee that it has nothing to do with the amazingness of your books!

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  48. As a reader, I can tell you it's not because your books suck. This field is so based on luck and discovery sometimes. It takes a breakthrough to get to that wider audience sometimes.

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  49. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month, Christine! I haven't had to market anything of my own yet, but I helped my sister with her two books. Ugh! It's the part I dread most about getting anything published, so you have my sympathy! I'm betting your books don't suck!!! I don't know if you ever get past the naughty what-ifs. You just have to beat them back and keep moving forward. Good luck! Have a great November!

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  50. Writing offers a wonderful escape. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  51. Yes, telling stories and watching people get caught up in what I write. Keep on marching concerning your marketing. Don't give up. Thank you so much for co-hosting.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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  52. Yes, but it is the 'what ifs' that also fuel your writing. What if a vampire woke up in a funeral home and found it run by demons? You know. So we are hoist on the petard of our own rabid imagination. Keep on keepin' on my love!

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  53. Don't let those what ifs get to you. Marketing is super hard, and even great marketing doesn't always generate great sales. It really depends on hitting the right people at the right time. My understanding is that making the writing career thing work is not a jackpot scenario. J. K. Rowlings and Amanda Hockings are few and far between. It's more a slow build up, probably very slow in most cases. You just have to keep at it.

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  54. I tell myself stories a lot too.

    And, no, your books don't suck. Marketing is hard, and marketing non-novel lengths is even harder.

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  55. I read recently how hard marketing is for us writers, who are usually introverts. Don't lose hope! And yes, the escapism of writing is everything!

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  56. Those dreaded highs and lows. I'm editing and I spin from one extreme to the other at least once a day. In between, I make up stories in my head, too :)

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  57. Unfortunate, I'm still tormented by what-ifs. If only I could get past the hurdle, I might actually become a productive writer. But what if my writing is terrible? What if no one likes me? What if they say 'get out of here you have no talent'. I don't know if I could stand that kind of rejection.

    Also, I have many times created scenarios in my head that I have later written up or used in a story. Not only is it inspiring in a way, it's also fun.

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  58. Thanks for co-hosting this month! And yeah, there are many aspects of writing that I love in too. In particular visiting many worlds.
    And don't get me started about marketing. I'm still bumbling around trying to find my audience and pique their interest in my writing. So you shouldn't worry over any what if's.

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  59. Being a writer makes imagination more fun.
    "Marketing is tough" is the message of the month.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  60. I'll bet your totem series will catch on. Your writing does not suck! I enjoy it quite a lot :)

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  61. Marketing is a huge insecurity for me, too. I sometimes spend whole hours of my day working on promotion, only for it to prove worthless. In my case, it's a sure sign that I suck, since people can easily judge my art with a glance. Your writing most definitely doesn't suck, though! I've loved everything I've ever read by you, to the point where you've become one of my favorite authors. So yeah, don't you dare listen to those nasty what-ifs in your head!

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