Monday, July 4, 2016

reviews are coming in

Well, I haven't received much feedback yet for Fear of Mystics, but Age of Mystics posted another 5 star review today. It is really nice that so many of you are enjoying the books. It makes my heart swell to have told a story that has kept you engaged, and hopefully given you a little entertainment in this year of fear and uncertainty.

As most of you probably already know, the price of Age of Mystics is now fixed at $0.99 on Kindle (or free if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber). There are no current plans to discount Fear of Mystics beyond its low price of $2.99, but I will post here first if some great promotional opportunity comes my way.

And promotional opportunities is the topic of the day. I have read, and heard from other authors, that for relatively new authors, there are milestones to hit to improve visibility. One of those is ten reviews. reviews are much harder to come by than one would think. It is far more difficult to get people to review my work than I had prepared for, and I get tired of begging people to review. As such, the reviews are going to come in as they will, I guess.  That weirdly goes for readers also. I have had nothing but good reviews (okay one just said "okay" but it wasn't bad). I had no idea how much time and effort would go into just getting folks to read the work, even when word of mouth is great, and the reviews are good. As many of you know, I am running for office this year. The effort to get someone to read is very similar as the amount of effort it takes to get someone to vote for you. It feels like each person has to be cajoled, and convinced into reading the work. That isn't a slam or complaint, it is the reality of the situation. If you want people to read your work, you have to convince them to do so.

There is a rumor, akin to the white whale or bigfoot, that certain authors have hit "critical mass" and their books start selling themselves. It is such an issue of luck, and any author who knows of what thy speak, would quickly concur. When authors believe their work is selling based only on its merit, they are delusional. One has luck, knowing the right people, having an existing large following, celebrity status, or a TV deal. These are the ways one's work is seen by masses of people. Other than that, you have to hope your story has legs. After years of hawking your work, you become an "overnight success."

If you want to be a working author, you have to be an expert at selling your work and yourself. I have always been good at marketing, but this is different. Self-published authors spend much more time trying to get readers than they do writing. So, don't try to convince yourself that you will sit down and pen the greatest manuscript and people will fall over themselves to read it. The world simply doesn't work that way. You write your wonderful manuscript. You make sure every part of it is great, hiring a proofreader and editor, if you can afford them. You hire someone to design a cover for you (your cover is your sign). When all is ready to go, you choose a POD and ebook publishing site and upload your book. You may invest in marketing. I invested recently in a social marketing campaign (if you follow me on twitter or FB, you may have seen some of these). I have had massive hits on this page, my FB page, and my twitter feed. As far as I can tell, all of those massive hits have translated into exactly zero book sales. I am getting the exposure, but not the readers. So, I have this to say: be patient, authors. Do everything you can, and if you are lucky, someone will read your book!

Oh, and if you haven't bought it, click HERE to get an ebook of Age of Mystics for $0.99

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