Time flies, so it’s hard to believe it, but… I can consider myself an author for a year already – I self-published my debut 23.10.2020. So, I guess it’s time for a look back.
While I consider the start of my writer’s journey as 21.7.2015, it was 3 months later (23.10.2015) when I started writing book one. If you follow me for a while, you know the first three months were spend writing a couple of “demo chapters”. The timing – exactly 5 years after starting – was a happy intentional coincidence: the last thing I was waiting for was the cover image, which was finished in late September. As I had practiced formatting beforehand, creating the final e-book file was a short venture. Seeing that the 5-year mark is close, I chose that term – if I missed it, the book would be published at pretty much whichever random day would fit my schedule.
Originally, I planned to include a monthly report during my monthly updates, to show the harsh truth of being a nameless writer. I had to scratch that idea for a simple reason: most of the time, there was (almost) nothing to actually report. But a year is a good moment to look back, so let me show you how my book fared during its first year, with… pretty much no promotion at all.
As you can see, I managed to get the grand amount of 4 sales and 12 free downloads. 4 of it were my beta readers and I decided to mention it in two groups on Goodreads, expecting nothing at all, so 8 downloads was exactly 8 downloads above my expectations – which is the only thing that could, maybe, be called a pitiful excuse of a promotion. And if you wonder how much money the book made me so far…
… around $14 (August and September not yet included, which may push me to $15). I maybe mentioned this – there is one very pragmatic reason why I haven’t promoted my book just yet – given the length (almost 700 pages in print), I know books 2 and 3 will take some time to finish. Given that people will forget an author if the gap is too long, it may be a waste to promote the book before the third one is near-complete. So, for now, it’s in hibernation, and I won’t consider any major promotion until I’m something like 3 months to the release of book three. This not only saves me time and money, but also avoids the pressure of finishing the sequels faster at the cost of quality. On that topic… I’ll skip the monthly update this time by mentioning right here that I’m going on with edits on book two, though I had a couple days of fatigue early in the months, but I’ve overcome it now. There are some challenges on that front that I’ll be dealing with in the next month, and will be mentioned in the November monthly post.
Did I hope for more? Probably yes. Did I realistically expect more? No, not really. When I was ready to self-publish my book, I was well aware of the harsh reality and the long uphill battle ahead. So, anyone who contributed to the abovementioned with just $0,01 has my thanks.
To wrap this up, I want to tell everyone out there who’s still working on their project: don’t give up. Work for your dream, but also be aware of the reality. It may be harsh at times. But if you get there, you’ll be among the few who actually finished their novel rather than just talked about doing so one day. And that’s something to be proud of.