How do you stay motivated when your books don’t sell a single copy a day?
Here we are again, after a few months of small but steady sales, I have reached the hated 0-copy-sold-today point on my Amazon sale chart. For all the success stories out there, then you have mine. I work hard every day, and I only publish material that I’m proud to put my name on. Yet, I struggle every step of the way. It’s hard for me to gain readership, therefore I don’t have a great amount of reviews, consequently my downloads are low. Bookbub keeps rejecting me. Blah, blah, blah…
Is it my writing? My blurbs? My covers? All of the above that makes people upvote the negative reviews for my books? Is there something inherently wrong with me?
Maybe. Or maybe not. I have no control over a large part of the publishing process once my book is out. But, I do have control over my reaction to the negative side of being an author. The truth is that I am happy when I write. The more I write in a day, the happier I am. If I reach 5k, I’m deliriously happy. I’ve never reached 6k in a day, but one day I will and it will be glorious.
This morning, I woke up to another 0-copy-sold kind of day, and as any reasonable person would do I started browsing reddit for the occasional feel-good post and the cute puppies pics. Lurking around, I found today’s Writing Prompt suggestion (amazing subreddit by the way) and my blues were swept away by one of the cleverest WPs ever: As you die, you travel down the bright tunnel and then everything turns to black. That’s when you hear it: “Greetings, Prisoner 11384. You have served your sentence. You are free to go.”
I got so excited thinking of what an amazing story that wp could become (and read the most voted post there because it’s great) that I forgot about everything else. And that’s how I go on writing every day even when it seems an endeavor of Don Quichottean proportions.
Reach out if you want to complain about your bad day. I usually don’t post rants, but I thought that maybe it’s okay once in a while to express our dissatisfaction with the world.
Remember: It could be worse, it could be raining. Or as my daughter told me to cheer me up, “At least you didn’t have a refund today.” It’s all good, folks!
* I painted the above picture after finishing my first Nanowrimo: The Priest, to date my most controversial title, and also the first I published (although it wasn’t the first I wrote.) That drawing always reminds me why I write, even on those days when reddit doesn’t do the trick.
6 thoughts on “Flatliners and The Pleasure of Writing”
I too have had to zero sales day and question why I haven’t found the success other authors have. Probably like you I read some of the authors that have found some success publishing, that I question why. It doesn’t seem to me their writing is better than mine. There’s been a few I questioned why they sold at all.
Like you, as much as I’d like to be the next New York Times Bestseller, I don’t write for the glory or remuneration, I love playing let’s pretend every time I sit at the computer.
Thank you, Dana. In my case, I do wonder if it is because I’m unable to create a connection with my audience. I almost sure that’s the case with my Ginecean Chronicles. I wrote a series that’s hard to read and I knew it, but it’s also the one dearest to me. Other than that I don’t know. It could be that I do everything wrong, or it could be something outside my sphere of intervention. In any case, I can’t envision a day without writing and that’s enough for me now. Cheers to us who keep fighting the odds 🙂
Yah and thank you! While I’ve nothing ready to put out there yet (3 unfinished projects – lol) I have to say that what also keeps me going is the fact that I love to write. I may end up being the ‘Ed Wood’ of writing, but what the hell. I will keep on writing. Maybe I’ll get some of my work out before I kick the bucket.
By the way – I’ve mentioned before – via Goodreads – that I LOVE your writing! I have the 3 Immortals books, and will start reading the second of the series soon.
Thank you so much, Monique! It means so much to me to receive words of praise from my readers. It is the proof I’m going somewhere with my madness. I got the fever of writing long ago, but I only acted upon it when several things happened all at once in my life and I was reminded of how short our permanence on Earth can be. Keep on writing, it is all worth it. The zero sale days, the bad reviews, the world doesn’t understand you… is all worth it when a reader like you tells you they loved your book. Thank you for brightening my day, Monique, and good luck with your projects!
Hi Monica I am not a writer but I stumbled across your immortals books on amazon and after reading the first one was hooked could not wait to read the next one and have bought and read all so far and I must say they are equally as good as Elizabeth Naughton’s Eternal Guardian series and Stephanie Rowe’s Order of the Blade books, keep writing love your style, regards Sylvia English ex pat living in Spain
Hi, Sylvia, thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave such a lovely comment for me! Each and every time a reader contacts me, I feel on top of the world. I didn’t see your comment right away because I’ve been hiding in my writing cave, working on The Lonely Wolf’s final edits. Your message energized me, and I am now ready to attack commas and displaced periods with a smile on my face 🙂 As an aside, living in Spain is on my bucket list. Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you again!