This week's blog might seem a little bit down in the dumps - it's not meant to be. In fact, I'm actually very excited to be discussing a topic that I myself am struggling with - fanbase. With over 20 released novels, 2.5 years in the industry and plenty of interaction on my fan page, one wouldn't think that I'm having any issues, but looks can be deceiving. Just like with this post; because despite a harrowing subject, I don't let it get me down! No one should, whether they're an author, editor, cover artist - or any other arts creator.
I spend hours struggling to find the will to set my adorable 8-month old down and write. Why? Because it's hard to want to meet deadlines when you feel like you're all alone and not making an impact. Sales aren't everything, despite what some people think. Many authors, myself included, simply want to help readers find a few hours of blissful entertainment in the pages of books. That's what reading has always been for me and it is what I've always dreamed I achieve anytime someone reads a book, review or not, and continues to follow me on my journey. Am I doing it? Not that I can tell . . . not yet.
After 2.5 years in the writing business I have to hunt for reviewers every single book. I have to post in groups, message to bloggers and spam the request all over my social media and ya know what? I'm lucky if I can find 5 people interested in reading my book for free in exchange for posting an honest review to Amazon. Does that burn? Abso-fucking-lutely. Each time it happens I feel like burying my head in the sand. I have so many amazing supportive people that help me share around my releases, but none interested in reading them. My newsletter is pitiful, no many how many free reads or exciting things I offer, the list never grows. (on the plus side, no one unsubscribes and my open rate is 83% woot!) My friends seem nice enough when I have a book, but none of them review, which is kind of an author's bread and butter, not the sales. My street team is filled with an amazing group of ladies and a gent, and without them I don't know where my reviewers would come from. They make me find the strength to continue because I know that no matter how small, there are people that find joy in my work.
But can such a small number really be enough to validate my publisher keeping me on (dear lord I hope so LOL), or my personal life taking a backseat to the characters who would be just as content if I closed my eyes and imagined their stories instead of writing them down? Does that make me a failure? A lesser author? Someone who should learn when to quit and throw in the towel?
I may not have found my fans on social media the way many authors have (and many more still struggle to). My books touch people. Do I have hordes of fans gnashing their teeth to get my next book? Nope, not yet. But they are there and they do review when they happen to stumble across my work. I will continue to share the craziness that falls out of my head until there isn't a platform for doing so.
To all those that might be in a similar position to me, I urge you not to give up. Ignore all the doubt and anything that makes you feel like you aren't as important as the other indie authors in your library or your friends list. Keep pushing. Keep weaving incredible worlds, make dazzling promo and soon enough, we'll all have left our mark in whatever way we wish.
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