Success By Another Measure

My book, Rapture is out there. It has been released for sale on Amazon in paperback and as a Kindle ebook. In the 8 days since the release, I’ve sold 1 paperback and 7 ebooks. I am confident that I can trace most of those sales to friends or family–within 3 ebooks.

I added my title to Goodreads and started a giveaway. This was a grand idea because 140 people (and counting) have entered the drawing–exposing my book to many eyes. The site reports that 68 readers have added it to their “to be read” shelf. This latter number is commingled with the 140 because the “add this book to my shelf” box is automatically checked when one signs up for a giveaway. It is my hope that these people–some of them–buy the title and review it.

I have made use of my social media platforms on Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, and Google + to blast out promotions. The most vibrant platform for me is Twitter. My network grows daily, but mostly with folks like me who want to sell a book or offer a service–these are not my customers. In fact, they want me as their customer.

Facebook is the only platform that includes people I know–school mates, former church friends, extended family, and others from different eras of my life–and hope would buy it. I’m finding that knowing or having known someone face to face is no guarantee the person will break out the credit card.

The reality is this: It’s hard out here for an indie author. I was reading an article that promised to show me how to write a successful book, one for that elusive market reader. My book is a product and I need to shape a story that my “customers” will want. After reading that, I accepted a cold reality: I’ll never be that type of writer nor write that type of book–a “marketable product.” I’m seeing a warehouse and hearing words like, “valuation,” “ROI,” and “value-added.” None of this is reminiscent of the creative process I go through to fashion my work. I have to define success differently if I want to continue on this journey. My good friend told me to stop beating myself up when I was lamenting to her today. “Let the universe do its work,” she said.

“The universe needs a microwave,” I said.

I acknowledge that it will take time to get double digit sales (tongue in cheek). It’s only been 8 days! I also acknowledge that in this market it takes money to make money. I don’t eschew the business of what I’m doing. I don’t feel entitled. It’s going to take a Sisyphus like effort to keep rolling that boulder up the mountain.

Success for me is different–not measured in books sold. I am a successful writer because I am published –I am proud of my story. Now on to the next one.

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