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Monday, September 21, 2015

Confessions of a Newbie Indie Author and An Awesome Givaway This Month!!!

Hey did you know Novel Rocket is celebrating it's 10th Birthday. Yep, they've been at this blog gig that long. And to celebrate we are giving away books by all the contributors to this blog. Each week of September commenters have a change to win a package of five different books! Leave a comment below and you can win the books pictured below, which includes my Thyme for Love.

Last month I wrote about my new experience at going indie with my novel,
Thyme for Love.

What has the experience been like during the past month or so the book has been out? Wonderful, disappointing, encouraging, discouraging, awesome…well you get the idea. One thing has been constant. Every day I learn something new about either marketing, or KDP (Amazon's electronic publishing arm) or myself.

The book went live on July 29and I experienced a surge of sales that day because some had preordered the book. Then the little red line on a graph I can peek at anytime I want, plummeted, as did my spirits. I went crazy checking the sales, sometimes once an hour, every single day for four straight days. Did I mention that there is no waiting for a royalty statement, and I can peek at my current sales any time I want. 

I’d heard the success stories of some authors hitting it “big” right out of the chute with an indie published novel, and I had high hopes this would be my experience. I am facing a huge dental bill and other expenses, which is where my royalties are earmarked to go, and I had visions of paying off the bills quickly. By the fourth day checking, my sales became an obsession and it had to stop. It wasn’t like I wasn’t selling at all. I was—in dribs and drabs.

God taught me a big lesson. Here’s some of what I wrote in my journal that day.

You Lord have every day of my life in your book (see Psalm 139)—today and all that follow. You know I’m becoming discouraged at the sluggish sales. You know I’ve sent out memes with catchy wording to grab people's attention, and yet there are no nibbles. It’s like casting a line and hoping for fish to bite, yet none come even though I have good bait on the hook.

Then later I wrote:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you.”So we say with confidence,“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13: 5-6 NIV)

Lord, I’ve never thought that extreme focusing on book sales to get cash to pay my bills equates with the love of money, but it is when it becomes an obsession. I’ve lost my way these past several days. You haven’t forsaken me. You are still with me and lack of sales will not change that. You are still God. My God. My Lord. My Savior.

I confess that I’ve made an idol out of my book sales (or lack of). In Your own time you will help me whittle down my debt. I thank you for what I’ve already earned. There will be more eventually—in your time, not mine.

I wrote that on August 2nd and after I closed my journal that morning, I did lighten up on checking my sales and, what do you know, sales have increased over time. Not exactly breaking the bank, but they are steady.

On August 31 – September 2, I ran a freebie promotion, making the book free. In those three days over 3000 people downloaded the book, and ever since, I’ve been selling more per day than I did before the freebie promotion. 

And I’m told that when I am able to get the sequel to Thyme for Love edited and out there to sell as a package, the sales could increase.

I’m so grateful that God intervened on my spirit early on and set my heart in the right place. It’s so easy to make an idol out of the craziest things if we aren’t careful.

What have you learned about idol making in your life? If you are an indie author have you had a similar experience with checking your sales? Please leave comments. I love to hear how others deal with the same things I’m experiencing.

A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love, and Love Will Find a Way, contemporary romantic mysteries, and her 1933 historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Wisconsin and other midwestern spots for new story ideas.


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