Friday, May 6, 2016

My experience with marketing



When I was getting ready to publish my first book I had no idea what my marketing strategy was. All I knew was that I didn’t want to be one of those annoying people that kept talking about their book all the time and to anyone that would listen.

So when it came to publishing my book I aimed for a soft release of sorts. Meaning, I wasn’t going to make a big noise about it. Most of my fellow bloggers helped me spread the word and allowed me to guest post on their blogs. I tweeted about it a few times and mentioned it on Facebook. At first it was tempting to talk about my book non-stop. But soon I was annoying even myself. So I stopped.

However, when I was doing research about marketing, I kept reading about marketing must haves like:
  • ·        You must have a platform, preferably a blog (check)
  • ·        Take part in as many forms of social media as possible (check)
  • ·        Talk about your book (check)
  • ·        Have a reasonably priced book (check)
  • ·        Good book cover (check)
  • ·        Good editing (check)
  • ·        Another book (nope)
 And then you will have great success.

First of all, I’m a realist. I didn’t expect my book to suddenly be read by the masses. I knew for a fact that my book would upset more people than garner interest. I didn’t expect to sell a lot of books because I didn’t use any paid marketing options. I didn’t have the money to. My friends and I did all the marketing.

I didn’t go big on the marketing because I knew that I didn’t have another piece of work to offer potential readers. All I wanted to do was let the world know that my book was out and available for enjoyment. I wasn’t harassing anyone to buy my book. When I have more books out I might get more aggressive with the marketing.
  
What I learned is that you can follow all the marketing strategies out there and follow everything to a T, but it doesn’t guarantee you success. You have to do what feels good to you. Every book is different. Also, every writer is different too. What might work for all your friends might not work for you. 

I wish I didn’t sign up to most of the social media options. That I had stuck to one or two I liked best. I even started a newsletter to let potential readers know about my new releases.

I don’t mind growing my audience over time. I like the idea of starting out slow. After all, being a writer is about doing it in the long run. I might not release a book every six months, but I will release more books in the future. Please, don’t let others set the rules for you. Set your own and stick to them. You answer to yourself. Do what works for you. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Crazy girl (IWSG)


I’m not that insecure today. However, I’ve realized that my priorities are a little askew. I have all the time in the world to write, but I don't. To be honest I feel like a bit of a mess, which isn’t actually news:) Lately I can’t find a good place to write in the house. My usual desk is a constant mess and I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. Simply getting up and writing feels like such a chore, but that is something I have to work on. How are you doing today? 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Writer’s Burnout

The idea of perfection is something I struggle with every day. Not so much today, but in general, absolutely. It makes me push myself a little more when I’m tired. It fires me up to do certain tasks repetitively to make sure my end product is close to perfection. It sometimes makes me feel a little crazy.

For the past few months I’ve not felt like myself. I attributed it to the fact that I was lazy. Even that I had no more creativity left. I even thought that because I was published, I no longer wished to write―that I achieved my goal and that I was complete.  If you're me, you would chastise yourself for thinking such things. And I did. The truth however, which I didn't want to admit, is that I was suffering from burnout.

As I was getting my manuscript ready for publication I didn’t always take good care of myself mentally, or physically. I worked long hours, well into the night. I skipped meals. I kept working and working. Telling myself that after all was done I would rest. But that was a lie. Even after I published I kept pushing myself more. I had to promote more. I had to write more. I just had to do more. I felt guilty if I wasn’t working. At some point, I don’t remember when, my body and mind just wouldn’t do as much anymore. I had a depression episode and I blamed my lack of sales. The fact that I wasn’t better at marketing. That I wasn’t likeable as a person, or writer. I blamed everything but myself for keeping on and pushing harder.

I am finding my way back after yet another episode of depression and I admit that I've been suffering from writer’s burnout. I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore, because now I know what not to do next time. I was so focused on getting everything just right, that I forgot to have fun. Fun is important. After all, I’m planning on doing this until the day I die, so if I don’t enjoy the process I won’t be doing it for long.

I am still struggling to get back into a writing routine, but I'm optimistic that I will figure it out. For the past few months I’ve just been binge watching TV and I never thought I would say this, but I'm bored. The programs aren’t that appealing anymore.

If you're in the process of publishing, or are writing a new project, please take care of yourself. If you feel tired, take a break. If you need a few days off, take it. Be kind to yourself. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Every journey is different (IWSG)


I have the bad habit of always wanting everything to be perfect. That doesn’t just go for my writing it goes for all aspects of my life. I like doing research. Lots of it. So when I became serious about my writing, naturally, I did research about all aspects of it. I knew that if you did it for money that you were going to bomb. You had to love what you do. Unfortunately, I also got addicted to reading success stories of other writers who became published and was writing for a living.

I quickly learned that two writers can get the same advice and do things exactly the same and the outcome will vary. Why? Because people are different. Nobody thinks the same way. Those hardships that come your way while you are trying to reach your goal, is making you stronger and tougher. Trust me, that suffering is nothing compared to when you are published and you can’t figure out marketing:)

No matter if it is taking you twice as long as your friend, keep at it. So what if everyone you know is published but you? You will get there. I have to always remind myself of that. Sometimes it’s hard to get it through my thick skull. Only focus on what you can do. Like writing the best book you can. Don’t worry about what other writers are doing and achieving. They are not a threat. There will be enough space for your writing too. Just do what you do. You are an individual. Keep working hard and know what you want. You will get where you want to be. Just don't ever give up. 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Endless cover reveal

Check out this awesome cover. Love the colours. Congratulations, Misha!





About the Book

First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.


Excerpt

This had to be what dying felt like. Floating outside my body, waiting for that final link to my life to be severed, only vaguely aware of indescribable pain. More screams than I could count rose up around me. Hundreds of footsteps beat against tiles. I couldn’t open my eyes if I wanted to. Not when it was easier to listen and wait. People shouted for a doctor or an IV, or a thousand other things that made no sense. I listened to all the chaos, trying to untangle it in my thoughts.

Soon, I could go. The peace around me was so relaxing, completely out of place in the clamor I heard. I wanted it. To rest forever in that peace. Why not? There was a very good reason, but I couldn’t call it to mind.

A numb buzz shot through my body and shattered my serenity.

It happened again. Only this time was more of a sharp pulse. The third time jolted like lightning. The fourth…Hell. Suddenly, the screams were coming from me. My heart’s relentless thundering added to my torment.

Pain.

Everywhere.

My chest burned like fire. It hurt to breathe. Cold air drove down my throat and into my lungs, amplifying the inferno in my chest. My skin felt scorched. It couldn’t be. It wasn’t right.

I had to see. I had to understand why pain dominated my existence like this. My eyes were fused shut. My breaths grew shallow, trying to draw air when there was none. I tried to clench my teeth. I bit hard plastic. A pipe. Cold air suddenly forced back into my lungs, out of time with my own breathing. This was wrong. It wasn’t safe. I had to see. The best I got was a little fluttering of my lashes.

A high-pitched beep shot through my head. It repeated again and again. I wanted to reach over and slam my fist into its source. My arm wouldn’t lift. Something kept it trapped. A scream rose up from the depths of my soul, but the pipe jammed inside my throat stifled the sound. I only managed a whimper, trying my best not to gag. More air blasted into my lungs against my will. What was going on? I was trapped in my own body, but why?

I needed to move. I had to move. Now. Before… Even… Even though… Panic gripped me. The beeps increased at a frenetic pace. I needed to move. To be gone. Didn’t matter where. Just not here. Not defenseless. Not trapped.

The air sucked out of my lungs. I gasped, choking on nothing, strangled by invisible fingers. I tried to convulse my body. To twist myself free of what’s holding me.

Nothing.

The air rushed back in a cold flood. Seconds later it left, only to return in the same amount of time.

There was a rhythm to the air. In… out... in… out… The breaths were slow—sleep-like. I concentrated on this rhythm, striving to clear my head. If I wanted out, I needed to think. Calmly. Clearly. Eventually, those irritating beeps slowed. I tried to focus past the sound.

Voices buzzed about me, adding to my need to see, to do something to protect myself. No one seemed to pay attention to me. Good. I could use that to my advantage.

I centered my every thought on moving my little finger. It finally jerked, but collided against something solid. So the thing trapping my arm was physical and too heavy for me to lift. It was better to be trapped than paralyzed. With luck I could escape my restraints. I tried my other hand, but it was cemented stuck as well. Right leg. Left leg. Damn it! Both trapped. I had to move!

No.

No, I needed to stay calm. I tried to make larger movements, biting the pipe in my mouth against the urge to scream in pain. There was no wiggle room.

Fearing that I might be blindfolded, I focused on blinking. It worked. My eyes opened and the blur faded, revealing ceiling tiles. Why would there be tiles? Where was the canvas of hospital tents? The distant sounds of bombs dropping? The power of their explosions rushing through my blood?

No. That wasn’t right. I wasn’t there.

Where was I, then?

About the Author

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My sales info




Okay folks, here it is. I was asked about my sales, so here goes.

When publishing I went with the e-book and print versions. For e-book I went with Amazon and Draft2Digital. D2D distributes to iBooks, Nook, Inktera, 24 Symbols and Kobo for me, for a fee of course. For print I went with Createspace. 

E-book sales from September 2015 - March 2016
                                                                Units sold                            Royalties
Amazon                                                       9                                        $ 16,84
Draft2Digital                                               6                                        $ 10, 47
Total Roylaties earned                                15                                       $ 27,31

Print book sales August 2015 - March 2016
                                                                Units Sold                            Royalties
Createspce                                                    2                                        $ 2,68


As of 31 December 2015, I had ordered my own books through Createspace to try and sell in South Africa. Mostly because family members and friends wanted to buy copies. I bought the books in 2 batches (December batch and February batch).

First batch December2015 (sold for $12.50 per book in South Africa)

Units Ordered                   Money Spent                     Money earned back
 10                                       $ 110, 49                               $ 125

Second Batch February 2016 (sold for $ 12,50 per book in South Africa)
Units Ordered                    Money Spent                    Money earned back
 13                                       $ 132, 44                                $ $12,50


Here is the numbers of books sold by me in Total

Units  ordered              Units sold            Money spent.          Money earned back
  23                                11                           $242,93                    $ 137, 50

As you can see, I am currently running at a loss of $ 105.43. So I really have to try and sell those remaining books. As all money I make has to go towards editing for the second book, if I can finish it:(

I might have been hasty ordering in the second batch. I think I was a bit overconfident.

So that is it. Let me know if you have any questions. Oh, if you are wondering where I got the money to buy in my own books, I was naughty and spent what I have saved for the editing of my second book.