Café novelist

Frustrated indie author!

Amazon Kindle

High five
So, you’ve written your book, spent hours fretting over the story line, edited and re-edited, then as I have done, self-published on Amazon. You’ve pestered your friends and family over the years with your plot lines and sub-plots, until they dread the thought of you mentioning your book ever again. But to you, your book is the most important thing you’ve ever done. You think about it from the time you wake, in the car, having lunch, watching tv- you get the idea!
You’ve done your research into what keywords best describe your book for people to find your book effectively on Amazon. You agonise over which categories to place it into, which price to set it at, too low and people will think it’s not worth it, too high and you price yourself out of the market. So everything is set, your heart races as your finger hovers above the publish button; this is the moment, everything you’ve been working towards for the last couple of years. You press the magic button- ‘Wow, I’ve finally done it- woo hoo!’ You go to bed expecting to wake up to untold riches and glowing reviews and major publishing houses beating down a path to your door.
You click on your sales figures the next morning and there staring back at you is a big fat ZERO! Disappointing, yes. But Rome wasn’t built in a day so you are patient and wait a week or so as you fiddle with pricing, categories and keywords and still nothing. This is where the real doubt starts to creep in- ‘Maybe it isn’t very good after all’- ‘Who am I kidding?’
Well this is where you have to start being creative and look at ways in which to promote it, because the uncomfortable truth is that this is where the real hard work comes in- like it or not! Luckily a good friend of mine forwarded to me a podcast which was helpful in so many ways (link at the bottom.) I listened to it and heard the guy talk about a company called FIVERR where you can get people to promote your book for like it says, a Fiver (US $). It offers a lot of other products but for this purpose I’ll focus on book promotion. I followed his advice and I couldn’t believe it as I saw my figures rise up and up on a daily basis. I offered a free promotion for five days as per Amazon’s services and it just exploded.
This might sound counter-intuitive, giving your precious work away for nothing but it works. The reason is because you are now linked with ‘customers who bought this also bought…’ Also one important thing is to have reviews, as people are less likely to buy without one. But that’s a subject for another day! I hope this might be useful for people who were in the same position as I was in and not patronising!

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I want to be alone!

Desert island
We all know writing is a lonely business as you can’t undertake the process with immediate company present. Many authors write at different times of day in complete solitude, no matter the weather and are very strict with their word count. I envy these writers as they manage to fill many pages with their self-discipline. I tend to do most of my writing during the inclement months, which is pretty much all-year round! I find that when it is sunny and hot it is easy to get distracted by outdoor pursuits.
My routine is to exercise in the morning to get in the right frame of mind, then I go to one of the many cafes in my town and write there. I find that the perfect time is around 15:00 onwards as you’re not likely to find children running around and ruining the creative flow! I have learnt over time though to pack a pair of ear-phones to drown out people’s overly-loud conversations! I was in a café once where there was a particular gentleman who couldn’t have spoken any louder if he had a megaphone. No amount of annoyed and serious glances thrown his way had any affect on his monologue. Suffice to say I didn’t manage to get much work done and I found out everything about his life that day. That reminds me I must send his Auntie Doris a ‘Get Well Card’ as “she suffers terribly with her lumbago!”


Flying the nest

baby bird

Well, I have now finished my book and my characters have left the nest to find a home in a land called Kindle. I have fed and nurtured them for the last two years, and without a word of thanks they have flown the coop! I visit them every now and then in hopes that they have grown fat from my efforts to tell people of their existence in even stranger lands called Facebook!

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Book editing

I have been working on my book, The Shamanic Prophecy, for almost two years now and I feel it is almost time to let it out into the wide blue yonder. It has consumed me for all this time and I worry about my characters, does it sound crazy to say that they have become good friends?! I have found it to be fulfilling and frustrating in equal measures, but I have learned so much along the way.
I have been busy dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s and now there is not much more I can do. So I say farewell to my characters and hope that they survive in the big, wide world! I just hope they don’t come back at weekends with loads of dirty washing!

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