Indie Authors: Are Your Sales Flat. Thinking of Quitting? Read This.

Written By: Jackie Weger - Jul• 11•19

Are Your Sales Sucking Mud? Are You Feeling Dejected? Think It’s Time to Quit?

You are not alone. Every forum I visit is rife with authors whose sales have flat lined and thinking it’s time to quit. What makes it worse, others are saying how fine their sales.  I never suggest a writer quit. Here’s why: You may quit writing, but your writing never quits you.  And there’s this:  Forty years ago when I began my writing career, not a single one of my colleagues thought they’d make a grand slam and be able to retire from their day job.  A few of us managed to get contracts and could write full time–but we still had to budget and save our pennies.  We all had husbands with jobs with benefits.  What we didn’t have was the Internet. To network, we’d gather a few writers and have a retreat or meet up at small conferences.  We shared notes and experiences, but I don’t recall any of us feeling pressured to keep up with best selling authors. We enjoyed ourselves.

If you are finding yourself envious of writers who are earning thousands like CeeCee James, Marie Force and Carmen DeSousa, hit your reset button. I love these writers, among many others, because they are keeping romance readers in the fold.  Those readers are our readers, too.  It’s our job to tap into them.

Get this: Nothing says you can’t take a break. For a dozen years I had to stop writing. I had to see my elderly parents on their last journey. I spent two years searching for a safe haven for a fifty-five year-old  handicapped brother.  That was a hoot. He was a schizophrenic off his meds.  I had to chase him down all over the South.  I spent another seven years helping a son burned in a fire until his heart gave out.  Worn to a frazzle, I took a long break living on the cheap in a foreign country. Next, I went to university. All through this, when I was asked: What do you do for a living? I answered, I’m a writer. When this era of my life came to an end, indie authorship was available and I jumped in with both feet.  Mercy me. I made mistakes hand over fist. I prob’ly am still making mistakes, but I trust my judgment now.

The heyday of Kindle Unlimited was soon in it’s prime and I earned decent royalties. Now, things have changed as they always do in this business.  For the first time in a couple of years Amazon is pushing Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.  First three months free. Perhaps that will give Select authors a new readership.  I love Amazon and Bookbub, but keep in mind, we indie authors helped build those entities.  For years, until the Big Five cottoned to discounting their books, we indie authors were the only writers offering free and 99c  books.

I decided to push that reset button. I spent the first half of 2019 moving my list wide.  I’m taking the summer off.  I have two books ready for revisions and when the mood strikes, I’ll get those published.  I’m not a techie and never will be, so I’ve hired a Virtual Assistant to edit my books, create memes and introduce me on Instagram. Otherwise, I’m sitting on my wallet and doing other things such becoming a Twitter Ninja, blogging books by my colleagues and running one giveaway a month via Accent on Romance to build my newsletter subscribers.  I count those as positives. If a few dollars trickle in, I’m good. If not, I’m still good. I’ve always lived close to the bone, so know I can manage.

I’m well inside my octogenarian year and a bit frail, so I know I  can’t go out and get a part-time job. But if you need a break, do that. Or go on an adventure with a friend even if it’s only to a beach or a lake or a nearby park.  There are times when body and brain need a rest.  That doesn’t mean you have to quit writing.  You don’t have to write a book a month to be successful.  One good book at a time at your own pace will do just fine.

However, once I started going to large writing conferences, I did hear grumbling. so I created and professionally produced, Fiction Focus.  It works. I used to gather a dozen writers in my home, passed out pillows and we laid on the floor listening to the tape.  When it was over, everyone had a good sense of self as a writer. Next we ate and went out for drinks, talked writing, explored plots and went home ready to  hit those keys. Now Fiction Focus is on digital and CD.  Only  $3.95 on Blackstone site.  So. If none of my suggestions work for you, try Fiction Focus.

@JackieWeger 2019. Thanks for stopping by. Comments Welcome. Happy to have you add to the discussion. If you write romance, romantic suspense or historical romance and need a little boost, mention it in the comments. We’ll be in touch. We often do newsletter swaps. In September we’ll start our regular Accent on Romance features and giveaways. The fee for all of us is $25 which puts our books in front of no less than 50K to 60K subscribers.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Thanks for the sage advice, Jackie.

  2. Traci Hall says:

    wonderful advice, Jackie–I love your blogs because they are always down to earth. xo

  3. susan3607 says:

    What an encouraging article. Thank you, Jackie

  4. You are a prime example of never quitting!

  5. Focus Fiction is wonderful! I listen to it often to tap into the creative forces tucked into our subconscious minds. Thank you for creating this tool, Jackie. The words flow much more easily when I set aside this time and rechage!

    ~ Robyn

  6. Wow! Life isn’t easy for any of us. Hugs for being the kind of person we should all aspire to be. Don’t forget to take some of your own advise and take care of you!

  7. Words of wisdom and great timing!

  8. Donna Fasano (@DonnaFaz) says:

    Thank you, Jackie. You’re a great mentor to many!

  9. caitlondon says:

    Wonderful post. I also believe that if you are a writer at heart, you are going to write no matter what–after the life-necessary breaks you described.

  10. Susan Tarr says:

    Perfect timing as always, Jackie. I am just coming out of a flat writing period into editing for publishing in a genre new to me. Psych Thriller. Wish me luck. I’m also packing for a Pacific Island holiday to recharge my batteries after some heavy trekking. Perhaps you should be coming with me, Jackie. XX

  11. srmallery says:

    Much thanks for this, Jackie! 🙂 🙂

  12. P. C. Zick says:

    Thanks as always, Jackie. It’s good to know we’re not alone on this strange and wonderful journey as writer.

  13. Great advice, Jackie, thank you. Enjoy your time off! 🙂

  14. Linda Lee Williams says:

    Your inspirational and encouraging words are always appreciated, Jackie. Shared. 😊

  15. Thank you for this inspiring article. Take good care, Jackie!

  16. Ada says:

    Jackie, I absolutely loved this article. And thank you for being transparent, not only about your career but your family. You are an angel.

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