The secret of my success. What’s that about, you might wonder? Well, I thought it was time to write something about Floating In Space again and update you with how it’s going. Success of course is pretty relative. Floating In Space isn’t a blockbuster hit, in fact it’s currently rated at 677,726 on Amazon so there’s a bit of a way to go before we start challenging the current number one paperback. Still, from my point of view, that of an amateur self published writer, I’m reasonably pleased with myself. I wrote Floating for me, for my own personal pleasure and the fact that so many people have read it is great.
Last year, 2015, I was averaging a few quid in royalties each month. A fiver means I’ve sold about ten Kindle copies and I was selling at that rate per month for most of 2015; sometimes less, occasionally more. In November I thought that was the time to crank up the pressure and get ready for the Christmas rush. I took some of my profits and invested them in a couple of advertisements. One on Twitter and one on Facebook. It’s interesting how advertising on the Internet works. You can target people by age, gender and interests, by geographical location, by personal interests, by all sorts of things. My Facebook ads didn’t seem to do so well, indeed various versions were not accepted due to the text used in my images. Facebook doesn’t like text within images but images on the Internet are highly important as you probably know. Posts with images attract much more interaction than posts without images. Anyway, I eventually solved the issue by using text free images thus making them more Facebook friendly.
On Twitter, I promoted an existing Tweet about Floating and it went pretty well. Well, I thought so at first, the only thing is that my December sales were nil. Same for January and February. In fact it was only mid 2016 that they seemed to recover. The current ad I am using is on Goodreads. It’s a pay-per-click ad which is doing really well. A huge amount of people have seen it, although only a few have actually clicked on the ad, and it’s then, when a viewer clicks on the ad, that I pay a few cents.
This blog, with its various posts and videos was started originally to sell my book. After all, it’s one thing to publish a book, it’s another to start selling it and people need to know it’s out there first. However, this website has taken on a life of its own. My own writing has improved and its a great to have a deadline -10:00AM every Saturday which just seems to hone my writing. I work towards that deadline every week and so far, with the help of my standby or banker posts, I’ve always made it OK.
My posts go out automatically every Saturday to all my social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr accounts and I have a fair few followers on all those sites, especially Twitter. On Facebook, my writer page has only about 150 followers and probably less on Tumblr and Google+ but on Twitter, I have a whopping 3,684 followers. Yes, 3,684! Now, I’d like to be able to tell you how I did that but I’m not sure I can. The only answer I can give you is that networking, constant networking, eventually pays off. I usually post four times a day on Twitter, just links to my posts and videos, all coupled with a picture that I hope readers will find interesting enough to click on. Here’s the interesting thing, the really crazy thing. Often, my stats at WordPress won’t match with Twitter. Take a highly retweeted post on Twitter, linking to a wordpress post and my Twitter stats will show a pretty hefty number of retweets and likes but on wordpress there are not always the same figures. That’s because, I think, my fellow promoters and networkers at Twitter don’t necessarily click the link on the tweets in the first place, they just take them at their face value and like or retweet as they think fit. Why? Because they have their own agenda which doesn’t necessarily fit in with mine. Internet etiquette means that I’ll tend to retweet the tweets of my retweeters and if I do that, boom, those tweets are going straight to my 3684 followers, just as my retweeters wanted. Yes, the Internet can be a pretty ruthless place. My pretty large following gives me a certain sort of power, it makes me pretty popular and means that my following is just expanding organically. My latest stats say I’m getting another 2 followers every day so please check the date and update that 3684 figure incrementally when you read this!
So, is it still possible to find success as a self published author or Internet writer? Believe me, I won’t be giving up my day job anytime yet but it’s not impossible to at least make a living. 50 Shades of Grey started out as a self published novel, and so did many other books. In fact click here to read about the top 10 best-selling self published authors.
Still what is success really? If Floating In Space hits the best seller lists and I make a huge amount of money from it, I’d only fritter it away in restaurants and pubs, spend far too much time in some sunny resort, and probably drive about the country in a ridiculously expensive car. Do I really need success? Do I really want it?
Of course I do!
A really interesting and informative piece, written with your characteristic honesty and good humour. What’s your book about, may I ask?
It’s a novel set in 1970s Manchester. It’s a cross between Saturday night and Sunday morning and a kind of loving. A kitchen sink drama for the seventies. Click my video links to hear me blathering blithely on about it!
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Will do, sounds interesting, two brilliant books!