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gothceltgirl
08-18-2016, 09:20 AM
OK, I have a strange question. First of all I've been writing a long time, but have a chronic illness which is pretty debillitating most of the time. I've recently managed to find what I need to be able to be about 50 - 60% as functional as a regular person. I love writing. Always have. I struggled, wrote, and self-published a few things back in 2011, but never did any promotional work. Never sold anything either or even got any reviews. Actually one book got a one-star review and I've recently removed it and decided to discontinue it. But my question is, is it too late to promote my fiction work? There are 3 flash fiction stories, 2 short stories, and a poetry chapbook in total now. I'm working on a wine guide, a recipe book, as well as working on freelance writing/admin, whatever I can do to get by, promoting myself, as well as reinvinting my brand, with a whole new image, business cards, website, blog, and all.

Or should I just scrap the lot and start over with a brand new set of things? I have a really great short story that I recently entered into a short story competition. It's my best work yet, with a few more on the way. I'll probably head over to the section where people share stuff for others to read at some point as well.

If I can promote it at all how do I go about it? Maybe getting people to actually read it and write reviews? Any suggestions? Criticisms? I can take it. Being sick, I get more criticism than you'd imagine.

Thanks for reading.
Layla Rose

xbriannova
08-18-2016, 10:13 AM
From what I understand and what I research, if you're not successful, you're unknown, and if you're unknown, you can easily start over and no one would know. This is a luxury that the more successful you are, the less likely you'll have it.

Undercover
08-18-2016, 04:17 PM
I would focus on the new stuff that you are writing.

I find it extremely difficult to promote books that are years old already. That's just from my own experience. A lot of times if you have something new out and they like it, they may buy the older books you have.

For reviews, there's a site called Netgalley (I don't know if you know about it, but) it helps with reviews a lot. It's a website with members in the writing industry like librarians, book bloggers and such that create buzz for your books. It costs money to do it. I don't know how much, but it's worth a look.

Here's a link: https://s2.netgalley.com/

The Farmer
08-18-2016, 05:35 PM
I struggled, wrote, and self-published a few things back in 2011, but never did any promotional work. Never sold anything either or even got any reviews. Actually one book got a one-star review and I've recently removed it and decided to discontinue it. But my question is, is it too late to promote my fiction work? There are 3 flash fiction stories, 2 short stories, and a poetry chapbook in total now. I'm working on a wine guide, a recipe book, as well as working on freelance writing/admin, .



I don't think it's ever too late.

Getting a one star review can hurt your feelings (a lot!) but, they can be helpful in determining why your book isn't doing better. What did the one star review say?

I know it is hard to promote. I've got two YA fiction books self published and I have no idea how to promote them. I sell a few and I get reviews. But, I'm never going to get rich from them. They barely make enough to keep me in wine. I can't help you with promotion.

But, I can encourage you to keep at it. Use any bad review to make your book better. Just because it is already published, if you want to spiff it up, you can simply upload a new version.

Have you published any non-fiction? (You say that you are working on a wine guide and a recipe book.) My non-fiction far outsells my fiction. They are short 50 - 70 page "how-to" books that people are interested in. The only tip I can give you on selling non-fiction is to work as hard on your title as you do on the actual book. Study the titles of the best sellers in the category you want and make your title similar. I've found that "Beginner Guide to...." works well. Another word I have used in my titles is "Easy". Then, the only thing you have to make sure of is that the content you give is worth the money you ask for. If it's not, you will get bad reviews.

Good luck! It's not too late.

gothceltgirl
08-19-2016, 02:51 AM
My wine guide is called "The Budget-Hunter's Wine Guide" and the recipe book title is still a work in progress. I am going to try to get some reviews. They'll have to be for free somewhere as I don't have the money to pay for anything even remotely like the Netgalley thing that another poster suggested. I get disability and recently lost my food stamps. Long story. So I'm focused on being able to afford food & hopefully catch up with bills from freelance work. Things aren't going well at the moment. But I'm doing more and am working more on all my stuff. Never thought I'd ever join Twitter or be on Facebook again. I was off it for about 4 years.

I'm thinking of doing a promo with Amazon, so I can get some people to read and review this stuff. One of those offer it for free for a while things. I've read that that can be hit or miss, but well, needs must.

gothceltgirl
08-19-2016, 02:55 AM
Not really a possibility, anything that requires a fee is simply not feasible at the moment. I have to focus on being able to buy food. But I have heard of Netgalley and will look into it for a future time, perhaps.

BTW love that kitty face. I have a cat as well. She's my heart with fur.:heart:

gothceltgirl
08-19-2016, 02:56 AM
Thanks for all the replies so far. I had to remember to come back here to check since I didn't get a notification, even though I subscribed to the thread. I think I may have solved that problem, I guess we'll see...

Undercover
08-19-2016, 04:29 AM
Totally understandable about not being able to afford promo. I'm in the same boat. Yeah, if you do a lot of social media like Twitter, Facebook etc. that might help. Also Goodreads too.

Twick
08-19-2016, 05:09 AM
A budget wine guide sounds like something I'd be interested in. So if you let people know it's out there, I'm sure people would be interested.

gothceltgirl
08-19-2016, 08:00 AM
Yep I just set up my Goodreads acct and author page and all. I really thought that I'd done that before, not the author page but I'd been looking at the site a bunch. Guess I must've misfiled that in my brain. They had my book covers all out of date. When I first made my books, there were no free book cover creators at the time, well barely, that were decent. Mine were so out of date that Smashwords emailed me a few weeks ago and told me I had to update them, so I was able to find & create lovely new book covers for free! Yay! My updated covers have made me feel so much more positive about my stuff. I know that's just a cover, but people look at a cover and get an impression regardless of what people say about not judging books by them. It's just how our brains are wired.

gothceltgirl
08-19-2016, 08:01 AM
Yep, thank you, I will be as active as I can with all my social media stuff so that I can get the word out. I wanted to upload my wine guide cover, but alas it only allows inserting images from an URL. I don't really have time to set that up ATM, but soon. As I'm supposed to be working tonight. I've been really sick this week, missed a lot of work and a gal's gotta eat.

The Farmer
08-19-2016, 05:10 PM
PM me when you do a promo and I'll read it. If I like it, I'll leave a review. If I don't like it, I'll let you know why.

gothceltgirl
08-19-2016, 05:26 PM
That sounds great, I certainly will. Thanks Farmer! :hooray:

Pen Name TBD
09-07-2016, 03:46 AM
I'm not speaking from experience, just what I've read, but it seems, at least with fiction, that it is easier to make money writing a series of books. Then you promote the first one, and the people that find it can buy the others. If you aren't writing fiction anymore, maybe it would work similarly with your wine guide and recipe book. Maybe write a couple other wine books and a couple of companion recipe books and find a way to market them as a series of three wine guides (Or do wine, beer, and hard stuff, who knows? I am clueless about it.) and three recipe books. Maybe mention the others in the first book or the blurb or something. Then again, maybe it won't work at all. I'm just throwing out some ideas. You're already way ahead of me anyway since you've already published work before.

draosz
09-08-2016, 03:14 AM
For reviews, there's a site called Netgalley (I don't know if you know about it, but) it helps with reviews a lot. It's a website with members in the writing industry like librarians, book bloggers and such that create buzz for your books. It costs money to do it. I don't know how much, but it's worth a look.

Here's a link: https://s2.netgalley.com/

"Most authors will likely select from one of the following pricing options: the basic six-month listing option, which is priced at $399, and the Marketing-Plus-Title listing, priced at $599, which includes placement in the NetGalley Newsletter. Indie authors who are members of the Independent Book Publishers Association can take advantage of the organizationís relationship with NetGalley. Through the IBPA partnership (https://www.ibpa-online.org/benefits/marketing-programs/netgalley-book-review-express/), indie authors can list their books at discounted prices ($349 for a standard six-month listing; $499 for a package enhanced by marketing features). In addition, IBPA will do most of the work involved in adding books to NetGalley and processing requests."

Source of this quote is article The Savvy Self-Publisher's Guide to NetGalley (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/68517-the-savvy-self-publisher-s-guide-to-netgalley.html) at publishersweekly.com (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/home/index.html)

And, best of luck, gothceltgirl.

gothceltgirl
09-08-2016, 04:35 AM
I'm really much more of a fiction writer. And opinion pieces. Creative writing is so much more my thing. But I will definitely keep that in mind. I was thinking of making a continuation in the form of a guide to lager or something. But I'm still uncertain about it. It's kind of just a working idea at the moment.

gothceltgirl
09-08-2016, 04:37 AM
Since I'm experiencing food scarcity at the moment, anything that costs anything will have to wait indefinitely at this time. But thanks for the info draosz.

Pen Name TBD
09-08-2016, 04:47 AM
I'm really much more of a fiction writer. And opinion pieces. Creative writing is so much more my thing. But I will definitely keep that in mind. I was thinking of making a continuation in the form of a guide to lager or something. But I'm still uncertain about it. It's kind of just a working idea at the moment.

If that's the case, you could always crank out a trilogy and release them all at the same time, or slightly stagger them. Apparently, that's the way others have made money. Either way, best of luck to you.

Old Hack
09-08-2016, 10:08 AM
If that's the case, you could always crank out a trilogy and release them all at the same time, or slightly stagger them. Apparently, that's the way others have made money. Either way, best of luck to you.

I'm uneasy with your use of "crank out", Pen Name. It does feel somewhat disrespectful to the writers who write with speed. Let's treat everyone well, ok?

gothceltgirl
09-08-2016, 11:19 AM
Yes I have considered the whole writing multi-part thing and releasing it staggered. I will perhaps think on this some more.

Old Hack: I don't think that Pen Name meant anything by it, they were just being colorful.

Old Hack
09-08-2016, 04:31 PM
Old Hack: I don't think that Pen Name meant anything by it, they were just being colorful.

I hope you're right. But we're writers here, and should use words with precision; and AW has just one rule, which is "respect your fellow writer". Suggesting that some writers "churn out" their books is on the edge of being disrespectful, and we can do better than that.

Pen Name TBD
09-08-2016, 05:40 PM
I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything by it. It didn't sound like the OP had any fiction works in progress, so I was implying that she might want to start a new one from scratch with the intent of making a series out of it, and it seems like she is looking to do something as soon as possible. I made no presumptions about the quality or even speed; I'm the last guy who would do that.

gothceltgirl
09-09-2016, 03:42 AM
Hi Pen Name, I've actually got a vampire novel, a short horror story, a sci fi story, another supernatural tale, etc. I've got ADHD so I've almost always got more started than I have finished. I wish that it were simpler and easier to write wonderful, eloquent, poetic things (also write poetry), and have people just flock to us to buy them. But my freelance business has taken over my life. I admit it's surprisingly enjoyable as well. Even the business side of it.

I suppose having been an admin before and having enjoyed it helps me to be at ease with all of the non-writerly tasks that I'm faced with. I've got a bunch of tasks to do tonight, which will take all my time away from (most) of the writing that I enjoy the most. But I do enjoy my blog. So that's something.

Pen Name TBD
09-09-2016, 04:50 AM
Oh, well it sounds like you have plenty to keep you busy. :) It's good that you enjoy everything you are working on. I wish I could say the same. I was just tossing ideas out there anyway. From what I've read, standalone books and short stories are a tougher sell, and series are easier, though nothing is set in stone, obviously.

Alcasgra
11-01-2016, 02:57 PM
Hi, gothceltgirl. I'm not experienced with marketing, but I believe that I've read somewhere on AW about promoting your book(s) on someone else's blog or website for free as long as the other person can promote their stuff on your blog/website/social media for free. I think that's certainly worth a try.

I have joined a few Facebook groups and Yahoo groups for future promotional purposes. :) I'm also on twitter and instagram. Plus, I have my own blog; the visits are very small though. For the last four months, I only have about 120+ visitors. LOL! I'm sure some of those visitors are the same people too. :)

Maybe you can try something similar?


OK, I have a strange question. First of all I've been writing a long time, but have a chronic illness which is pretty debillitating most of the time. I've recently managed to find what I need to be able to be about 50 - 60% as functional as a regular person. I love writing. Always have. I struggled, wrote, and self-published a few things back in 2011, but never did any promotional work. Never sold anything either or even got any reviews. Actually one book got a one-star review and I've recently removed it and decided to discontinue it. But my question is, is it too late to promote my fiction work? There are 3 flash fiction stories, 2 short stories, and a poetry chapbook in total now. I'm working on a wine guide, a recipe book, as well as working on freelance writing/admin, whatever I can do to get by, promoting myself, as well as reinvinting my brand, with a whole new image, business cards, website, blog, and all.

Or should I just scrap the lot and start over with a brand new set of things? I have a really great short story that I recently entered into a short story competition. It's my best work yet, with a few more on the way. I'll probably head over to the section where people share stuff for others to read at some point as well.

If I can promote it at all how do I go about it? Maybe getting people to actually read it and write reviews? Any suggestions? Criticisms? I can take it. Being sick, I get more criticism than you'd imagine.

Thanks for reading.
Layla Rose