As an author, I’ve always tried to be transparent about my process, my success, and my failures. It’s just who I am. Well, it’s been a week since Waiting in the Wings, my 19th romance novel dropped. So…how is it going?
As of this writing, I have sold a grand total of 25 copies. That’s all she wrote. I ordered myself more paperbacks than that. What does this number tell me?
- Making back my ROI (return on investment) is going to be tricky. Not impossible, just really hard. See, you have about 90 days from release to earn back the money you spent on the book. (editing, cover costs, etc.) After 90 days, the book drops off algorithm radars. Hell, with so few sales it has probably fallen off already. But the rule of thumb is 90 days.
- This is the second book I’ve released since starting the new day job. And it shows. Not in the quality of the books, mind you. Both releases were written prior to starting the day job. What has changed is the amount of TIME I can devote to marketing. I used to have time to email bloggers, make a ton of graphics. Post on social media, experiment with ads, do fun giveaways, create engagement, buzz. etc.
- November might not be the greatest month for a release. With Midterms, Nanowrimo, and the holidays, people are not thinking about books. I know I’m not. I like to release books quarterly, but maybe that will mean October instead of November. Cause December is totally out. Nope. No way. Lessons learned the hard way.
- First in a series books are always a harder sell. No one wants to start a series that isn’t finished yet. Most readers are binge readers. And since this is part of a series, (of how many books even I don’t know yet) there is some hesitation. I get it.
- I picked a pretty niche place to hold my romance. At a theater. A theater-focused light romance is not exactly the same thing as a steamy billionaire bad-boy troupe.
- It’s written under my pen name, Dani Bannister, which, let’s be face it, isn’t well known. Not that Danielle Bannister is mind you, but that one has been around longer.
What does all this mean? Is it time to throw in the towel? Pat yourself on the back and say you gave it the old college try?
Tempting. Very tempting. That inner critic inside of us all is loud. Persistent. And persuasive. That voice makes it so easy to believe that you’ll never be good enough. That you’re a hack. That no one will ever read your books. You’re no writer. You should give up.
At some point, you are faced with the question: Is this writing thing just an expensive hobby?*ouch
Look, inner critic. I hear you. I do. Trust me. But I’m choosing to ignore you. I am choosing to believe that these last eleven years have been
Instead, I’m focusing my energy on the deal I just landed that will more than cover the lost sales of one book.
Take that, inner critic.
But also, I won’t be made if you want to buy Waiting in the Wings. *cough
Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and defier of the inner critic