This Little Piggy Went to Market

No, the post is not about nursery rhymes, though I might have better success with them, and this little pig is rather sweet. Being an Indie writer isn’t just about dreaming up stories. In fact that’s only a small part of the job. I’ve never been good at selling. I’m an introvert, a chronic introvert if I’m honest (my family may think differently but what would they know?) 😉 I can go for days without going out of my little world  and the only conversations I have are with myself, Simon and the animali! I do talk to myself a lot, I catch myself doing it sometimes and wonder if anyone is really listening to me.

Anyway I digress. So being an Indie author means I have to market my books myself. I think, to be fair, the same is true for ‘traditional’ published authors but they do have a machine behind them to help and which opens up all kinds of opportunities. For a large part of last year I concentrated on getting my products ‘seen’. After all, just publishing a book and sitting back won’t bring the pennies in. I knew that but I didn’t know what steps, that I could do from the safety of my den, I should be taking.

I started a course, which involved a not insignificant investment from a very thin (well non-existent) budget. It has produced some good results including:

  • A ‘readers’ list which as grown from 13 (mostly friends and family) to 236
  • On average 75 daily downloads of The Duke’s Shadow ebook (which is free and has attracted previously mentioned subscribers
  • A total of 30 reviews (previously in lower single figures) on The Duke’s Shadow, the majority of them positive
  • An increase in visits to my Facebook page and website (Louise Charles)
  • A very tiny increase in my profit… I’m talking pennies but look after the pennies and…

“Are you making noise with your book marketing or are you creating a symphony?”
― Judith Briles, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers

These small steps are an incredible success in my terms, but they don’t quite reach the dizzy standards that are currently being suggested. It worries me hearing about the thousands and thousands of subscribers some authors have and the ‘6 figure’ income they’re achieving whilst saving the world. The benefits of the actions have been diluted by what seems to me impossible targets, it aggravates my Imposter Syndrome. I’m not jealous, honest, I’m not. I know it takes dedication and action. And I am, just in smaller amounts.

More to the point, I don’t want thousands of faceless readers I can’t possible create a connection with. Maybe it’s my introversion that holds me back but I’d rather have a small number of loyal fans than thousands just looking for a free lunch at my cost. And I don’t want to earn a six figure salary. Honest, I don’t. If the last ten years have taught me anything it’s that money is not the key to a happy and contented life. We have learnt to live on very little and are debt free. Of course, a little extra income would mean we could do different things – touring around in Bobbus (our camper van) for one.

The first thing I would do, given a bit of extra cash, is create a marketing budget, so I could do things properly, and maybe pay someone else to do it for me. *Light bulb moment* My darling husband, Simon has just gained pensioner status on his birthday a couple of weeks ago! He’ll have a bit more time on his hands…and I wouldn’t have to pay him! Well, instead I could buy a little micro-pig to add to our menagerie!


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