It has been a little while since I did a book update on The Great Bandit. To help promote my book, I registered with a few sites, but then discovered that it would cost an arm and a leg. A few copies of the book were sold on Amazon, and the reviews were positive. Although it is a slow start, I am aware that few people leave reviews for books they have read. Hell, I have been guilty of this myself. I’ve made it my mission to leave a review on every book I read on Amazon and GoodReads because, why not?
My first thought was to run a freebie book promotion on GoodReads, but then I realized it would cost a lot of money. As a struggling writer with a chronic illness, it’s not surprising that I’m having trouble raising the funds to promote this book. Indie authors have made it, but those writers also have a huge following or money to promote their books. My following isn’t huge, and I spend most of my money on prescription medications and doctor visits.
I switched the book to Kindle Unlimited to increase its exposure and so that those who have Kindle Unlimited can read it for free. The cost of the kindle book is only $2.99, and I set the print and hard copy to where I only make a little over a dollar on each. I don’t care about becoming rich off my work because I love writing, but it’s heartbreaking to think it isn’t reaching the people I want it to reach.
If you are wondering why I didn’t send it to a traditional publisher, here’s why…
It is an amazing book. In fact, I cannot believe I wrote it. A traditional publisher would take a year and a half to publish my manuscript and that’s if they chose to do so. So, I decided not to send it to them. In addition, many people told me you would still have to promote. As I mentioned before, I am more concerned about the book than money, and I just want people to read it. I even bought a dozen copies to give to my family and friends as Christmas gifts.
Things I’ve learned along the way…
As an independent author, I’ve encountered many other struggling authors. Several of them have posted links to their books on my Facebook page. I liked some of them, but not all. Even if I can’t get past the first few pages of a Kindle Unlimited book, I still click through it all the way. What makes me do this? I know they won’t get paid if their book isn’t clicked through on Kindle Unlimited. If I like the book, I’ll leave a review on both Amazon and Good Reads. Reviews are helpful to authors. A good review proves that the book is worth reading, which helps the authors gain more readers. This leads to more money for the authors. Having more money allows us to write more awesome books for our readers. I send a message to the author if I don’t like the book and explain why. If a writer can take criticism well, these messages can improve their writing.
Additionally, I have learned that I must be patient and willing to lose money at the beginning to get my book reviewed. A book with no reviews does not entice many people to buy it. There are also a lot of sites that will help you get true reviews, but you must pay to have a membership on them. The sites put your book information up with a blurb about it, and readers select the book, read it, and review it. They also send updates and newsletters to their readers about the book. I don’t have the money it takes to do these things, and that may be why I only have two reviews on Amazon.
Advertising costs money, but it can help you promote your book. I have found that Facebook is the best place to advertise. I know this because I have run ads for products I’ve sold in the past and Facebook gained the most clicks. I would like to run one for The Great Bandit, but it costs money, and paragraphs later, I’m still broke.