Fat Mogul vs. Writing (yet another rehashing of old thoughts about marketing)

I have not read this book...or any book on self-publishing.  But there's a million of them.  They all basically say the same thing...and they all say there's an awful lot of work involved...of course, the part about how writing always takes a back seat...anyone can write, right?
I have not read this book…or any book on self-publishing. But there’s a million of them. They all basically say the same thing…and they all say there’s an awful lot of work involved…of course, the part about how writing always takes a back seat…anyone can write, right?

Before I begin this post that could quite easily appear to be a rather whiny/complainy thing about how writers don’t get enough attention or whatever else, I want to state fully and confidently, and in full opposition to however it may appear below, I love writing.  No matter how many times I may want to quit doing it, and how many times I may actually quit writing, I will continue writing…the only possible change might be how I go about it, or, what actually happens with what I write after I’m done.

It’s been a week now since I released the long-awaited sequel of The Legend of Buddy Hero, the book called The Rise of the Fat Mogul (sometimes found with the opening The and sometimes without, because that’s just how I roll).  The release was nothing exciting.  There were a few awesome bloggers who gave me some space and definitely opened up the air for the book release, making it all the more apparent to the world that my book is available.  I had some cool responses to it, and have already gotten a couple of folks telling me that they’ve since finished the book.

It’s pretty cool.

But, ultimately, it’s a pretty quiet event.  Although I may have joked about hitting the F5 key all too frequently, I have to admit that it’s a serious issue with each book release, constantly checking to see if any new sales have come in, only to find that they haven’t.  Oh wait, one did!  Nope, actually, they must have clicked the wrong button, it’s been returned now.  Honestly, even that little bit there is more exciting than an actual sales day.

Once again, I want to focus on the fact that I’m not complaining.  Not at all.  I just feel the need to get the atmosphere behind all of this out in the open.

You see, although I’d love to make tons and tons of cash writing books, I really don’t care about sales.  I’m not a salesman.  I hate selling.  I know one of the main reasons my books aren’t flying off shelves…I do just slightly more than absolutely no marketing.

But here’s the thing…what I do care about is getting people to read my books.  What I’ve found in my time as an author so far is that, not only is that a difficult thing to do in a world where there appears to be more authors than readers…but people seem hesitant to read free books.  As in, if it’s free, it must be crap.  In fact, my current price structure on my ebooks (my print books is pretty much entirely based on costs from the printer) has been developed from researching how a book price can effect a person’s decision to buy.  In fact, I’d put them up for free, but previous experience has shown that although free books may get downloaded…they don’t get read.  Review beginning of this paragraph to see how that goes against my personal wants out of writing.

Once again, don’t get me wrong.  The second someone offers me tons of money to make a movie out of my books or offers to be the salesman for my books or whatever else, I can guarantee you that I will all but jump on that opportunity.  Writing is my passion.   Monetizing my passion makes a heckuva lot of sense.  But I have absolutely no interest in chasing around single sales, trying to convince every single person on a person by person basis that they should read my books.

I even feel bad when I put anything out on my facebook page about my books.  My intention is just to share what I’m up to and what I’m excited about.  However, I all too frequently realize that it can come off as yet another guilt trip for those who feel as though they are obliged to read the crazed stories I put on paper.

You’re not.  I promise.

With all this in mind, I find myself constantly reevaluating my status as an author.  Although my interest in sales numbers is rather minimal, I have to actually restrain myself from constantly checking to see if a new sale has come in and, in the event that it has, then watch to see how it effects my Amazon rating.  These are things I need to know as a marketer, but ultimately are things that just distract me from my writing…things that also, generally, depress me more than anything else…

In the end, I know that I’m probably not going to change my methods too much.  I do believe that I will begin attempting to find folks to sell my books for me again in the near future (possibly starting with the finished version of The Long Chron, depending on who that book turns out), meaning agents, publishers and the like.  Right now I take absolutely no issue with giving away my pittance of a return on my time investment to people who would be willing to help increase my visibility.

But that doesn’t really effect my writing now.

I love writing.  I love practicing/perfecting my art.  And I absolutely love it when people let me know how they felt about my books, even if they react to them negatively.  I just love knowing that I’m actually creating entertainment for people, as opposed to just creating entertainment that gets stuck in the void.  That’s where my validation comes in, when people are actually reading my books.

So, although the face value of this message may be yet another complaining post about marketing (which is definitely is, in part, although I continue to research valid methods of marketing, as opposed to the ones that everyone is currently doing and thereby making less-than-valid), it’s really a long-winded way of saying that if you have any interest in reading any of my books, but the price tag is the only actual thing that’s kept you away from it, I’m more than willing to give out free ebooks and/or get you a paperback at cost (or lend one out, assuming I have a copy on hand as they get lent out rather frequently).

I don’t like to market, I don’t like to sell…but I really like to write and I absolutely love having my stuff read.

Obviously, if you go the whole route of “I want to support your art” or whatever, you can definitely feel free to shoot money at Amazon.  They take a good chunk of it, but I definitely get some money tossed my way as well.  Of course, if you really want to support my art….meh, you know the drill.  Reviews, word of mouth, sharing copies, whatever…all of that means a lot more toward supporting anything artistic than upping an Amazon rank.  And giving a word to the artist, even if it’s critical of the art, does way more toward helping them feel valid than any of that.

Not that I’m fishing for compliments here…that last little bit is just my way of saying, I don’t really need your money, but I appreciate your support.  Get the books from me for free and make your friends pay instead 😉

Alright…that was long rant…but I feel better.  Too often do I get stuck in this mindset of “I need to market better, I need to sell more books, I need to increase my exposure somehow” and I completely forget that I really just like to write.  I hope you don’t mind me using the space here to remind myself of that.

Have fun out there…

 

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7 Replies to “Fat Mogul vs. Writing (yet another rehashing of old thoughts about marketing)”

    1. That’s a great idea. I wonder if I can convince my designer to put something together for that. Been meaning to do a bit of merchandising (a lot of authors do things like mugs and bookmarks and other book-type people-related things). But ultimately…I haven’t 🙂

    1. well, if you weren’t so busy visiting friends when you come to town, you could sit me down and feed me all the free advice you want 🙂

  1. Quality time with the inlaws. Nicks grandma is going to die you know. She has reminded me every time I’ve seen her in the last 12 years…
    Did you know Barstow St is now 2-way??? Wtf???

    1. Man, I had totally intended to make my response more snide with quotation marks around friends…apparently my fingers decided to make me seem like slightly less of a demanding jerk.

      And yeah, I’m still getting used to the change. It takes a lot of extra work for me to remember to go back to looking both ways as I cross the street…and I may have, on more than one occasion, headed down the street in the wrong direction.

      Oh, yeah, Graham is two-way now as well. Be careful!

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