It seems now that I have been part of this game forever, but it is only six months. I started out – as mentioned in previous posts- completely clueless. Every week I learn something more about this process and probably forget something also. One of the areas that surprised me the most was the camaraderie involved in networking. I have spoken to so many people online through Facebook & Twitter that are becoming daily names in my world much as or more even than friends and family. They have become an author network family, and I enjoy hearing about their successes and achievements. The support between one author and another is fantastic. I know there are a lot of authors out there who say they have no time to network, they post and run, and yet they seem to be missing out a very valuable part of the process. It is people from those networks who will help you, promote you and support you in a way that friends and family very often won’t. All you have to do is reciprocate. It isn’t hard to do.
I’ve learned about algorithms on both Amazon and Facebook. I know that on Amazon these are activated by sales and reviews. The outside world has no idea just how important those reviews are. It isn’t only about allowing other potential customers to become aware how good your work is; it also triggers promotions from Amazon. Likewise with Facebook, when you post something, it doesn’t automatically go to everyone on your friend list, only certain people see it but the more people engage with that post by liking, commenting or sharing then Facebook allows it to go out to a wider audience. On Twitter, there is the chance that something, if retweeted enough, will go viral. So when I see the posts, links, etc. of my fellow authors I want to help them with that process and that is part of the reason I set up the Facebook group Pay it Forward for Authors.
I still haven’t made that million that I wanted 😉 I haven’t even made enough to make it a full-time proposition but I have learned so many valuable things in publishing my two short stories that I can take that forward and it will help me with publishing my novel – when I finish the edit, if I ever finish the edit!
I have discovered that behind all the hard work, the endless hours of writing, editing, reading, social media, formatting, etc.. I am actually enjoying the process. Well, maybe with the exception of the formatting. Wow, I have come a long way! A few months ago editing would have been included in the exception.
At the moment, both my short stories are dangling close to the top 100 in a sub-category, and that is so exciting. The irony is that with one or two sales your ranking can jump significantly and likewise with a few quiet days, weeks you can plunge into obscurity. This is the point where I am seriously considering paying people to buy my books – no I’m only kidding. This is a pet hate of mine, I don’t and won’t buy followers, reviews or anything else. My success is made or not as the case may be on its own merits. It’s like winning a board game as a child by cheating; no satisfaction can come from it at all unless you are on a hunt for glory.
It will be interesting to see where this journey takes me in the next six months.