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What's Your Biggest Challenge with Your Book?

I'd be interested to learn what authors/publishers on this network think their biggest challenges are with their book. I wonder if there's any common, pervasive challenge we all face.

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Right now it's the new algorithms Amazon seems to have instituted for its KDP Select program. My giveaways for my two crime novels were very successful. For a while. Then, things changed. So I'm trying something new. Someone said that Amazon is now taking into consideration the price of your book. Higher priced ebooks get a better shake. So I raised the price on my first novel from $2.99 to $3.99.  And now for the Freebee

My award-winning New Orleans crime thriller, ABSOLUTION, will be free for two days on Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21. A serial killer preys on young women in New Orleans.

Best Mystery-Suspense-Thriller of 2009 -- The Premier Book Awards

"Relentless tempo ... sharp writing." -- Kirkus Discoveries

"A killer thriller!" -- Jan Herman, Arts Journal

"Creole-flavored suspense!" -- The Sun Chronicle

If you don't have it already, you can download your free copy at these Amazon sites

I'll let you know how it goes!


I've found that the biggest challenge is getting people to buy your book.  If you're not a well known author, you don't count.  And of course getting published.  Publishing via e-book was easy but now I'm getting nowhere even after advertising on the internet at every forum and social network I could find.  Writing books is just not worth it.

Oh dear, Ria, you do sound disheartened!  It is very true that the vast majority of writers make no, or very little, money.   The ones who make lots of dosh are few and far between, especially if self-published.   Only you can decide if it is worth the bother carrying on ... I know a lot of people on this forum will say "persevere! Don't give up!" ... but that is not necessarily true.   If you do give up (and I have given this advice frequently) do NOT consider it some kind of failure.  You are simply stopping what you are doing and moving on to something new.

For myself, I decided to give up several years ago.  I felt I had contacted all the publishers and publishing agents on earth and that there was no point in continuing.  And then one day I sent off a heart-broken poem I had written for my father and, blow me, it was accepted.  This gave me the kick-start I needed and I suddenly got all four of my novels published in one hit, and lots of poems.

So, you never know ...  I sometimes blog on the difficulties that face a writer and these may be of interest to you - on my web site

PS Does the word "dosh" exist in your English ?  I mean, if you are American - it means money in UK slang!

I think it's also a matter of where you want to spend your time.  Marketing is time consuming and sometimes disheartening. Writing and creating may also be time consuming and sometimes disheartening but also fun and rewarding. So if you have hit a brick wall with marketing strategies, then maybe it's time to go back to creating for a while and give yourself a breather. Good luck. Beryl

No, I most certainly will never write a book again.  Just not worth the trouble!

Good for you, being decisive !  You will do something else and have huge success, I can feel it in my bones.

I can understand your decision to make such a statement. Many untold, unknown authors have said the same - "The heck with it... It's not worth the trouble!" However, I'm not shutting down because I've enjoyed all my two books since publishing them. I can do this knowing I've planned it that way. I published the books primarily for myself. I enjoy reading them. My first has been read twelve times. I knew going in that writing for others could end in dissapointment like trying to "win an argument." So it's onto searching for my readers. I do wish you the best.

This is a heart-warming reply, Catherine. I'm one of many who can empathise with Ria's point of view but still carry on writing. I found stepping back for a while helps and conjuring up alternatives. One such alternative I put to work was adapting books to screenplays and vice versa. If books are hard to sell then screenplays are all but impossible! But keeping on, for me anyway, fulfils my desire to succeed, makes for a hobby I enjoy and spreads the word about you and your work. My latest ebook, 'Dicing With Diamonds', is an adaptation from a screenplay. A 100 page script converts into approx 20000 words if taking the easy route and keeping it in the present tense. There is a growing market for quick reads by those too busy to read conventional novels.

In the end, to continue or not is a personal choice and doesn't necessarily reflect ability.

My biggest challenge is to get members to read these discussions, respond to them with answers and comments, ask more questions, share more with other authors, and really get involved in helping each other market their books. The sad thing is that most book authors are isolated, doing their own promotions, when they could be actively participating in marketing programs with other book authors and multiplying their efforts 10-fold.

John, as I hope you know, this forum has been invaluable to me and many others. I spoke at a writers conference yesterday and recommended your forum and your writings.  While many books can tell you how to do a press release, how to get a radio interview, how to submit a book to a publisher, etc., it's the forums where fellow authors help us to know what's really working and what's not working.

In a world of limited time, we need to know which of your 1001 Ways... are most likely to work for us. That's the genius this forum. Someone can say, "I got on a big TV station, but didn't sell a book." Or, "I've been blogging three times a week for three years and see hardly any sales as a result." Or, "I put my book in a local restaurant and it's sold 300 copies in the past 6 months." These experiences are invaluable, and I hope people keep reading and responding. At one point I went back and read this entire discussion, start to finish. Very enlightening.

I hope all of us will be alert to recommend this forum to fellow authors. We can't know what's really working and not working unless we all candidly contribute our experiences and thoughts.
Keep it up John! You're a hero to so many of us!

That is sad that working with other book authors did not work for you. It really is one of the major keys to helping each other get traffic, fans, and book sales - authors helping other authors. But it does require working with other authors who are willing to do their share. Five or ten such authors can make a major difference in helping any author to reach their audience.

It's impossible for me to determine which marketing strategies are working, because there is no way to know where people came from who bought a book. In truth, they almost certainly saw a title of two of mine before they actually purchased.

I've worked hard (still am) to get more reviews, more interviews on blogs, more listings for my free story, more links, etc.

Since I get steady, if slow (3-4 books a day) sales, and 30-40 downloads of the free story, I have to believe someone is passing the word that they enjoyed the books. But I haven't yet found the secret to really breaking through to the point I could support myself.


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