You’ve Got to Spend to Make…and I’ve Got Nothing to Spend – An IWSG Post

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First off, this is my first Insecure Writer’s Support Group post since changing over to the new blog, so for anyone dropping in here for the first time: Welcome!

Okay, now that that’s over with…

The past month-and-a-bit have been very up and down for me concerning writing. On the one hand, I set myself a mini-goal to write 300 words per day and I KILLED it, turning out the month of August with nearly 16.5k words. The majority of those words were also toward my WIP, “The Other World: Book Two”, which was a big deal for me because I’ve been stagnating with that for quite a while now and it’s nice to see that I’ve crossed a point wherein I can force myself to write something – anything – in order to move forward.

However…

There’s another goal that I’ve been working on all year through, and I’ve experienced little to no success with it at all. That goal, in short, is to find new ways of promoting my books.

Why is this so difficult?

In short, the problem that I’ve found is that any kind of promotion past your basic pimping on social media (which, honestly, only works for so long before people’s eyes start glazing over and they start ignoring  you) costs money. Money that I don’t have. Ads? Costs money. Sending out free books in return for reviews? Costs money. Submitting your book to competitions? Nearly always costs money. Sure there are lots of websites that will temporarily promote your book for free, but most of them have requirements such as a certain number of reviews on Amazon, or your book has to be free at the time of the promotion, or it has to fit a particular genre/length/language/what-the-hell ever. Overwhelmingly, the methods that allow you to simply promote your book as it is, for the price you want people to pay for it, require you to fork out cash in advance with no guarantee that you’ll ever see a return.

I’ve been struggling with this particular issue for ages now, feeling that, if I just kept looking, EVENTUALLY I would find a couple of options that would allow me to promote my book for free, but none have ever come. I even tried contacting book-based sub boxes, only to be (eventually, after months of throwing myself out there to multiple companies) patiently schooled on the fact that, due to the logistics of such a thing, I would be required to front the printing and shipping costs. Theoretically I would be paid back later, but the initial cost would be multiple thousands of dollars more than I even have, making the whole thing a moot point.

And so I sit here, and I grumble, and I look at my 4-5 sales per month and I wonder if there will ever be a day when I’ll actually be able to feel like it was worth it putting all those countless hours into writing/revising/editing/formatting/and so on.

It’s definitely quite depressing.

I press on, because the fact of the matter is that I love writing and I do it as much for the sheer enjoyment as I do for the chance of ever actually making a living from it, but it definitely chips a little more away from my soul every time a possible promotion method turns out to be either useless or too costly.


Thanks for reading my little rant! If, by chance, you’d like to check out the books that I’ve been so desperately trying to promote, you can find them right here! Cheers!

3 thoughts on “You’ve Got to Spend to Make…and I’ve Got Nothing to Spend – An IWSG Post

  1. That’s the big question: Invest and put in the money, or plug along and hope for a lucky break? I know plenty of people that run their writing as a small business, and do well at it (or well enough), but it is that, a business, and it requires investment and time and budgets and taxes and marketing and so on. For me, personally, that’s just not an option right now, and I accept that. I’m perfectly content to plug along with my writing and publishing as an overly-involved hobby for the time being. You just gotta figure out what you want to get out of it.

    IWSG September

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  2. I’ve heard a lot of those expensive promotional things for books don’t always work anyway. My advice is to keep writing and get that second book out there. At the very least, I know of one person who’s waiting to buy it.

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    1. You’re right: half of them supposedly don’t work anyway. In general, I’ve heard that internet advertising is extraordinarily ineffective because we’ve conditioned ourselves to scroll/click/whatever past it. Even television advertisements are becoming less effective because people tend to just switch to a different channel when the commercials come on. And the more we ignore advertisements, the more companies try to slam them in our faces (with things like pop-ups and unskippable ads on YouTube), and the more they do that, the more we get frustrated and actually actively avoid the companies who do that to us. It’s a vicious cycle of ad hatred. lol

      All that said…I definitely need to work harder on that next book. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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