Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year - New writing!

Happy New Year!  I'm sure you've seen all those New Year inspirational quotes already telling you to start something new, perhaps go on a new adventure - so I won't bore you with all that.

January is generally a depressing month - ice scraping the car featuring more this month than most. We all have resolutions and writers will have writing resolutions. I know I always do. This year I can't promise to blog more or write more - what I can promise is that I will be writing something new and hoping to get a couple of drafts done for titles that will appear in the next couple of years. Writing is a long process isn't it? A labour of love.

Last year I removed Goa Traffic from sale - in that I asked Authorhouse to stop selling it. Copies are available if stores still have stock, but otherwise just my kindle version will be out there. It's a title that is still selling but if you are a regular reader of this blog you'll know that I have had some internal issues with the book and at this point I felt it was the right time to withdraw it from sale in paperback form. Just having the kindle version available gives me total autonomy of the title and I can unpublished this at any time. It felt good making this decision (after I deliberated for about two years), but I felt with the launch of The Body in the Bath it was the right time for me to pull the plug.

Book sales - Why are they so complicated? Sales for The Body in the Bath and Under the Coconut Tree are going well. Better than I could have imagined (especially given the limited publicity for The Body in the Bath and the fact it only has two reviews so far!). However, from speaking to my publisher sales for Poison in the Water are not going as well and I'm not sure why.  From The Body in the Bath sales I would have said I have a bit of a following, but perhaps this is just for books set in Goa and the fact that these books are part of a series?! I don't know. The world of book sales is hugely complicated. And at the moment I don't have the time or the energy to look into this further. I know this makes me a terrible author - because these days an author has to do all these things - we need to know our target markets. Being lazy will get you nowhere in this business which brings me to my topic for the week - is writing a hobby or a business?

That's the funny thing with my writing and I'm sure for quite a few authors out there. It is a hobby. If you are a writer you'll know that you have to keep writing - it's a compulsion and you need to do it to feel sane. But I have been lucky enough to turn the majority of my books into a commercial success ( which I define as making money from them) therefore they have become a business as well - that and the fact I have to fill out a self- assessment tax return (grrr). But surely this is a good thing.  As a writer I want people to read and enjoy my books - providing a bit of escapism for when readers need it most. But I can't say that I am doing the whole business side of authoring well. I did with GT in the beginning and this probably paid off because it has done extremely well  commercially- or was it because it was easier back then when self publishing was relatively new?

I now find that with each title published that I can't muster the energy that I had with that first book to plug away, spam people so that they know about the title. I feel as if I am repeating myself, boring people by telling them to buy my books. I need to get back to it and find the energy from somewhere for this hobby turned business.