By Karen J Mossman
A couple of years ago I supported a campaign called Our Books Are Not Free! Something I truly believed in.
Amazon take such a big chunk of royalty and on average I may earn about £6 a month, and on an extremely good month sell 10 books.
I’ve been publishing since 2014, and in that time have learnt a lot about the craft of writing and marketing of books. However, like most writers I’m just one person. Once the hard work of writing and editing is done, the marketing starts. You have to promote your book regularly and often.
During that time I’ve become involved in other things which also take time to market. Then of course, there is a the little matter of every day life, and it is impossible to do it all and to keep up the momemtum.
In 2019 I sold eighty eight books, which isn’t a lot and would probably buy me a meal out.
Several times a week I check my sales on Amazon and Draft to Digital, an alternative to seller. They send books to Apple, Nook, and Kobo, amongst other places. The reports mostly look like this.
I was told the more books you have the more you’ll sell. That may have been the case once but not any more, at least not for me. Readers have the biggest choice of books now and the competition is greater than ever.
When I see reports like the above, I ask myself why I’m writing if very few people read them? Well, the answer is simple; it’s my love of stories. Being able to write is an extension of my imagination. It’s why I started this blog, why I gave it the name and where my passion for stories lie.
Let’s be honest here, I will never be a best selling published author. I’m never going to make millions. Which brings me back to where I started, I know it’s wrong, but…
In total I have fifteen published works. Eight are with a publisher, and seven are self published. I’ve made the big decision to make four of them free to download.
Now my reports look like this. That’s virtually a sale every day and I am reaching more readers than ever before. I can only hope they like my writing style enough to want to buy a book, too.
In the below chart, Butterfly Bats, May Recitals, and Mothballs, are anthologies by Electric Eclectic Books, of which I have stories in. I uploaded them on behalf of the brand. I get the same feeling seeing them doing well and being downloaded.
Although part of me feels I’m doing a dis-service to other authors because it was said it devalues their books. In the time since that campaign, I’ve stuck to my guns by not offering any for free and it hasn’t gotten me more sales. So, is it so wrong to want people to read my work?
It couldn’t last, and now I have no free books, except for newsletter magnets.
If you would like to support me and purchase a book too, check out Karen J Mossman books on the menu.