Why it helps an Author to rate their books and like/love posts.

I have a newfound respect for authors who write day in and day out to get their wonderful ideas onto the page but struggle to make ends meet while doing so. After finishing my Local Government contract, I decided to give full-time writing a try, which is something I have wanted to do for many years. I have written and designed four children’s (or cat lovers) books and created a few colouring books, to see how the self-publishing process worked. I have spent many hours watching YouTube videos about people sharing their Amazon self-publishing income reports in which they earn thousands of dollars a month for their low content books, such as journals and notepads, and I ponder, how on earth are they making that sort of money.

I have not had an income since December 2022 so am mindful about how much money I can afford to spend on marketing my books, but I decided to give it a try through Amazon Ads and very quickly discovered I could not afford to keep ads running. Within two weeks, Amazon had taken $170 out of my account and yet from that Ad spend I received a couple of sales. As yet, I have not received any royalties for my books. My first are due at the end of April (February sales) and will be around $20. In May I will be due about $100 and so far, this month’s sales for the June payment are $7. Looking at those figures, I have been paying for people to buy my books as opposed to people paying me for my hard work in writing and illustrating.

They do say that being an author is 20% writing and 80% marketing which is quite demoralising to push books in people’s faces constantly. I have my Facebook Author page, Instagram, this Blog, and I’ve recently tried Tiktok to get onto the Booktok trend, but it takes so much time which eats into writing time and quite frankly makes me feel quite defeated some days. I know it is very early days and it can take years for an author to gain traction but there are some things that book purchasers or followers can do to help the process.

If you purchase a book, please give it a rating and or a comment. Part of the Amazon algorithm works by ratings. So far, I only have one to three ratings on my books and yet Minxy’s first adventure, Minxy and the White Windmill has sold 15 copies. If all 15 people rated the book, then it would climb higher in the ratings and potentially be seen by more people without the need for Ad spend. Minxy’s first book was 29 pages long which is standard for the type of book but the next few I made them longer, giving more value to the customer, however that then reduces royalties dramatically. As an example, in the USA, Minxy and the White Windmill – 29 pages, sold six copies and my royalties will be $1.70 per book. The fourth book Minxy and the Four Leaf Clover Charm – 55 pages, sold six copies and my royalties will be 9 cents per book…yes 9 cents.

Another way to help authors is to like and or comment on blog posts such as this, or Follow and engage through likes, loves etc on Instagram and Facebook and perhaps even sharing author pages with your social networks. It is very hard for authors to gain traction without an audience.

This is not meant to be a ‘woe is me’ blog, but a factual and transparent post about how hard authors work. I have always loved writing and now I am fully back in the zone I would love for my work to be read by a much wider audience. I am currently editing the fantasy novel I have been writing off and on since 2005 and this week have also started writing a RomCom (romantic comedy). I had always wanted to write what I deemed intelligent books, like those by Salman Rushdie, Tolstoy, Virginia Wolfe etc, and that is partly due to academia, but have realised that it is also an ego thing. Of course, a writer wants to produce the best work possible but that can be in any form, a children’s series, a RomCom series or fantasy. One of my favourite authors, Alexander McCall Smith, is a powerhouse at writing and produces handfuls of books each year. They are beautifully written and predominantly evolve around everyday people and place. He is an extremely educated man and was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh before he turned to writing and he has no such ego about the genre he writes in.  

I shall keep writing and publishing for as long as I can financially do so and hope in the near future, I will find audiences for the work I produce who will happily get lost in the pages of my stories.  

Published by lindyhaigh

Author, Genealogist

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