It’s that time of year again. Time for me to sit down and analyze the performance of staff at the day job in painstaking detail. I look forward to the process as eagerly as they do. Who doesn’t love to see in writing the ways in which their work can improve even if the words are no real surprise? I know I sure do when it’s my turn. That’s totally why I’ve been having a virtual
argument debate with my editor’s notes over the last several weeks.
One of the biggest upsides about being an independent author is the ability to be in control of everything (except forcing people to buy your book). I’ve often heard it compared to going into business for one’s self. We are the authorpreneurs! YAY!
So, if this is truly a business and not just a hobby, perhaps it is time to schedule a performance review with my staff.
Please come in Allie. Would you shut the door and have a seat?
Now, I’ve been looking at your annual report and while you’ve done a great job gaining additional exposure on WordPress when comparing 2013 to 2014, but you haven’t pulled in nearly the numbers as some of your counterparts at other firms. Why do you think that is?
Hmmm…. Likely it is because I am terrible at writing eye-catching titles.
How can you improve this?
Phone a friend? No? Well then maybe I will start trying out some of the hundreds of catchy title formulas out there in 2015 and see how that works out for me.
Well that can’t hurt. Seriously, your titles have been atrocious at times. I mean ‘Is that a fire hydrant or a really odd garden gnome?‘ Really?
Umm… we agree, that wasn’t my best work. In my defense, I had spent on my creativity on content that day. The tank was dry.
What about social media? What are you doing to improve your exposure in that area?
I’m actually advertising my blog less on Twitter, and interacting more. I told myself that for every tweet I send out, I would find at least four by others to favorite, retweet, or reply to. I’ve made some really enjoyable connections and now I barely pay attention to my follower count, and yet on the occasions I do, I see it continues to grow.
How about Facebook?
Facebook doesn’t always show my updates in feeds, even if a person has liked my page. There is little I can do there except hope that the handful of people who actually see my updates feel like sharing them with their network. Therefore I don’t see myself spending more energy there than I already have been.
Looking over your other marketing efforts, I see that you tried out a number of things early in the year like paid ads, a Goodreads giveaway, and review exchanges, but your efforts dropped off mid year. Are you planning on trying any of these things again this year?
I ran a second Goodreads give away toward the end of the year when An Uncertain Faith was re-released as well as a free promotion of the book. I used paid ads at the beginning of the year and didn’t use paid ads at the end. Interestingly enough I received an almost identical number of entries in the Goodreads give away each time with about as many resulting reviews. So no, I don’t think I will be using paid ads again.
What about the review exchanges?
I learned that review exchanges are not for me. I’d rather my book was reviewed by someone who was interested enough in my blurb or my blog to pick it up rather than someone who is just reviewing it because they feel obligated to. I worry too much that my book might get lampooned or insincerely praised just because of how I liked theirs. It feels like being in an old Western gun duel. I am however making a point of reviewing the books that I’ve picked out of my own free will more often.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. You know that the best way to be successful in this business is to release more books. Why then is your second project taking so long to release?
I could blame it on a number of things. My day job changed mid-year. I had to make significant changes to the structure, etc. But I boils down to one thing. I forgot how to properly manage my time. I’ve already taken major steps to address this. Now I only have a few chapters left to rewrite before it can be sent out for another round of
complaints critique. I’ve also entered a few short story contests. Hopefully as a result I will have something else out there with my name on it in 2015.
Do you have any questions for me?
Will I be getting a raise this year?
You didn’t tell me you dabbled in writing humor.
Is that a no?
Good luck with the contests.