Pluck up courage – it’s time for a relaunch

relaunchIn some ways I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to make the decision to invest in a book relaunch.  I launched Bleak last November and lots of people (and not just friends) have told me they really enjoyed the book.  And yet, I admit sales have been disappointing, to the point where they have dwindled to almost nothing.  I know basically that could be due to three things: a) the book simply doesn’t appeal. b) the cover, blurb etc. are putting people off. c) marketing.

Now given what I said in the beginning I believe the book is good enough and although science fiction is not everyone’s favourite genre, there is an audience for my book, if I can just get them to take a look at it.

So that means I need to work on b) and c).  Now for whatever reason, even though it hasn’t been working I’ve been reluctant to change things.  Why?  Logic tells me that I’m not risking anything.  After all what’s the worst that can happen?  Perhaps some of it is down to a certain loss of confidence. So I’ve thrown myself into the next book, which is a bit of new departure for me (more on that in the future) i.e. maybe the next book will be the one.  Also, perhaps lazyness (I think most writers want to write not promote) and dithering (OK, procrastinating) over what to do.

Anyway, on my holiday (see blog) I gave myself a bit of a talking too.  I forced myself to realise that in answer to the question “what should I do?” in some ways is anything/something different.  After all, whatever I am doing (or perhaps not doing) isn’t working.  Yes, I need to direct that effort, but I’m sure you understand what I mean.

Luckily, when I returned home there was newsletter from BooksGoSocial (BGS), a group for Independent authors that I’m a member of offering, for a modest sum, guess what?  A book relaunch service.  This includes a new book cover, looking at your title, blurb etc., prior to a marketing campaign on their extensive social media platform.  And these are people that have seen hundreds of successful self-published books.  So at least if I do all that I’m giving it the best chance.

However, I know that (BGS) is only part of the answer.  There are things I need to do, to give the book every chance to succeed, but what?

Well, let’s start with the fact that there are other self-published authors out there who are doing reasonably well.  And some months ago I download a book by one of my favourites Michael R Hicks, “The Path to Self-Publishing Success”.  To demonstrate how successful, he is, I didn’t even realise he is and always has been totally self-published.  If you are into science fiction, look him up, you won’t be disappointed.  He started self-publishing in about 2008 and had some moderate success.  Then he decided to take it seriously, that he wanted to make it as a writer full time.  At the time of writing in about 2011 he had just had a months sales of $40,000.

OK, I am not saying I can achieve that, but he must be doing something right.  And reading his book is reassuring, in that I am already doing much of what he recommends.  Perhaps, what I’m not doing, is doing those things well enough, or consistently.  It’s also pointed me to a book by Jeff Olson “The Slight Edge”, that Michael says made a big difference to him.  It suggests that successful people are successful due to the small positive decisions they take constantly and consistently every day.

Now I know that if I’m to get this right it will need effort on my part – there is no magic fix.  But at least I feel I’m getting my mojo back.  Also, what I’m learning, and is not always easy to admit, is that part of what was holding me back, stopping me make those decisions and changes, is fear of failure.  That I might do all this and it still doesn’t work.  However, as a self-publishing author that goes with the territory.  And if nothing else I can take what I’ve learnt and apply it to the next book, and the next.  I love writing and I want people to read my books.  I’ll keep you posted – wish me luck!

You can sample my books on this site and Bleak (soon to be re-launched) is available on Amazon.  The 10,000 word prequel to Bleak is available free on Smashwords.

As always comments are welcome.

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

6 thoughts on “Pluck up courage – it’s time for a relaunch”

  1. One of the problems is that the blurb needs a proofread – it has some incorrect punctuation and, I think, a word missing. I would never buy a book with errors in the blurb, because it would make me wonder about the rest of it!

    Have you got your keywords right? By which I mean the 7 you choose when publishing, which should be the genre chart categories you want it to go in. I like the cover, but I believe it’s best, with genre fiction, to go with the sort of covers the best selling books have, as the addicts of certain genres will click on those that look similar to books they have already read. Submit it to book blogs – there are lots of SciFi lovers on the one I review for, @rosieamber1.

    You can learn to tweet and blog more effectively, and build up your Twitter following and reach; I’ve written posts about it here:

    I know that Books Go Social does indeed look like a good thing (especially if they’re providing you with a new cover!), but it’s a good idea to get used to doing all this stuff for when their promotion has ended, too! And to make the most of the time they’re promoting it for you, rather than just sitting back and hoping for the best!!! :^D

    1. Thanks for all the advice – much appreciated and the link. I have revisited the keywords, but will check again. The current cover splits opinion. The new one (I believe) will have more immediate appeal.

If you have a view on this, let me know: