Book Promotion, Mainstream Fiction, and Being an Introvert

I think most know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

I feel that way about my publishing sometimes. I create a book, I edit and try to make it the best it can be, I make a cover, I put it together, and I release it to the world, telling only my own fans about it (for the most part). And somehow, I expect that I will sell more copies than the book I released before it. And though I seek different variations of this and wonder what else I can do to sell more books, I never reach very far because I either don’t know what to do/don’t feel comfortable doing it.

I’m a major introvert. I have a lot of trouble with anxiety, I think too much, and I’m also prone to mild manic/depressive episodes where I get super hyped for something and then I suddenly can’t bring myself to do the thing. It’s difficult for someone like me to promote herself. I’ve gotten a bit better with the social anxiety, and while it might be nice to operate locally with a book signing or something, I have other reasons for not doing that. So I stay in one spot. I latch onto what I can manage, and I tend to stick with it because reaching for other things makes me uncomfortable.

I’ve always thought there are two different kinds of writers: there is the kind that likes to get out among the people and connect with them, and there is the kind that likes to sit in a corner and hopes they get paid for what they write, but they don’t really want people to notice them.

I’m the second type. And I have to wonder: why would people notice me when I don’t want to be noticed?

Not long ago, I feel that I started going down the wrong road — for me personally. I started thinking too much about my writing in terms of what’s popular, and thinking I ought to alter what I do in order to appeal to more readers. The truth is, I’ve never wanted to be popular among the masses. I mean, doing what you love is important, but it’s also important to make money so that you can keep doing it, but I’ve never wanted to push my books off on someone who I didn’t think would enjoy them. If a reader is drawn to my book and they read and happen to like it, then YAY! Read more!! But I’m not the kind of person who wants to stand on the corner and try to make a sale to everyone who walks by.

So, the moral is that I really just need to get right with myself. I think my true fans will notice, and I will definitely notice it myself.

For my last few published books this year, I’ve tried to push myself a bit further each time. I’ve tried to market and get the word out in various forms, but I never reach very far. I’m going to do better.

I’m also reexamining my mission statement (I actually do have one): In an ocean of so many popular books that are read and forgotten, I strive to write books that stay with a reader long afterward. Those that are different. Those that encourage you to think. Those that you’ll never forget. I like to think that all of my books have a touch of something that makes them memorable, and I can’t throw that away.

In addition to The Hallowed being released in November (which I will likely mention continually until it happens) I’m pleased to say that I’m still on track with the other things I plan to do this year. 2018 is still in the future and is blacked out as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t even exist yet, but I want to work on what I currently have going on and I think the results will be great.

For the books I’ve released this year, I’ve been starting them all on KDP, at least for the first 3 months. People seem to be reading them, but Amazon/Kindle is very unclear about how much I’m making from those reads. It’s very odd. I’ve been trying to figure out how all of that works but really, it’s sketchy at best. Of those books, I still have not moved them on to other sales channels because I haven’t decided if I should, or if I should just out them back into KDP. Has anyone else had any luck understanding all this?

In addition, I’ve reduced prices on most of my print books! I’ve realized that in my own book shopping, I have a price point I like to hit, and I always look at the number of pages I’m getting for the price. I don’t want to buy a small book for an outrageous price, so I’ve examined my own books and reduced the prices (to test). Prices now range from 5.99 to the usual 14.99. Many of my full length novels are now 10.99. I think that works better for a paperback. I know I’d be more willing to pay that price for a book.

Also, I’m just too excited to not talk about this, even though it’s early and I’m supposed to only talk about The Hallowed, but I can’t stop myself.

Soon (December probably) I’m going to release a 2nd Edition of The Nutcracker Bleeds! New edit, new description, new graphic design, new cover art, with commentary!! It looks amazing, just as it always should have looked, and I am sooooo excited! I’m not going to show it yet — no no, it’s not time yet.

I’m sitting here plotting evilly about it right now. Muahaha

I’m going to do more giveaways soon, before Christmas (yes, I know it’s still October) but I feel that I’ve had real luck getting noticed this year, so I want to keep that up. Wish me luck!

Question though… am I moving too fast? I know I’ve been putting out a lot of work recently, but I want to stay on the map.

Also, The Hallowed!

And thank you all for being here!Hallowed ad


5 thoughts on “Book Promotion, Mainstream Fiction, and Being an Introvert

  1. hjstack

    I’d recommend the facebook group 20booksto50K there’s some really good information there and when there’s stuff about what’s happening with Amazon, you might be able to find an answer. The debate is strong with KDP vs. Wide. When I get to that stage I think I will go wide.
    The benefit that you have is you’ve got 13 books to work with which is great for a backlist! But I can understand the introvert-ness and dealing with anxiety and these things… Find what marketing things you can do comfortably. I don’t think you’re going too fast at all because it helps keeping content up and people seeing your name. Have you considered writing a series?

    1. misslanilenore Post author

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll check out the group.

      My intention had been the try KDP, then go wide with the book after 3 months. But now, I wonder if it’s the best choice. Will I get more exposure by remaining in KDP? Hmm, seems I’ll have to study that a bit.

      I guess I just worry that my fans can’t keep up with my books if I release them too close together, but yet it likely increases my chances of new readers finding them and seeing my name. I do have a series started. It’ll be 5 books, but from what I’ve seen with Nevermor, the sales don’t tend to do as well as the series goes on. It’s odd. It seems like a series should gain momentum over time, but it’s not that way, in my experience. Or, maybe a year between books was simply too long. I’ll have to think about that was well before I begin publishing this one.

      1. hjstack

        If you continue with KDP definitely check out Chris Fox on youtube, his books are also really good regarding marketing. Basically amazon apparently drops momentum after the three months and so a strategy is releasing each book of a trilogy/whatever length three months apart. Since Nevermor has really good covers and the series is done – you could try that wide and see how it goes. It is a tough decision but I think you’ll find a way by testing things 🙂

  2. nikolaithepanda

    Read the Nutcracker and I adored it! (so now I have two Gothic tales (The Hallowed and revamped The Nutcracker Bleeds) to look out for! Yas!)

    I completely relate to the anti-social tendencies. I’d be more than happy to just sit in a little corner all day. Ya know, a dark, cosy, coffee-ready nest where I can snuggle with my cat and murder imaginary people in lovely ways. Ah, writers.

    Ironically, I also fell into the ‘must-sell-copies’ trap; and I ended up scrapping the majority of my current project (*cough* also dedicated to you *cough*). The deadline’s been moved to the end of January instead of October because of it. Yay.

    Anyway, I wish you luck with all of your projects! (and congratulations on the Literary Vacation Club Book Subscription Box!)

  3. scarlettewolfgang

    Anxiety is a horrible thing. I’ve suffered from it for the longest time too, and struggled with the exact same things you’ve mentioned. It’s hard when you’re a writer, because in order to be successful there is a certain amount of socialization needed, and genre savviness. Finding a balance can be excruciating.

    Getting an agent (if you haven’t already) might help relieve some pressure, and they give great advice. Depending on the agency, generally they can really help you decide what the best avenues are for your works. But I can understand why that could add stress too, or why you might not want to go that route.

    I am so excited to read Hallowed! I’ll have to order a copy of Nutcracker too, I have the original but I’d love to read your commentary too. Bless!


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