Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Tumbling Term ~ Downside

It's time again for another term for the indie author. Today's term is DOWNSIDE. We've all heard the saying, "If there's an upside, there has to be a downside," or something close to that. Independent publishing or being an indie author is no exception.


down•side (ˈdaʊnˌsaɪd)
n.
1. the lower or underneath side.
2. a downward trend, esp. in stock prices.
3. a discouraging or negative aspect.


This week I have been talking about the down side of the roller coaster. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you've heard my reference to life being a roller coaster and I believe it!

On Monday Mailbox, I had an email from a reader of my books and my blog which basically said I was upbeat. My reply was that it isn't always so and it's true. Of life's roller coaster, I prefer the old wooden type with ups and downs, and slight twists. But often I get the modern metal variety with major loop-de-loops. Indie writing and publishing is no different.

As an author over the past year, and it's just a couple weeks shy of a year, I've suffered several major setbacks to my indie author career. It started out with so much promise, the upward trek of the roller coaster. It was clicking its way to the top with publications, marketing, and getting its way to the top. More manuscripts were being completed and I was on my way to being the multi genre/published author I wanted to be.

The little downside. My lack sales didn't daunt my enthusiasm. Nobody knew my new author names so I had to educate them to who I was and what I wrote. I could do that via social media, my blog, public appearances, and just getting the word out.

By year two, I was well on my way to publishing books two and three in multiple categories. I was becoming the prolific author I knew I could be. As you may have read, that's the way to garner notoriety and notice from readers. I had a 5-year plan so little dips didn't matter.

I rode out the first two years with all their little dips and and major climbs. In my mind, I was a success even with months of lack-lustered sales. I was focused on producing and getting the word out, "Hey, I'm an author. I'm the next greatest thing to sliced bread." Even though I was a small fish in an ever exploding pond of indie authors. I was coasting at the top of the roller coaster.

Then came the downside and into the loop-de-loop of my husband's illness and complications with my heart condition. Okay this wasn't so major in retrospect, but at the time it felt like a major drop off. Bad reviews due to formatting issues with Kindle started rolling in. I made an executive decision to pull my books off Kindle figuring a couple months and I'd rerelease them paying no attention to the major downside up ahead on the roller coaster. You know the one where you either raise your hands in the air, devil-may-care, and shout with joy and excitement... Or, grip the bar so tight that your knuckles are white, and scream at the top of your lungs in sheer terror.

A couple months of an 80% decrease in royalties in the hopes of getting more after the reformatted version. It seemed like a logical choice. A small price to pay for the probability of higher sales numbers and future readers. A small price to pay in the grand scheme of things to come. Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20.

I had a stroke and my 5-year plan went out the window. I entered the spiraling world of writing after a stroke. Like any safe roller coaster, I'm assured I won't fall out and I just hang on until it's over. That's where I am now. In the loop-de-loop spiral unable to advertise the way I should and unable to get the books published that were almost completed before my stroke. I'm going around, and around, and around knowing it can't last forever. My forward strides in rehab prove that. Editing can seem like a nonstop loop-de-loop too.

So where are you on the writing roller coaster? On the high climbing side? The downside of editing? The downside of lackluster sales? The god awful spiral? Or coasting into the stop and ready to begin again?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

3 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

Maybe that's why I never liked roller coasters so much. The complete lack of control and lack of predictability. And yea, life is like that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm no roller coaster fan.
I'm in a dip. In between great sales for the first two and waiting for the third to be released.

J.L. Murphey said...

I used to love roller coasters, but since I got rack and pinion surgery on my back they are just too painful.

As an author when do you know when the right time is to release your next book, when you are in the dips.