With The Broken now live and available on Amazon, Apple Books and more, as well as being distributed by my friends over at Voracious Readers Only, it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch the royalties roll in.
Actually, I’m rather pleased that some people actually are buying my new book – I’ve had at least one sale each day since launch, which is unusual for me. It’s hardly the stuff Hawaiian vacations are made of, but it goes to show that there are real people in the world willing to spend real money (all $2.99 of it) to read my works!
But the truth is that, as I discovered previously with 22 Scars, writing the book is only half the battle. Once the story is finished, edited and actually published, there’s a whole new chapter in the book’s life: the wide world of marketing. And this is something it turns out I’m really, really bad at.
I think part of the problem is consistency; I just don’t remember, or have the energy, to promote my book tirelessly, every single day, for months and years on end. Instead, I make a few Facebook and Twitter ads, let them run, and let the chips more or less fall where they lie. I then go about the rest of my life, thinking that the book will more or less take care of itself.
Another problem is that I’m not particularly committed to going to book fairs, or farmers’ markets, or wherever else people set up stalls and sell their wares. I don’t look for these things, and even when I do, it’s a big deal for me to even attend one, never mind the dozens it would take to truly get the book off the ground. (COVID hasn’t helped with this, obviously.)
Beyond this, of course, is the issue of the stories themselves. Like 22 Scars, The Broken isn’t a story that is necessarily going to appeal to everyone, no matter how well it might be written and edited. I think it’s perhaps a little more accessible than 22 Scars, but it still deals with trauma and socially difficult situations, meaning that a lot of people may be put off simply by the story itself. Both books are also somewhat non-traditional in their structure and plot, meaning that people looking for an easy beach-read are going to be sorely disappointed.
Ultimately, this means I don’t always know who to market the book to. Is it Young Adult fiction? Literary fiction? Something slightly ‘other’? It certainly isn’t Harry Potter, but it’s hardly Hemingway, either. When I set it up to distribute through Voracious Readers Only, I said it was most similar to (FFO) Call Me By Your Name, The Hate U Give, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is because it handles some similar themes, such as racism, police violence, homosexuality and mental health. But really it isn’t trying to be ‘like’ those other books, and ultimately deals with a number of issues spread across a range of characters, rather than necessarily focusing on a single subject.
Distribution is an issue, too. I really want to have the book available on as many platforms as possible, including Kindle, Apple Books and others, but this means that one of the most popular ways of reading digital books – Kindle Unlimited – is unavailable to me, as it mandates the book be exclusive to Amazon as long as it’s part of the Kindle Unlimited platform. Whilst I recognize that the majority of my readers are probably reading on Kindle, it seems unfair to those who might want to purchase and read via a different platform.
Ultimately, I don’t really care all that much; readership is more important to me than money, and I’ll happily give away a thousand free copies (in fact, I’ve given away more than double that for 22 Scars) if it means people will simply read my book. I also love to hear what people thought, which is why I’m constantly checking Goodreads for reviews (sorry-not-sorry).
That being said, The Broken is now available to purchase on Amazon and other platforms, and if you feel like buying an indie author a cup of coffee (or half of one, anyway), go ahead and buy yourself a copy! If you’d rather just read the book, however, let me know: I’ll happily send you over a complimentary copy.