it's scary sometimes - New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Sterling

it's scary sometimes

being a self published author is scary. i know you're probably rolling your eyes and saying to yourself, "what? shutup jenn, i'm sure it's soooo scary"... but here's the thing:

risks = unknown outcomes

unknown outcomes = fear

fear sucks (cause it usually stops us from taking risks)

it is really freaking hard trying to figure out what works and what doesn't when it comes to marketing and promoting your book. i mean, us indie (i think that's the "cool" term for self pubbed authors now) authors have to take risks when it comes to our work, just for the sake of getting exposure.

for example, i allowed my book to be FREE yesterday on amazon and i got over 16 thousand downloads (thank you everyone!). way more downloads than i've ever had in the entire time my book has been for sale. and i'm super excited about the exposure. super excited at hopefully gaining some new readers, people who like my writing style, my characters, the way i tell a story, and want to read all my future books! but it's still scary. like i want to puke, scary. because obviously, since my book was free- i made $0 on all of those downloads.

and making $0 dollars doesn't pay the bills. HA! like most writers, i'd like to be able to say i make a living writing. and it's just really hard to say what works in terms of getting the billions of people in the world to know your book exists. it's hard to make your book stand out from the thousands of other e-books that are being published

so we take risks.

we send hundreds of free copies to book bloggers, reviewers, etc. all in the hopes of generating some kind of publicity... some sort of buzz... word of mouth. ANYTHING that will tell other people that our book is here! and it doesn't suck! and you should read it!

and you know, i don't mind doing that. but it's still scary because it doesn't always work. there is no magic formula that all self published authors can follow that will guarantee everyone the same kind of results. it's so hit and miss. what works for one author might not work for another. it's just really hard to navigate this massive e-book field right now. especially when you feel like you're navigating it alone, with your one little tiny solo book.
so, we give our book away. for nothing. not because we think it's worth nothing (we know the exact opposite is true), but it's that we aren't sure what else to do to seperate ourselves from the masses. and what are we left with after we've given away hundreds (or thousands) of our books and people still aren't buying it?
i guess we're just left...


yet hopeful.
because i think deep down we writers know that it only takes one thing- the right moment at the right time and everything can change. and we all hope for that. because we all want people to enjoy the stories we tell.
at least i do.

but first, i'd just like everyone to know it's out there. my book exists! it's real! and it's enjoyable! and you should buy it!
and tell your friends. and your neighbors. and your dog.

cause in all honesty, after 16,000 free downloads- i don't know what the hell else to do. :)
i'm going to go puke now. lol


  1. Discoverability is the issue today. But the way you will be discovered is to keep writing good stuff. Sure, we have to keep marketing our current books. Still, put more energy into writing than into worrying about marketing. It will help you in the end.

  2. J. Sterling10:35 AM

    hi sherry- i totally agree that the most energy needs to go into writing. and writing IS the most important thing- but i can't ignore the fact that it won't help me at all to have a bunch of books out there that NO ONE knows exists. :)

  3. You are SO right! It is very scary! You are not alone in your feelings! Congrats on your successful "free" day! Here's hoping for an even more successful second book! Looking to start "In Dreams" next week! :)

  4. j. sterling1:34 PM

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK Michelle!!!! i hope you like it! and thank you for everything you said! :) i still need to read your book- it's on my list! i love the cover so much- i always stop and look at it. lol