“I’m giving up,” a member of our writers’ group said at last month’s meeting. “I’ve been indie publishing for three years and it’s not working for me. This is my last time here.”
As you can imagine, she triggered a big discussion. Some authors were horrified that she’d quit. A couple more said they were wondering whether they should quit.
So, when is it time to give up your indie publishing dreams?
That’s up to you, of course.
One author said something I like: “Lower your expectations. Keep writing.”
When every other indie publishing author is selling more than you (or so you think)
Lowering your expectations is a good idea. Our expectations can cause us needless anxiety and despair.
The author who said she was quitting was making sufficient money every month from her three books to pay her car payment. Yes, she wanted to make more, and she was spending time marketing her books each month, but nevertheless, she was making an income.
An author who was new to indie publishing muttered that she’d love to earn enough to make her car payment each month, and others agreed.
By the time a few more of us had shared our indie publishing results, the author decided that she’d been too hasty. She decided to try a more popular genre, and a new pen name.
If you’re thinking about quitting indie publishing, here are some insights we came up with which may help.
1. Keep going: try a popular genre
As our author decided, why not try a different, more popular genre? Some genres have narrow audiences. It couldn’t hurt to try something new.
2. Refresh your publishing lineup with new covers
If a book’s been published for over a year, check bestsellers’ covers in the genre. How do yours compare? A cover refresh can intrigue readers. Test out cover designs with other authors on a forum, before you commit.
3. Lower your expectations: not everyone can be a bestseller
This was our big takeaway. We all learned something from that meeting — be happy if you’re making money. Many authors never make a cent. Anyone who has readers is doing something right.
4. Take some time off from writing
It’s the summer holiday season in the northern hemisphere. Whatever the weather in your location, take a break from writing. Even a weekend away — without writing — can give you a fresh perspective.