I’ve been seeing a number of the authors who have become friends over the last five years questioning whether it’s all worthwhile lately.  I know what they mean because I’ve been thinking that too.

If you’ve been going some time you’ve probably been working your socks off, blogging, promoting, making yourself giddy on Facebook, Twitter and other media, commenting on people’s posts, following people back, being inundated with emails, and wondering how you’re ever going to get time to write the next book of the series that every author must have to get a real body of work “out there”.

And then there’s the family, or your social life, in the real world.  If you still have one, you feel guilty all the time, because you should spend more time with them, shouldn’t you?

So, we are all in the same boat, then.

I came to the conclusion at the start of the year that paid promotions for my books were making money for other people, but not for me.  I feel I should be doing them, taking advantage of this offer and that offer… but here we are halfway through the year, and my ‘sales’ of my books are pretty much what they were last year.  Steady downloads of the freebies, and apart from my non-fiction book, nothing much else.

The good thing is, I can ‘sell’ free books.  The bad thing is, nobody wants to read the next in the series – well, it’s a very slow burn.

Question: is my first book good enough to make people want the second?  You’ll know from last month that my scifi series wasn’t (I’m working on it).  I still think Princelings of the East is.  But as Sharon Ledwith said on a really good post last week… is my tagline and blurb good enough?

If it is (and I suspect I should change them), then I have a simple answer to the question is it worth it?


But I’m going to write, not promote.  I do need to smarten up my book product. After that, well, there are just too many of us around being very clever and doing all the same things, and people will take our free books, devour them, and move on to the next one.

After all, I do the same thing.

I just hope somebody will say nice things about mine from time to time, just as I do with theirs.

What do you think?

Posted for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group – visit other writers in the network, and join up yourself if you feel inclined!

#IWSG for July | Is it worth it?
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9 thoughts on “#IWSG for July | Is it worth it?

  • 6 July, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I totally relate to most things you covered. I backed away from paid promotions and participating in blog tours. I wanted to use my energy to focus on writing and improving my craft. I’m in the verge of deciding to reboot and rebrand my first series, but I have a YA book to finish first.
    My ‘is it worth it’ answer changes daily, maybe even hourly. I live in hope that one day I’ll wake up and find it’s that ‘it was worth it’ day.

    So, what would Dory do? – just keep swimming.

    • 6 July, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Good comment, Steve 🙂 And yours are definitely worth it!

  • 6 July, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Can’t say I’m surprised you said much of what I’m thinking. I like writing, and don’t intend to stop, nor to stop trying to make the books as good as I can. But I don’t think I can keep working so hard at all the promotion stuff, especially not once the spouse retires and we start traveling even more.

    I really want to stop feeling guilty because I don’t leverage Twitter for myself or others. I just don’t get that place and can’t make myself care enough to change that (and who has time? I have books to read!).

    Meanwhile….I seem to be able to sell ALMOST free books 🙂

    • 6 July, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      And IMHO you are super-talented. And part of this post came from our conversation (and I should have referenced Jennifer Ellis’s recent post, too)

      • 7 July, 2016 at 5:14 pm

        Aww, you are too kind!

        I’m lazy, though. Or maybe just not hungry enough?

  • 6 July, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    OMG, Jemima – this could have been me writing your post, but I’m a coward. In addition, I just like writing. If I didn’t market – and I might get to the point where I don’t even try – I would still write and publish. I loved the comment from S.W.Lothian, having just seen Finding Dory, so I will just keep swimming.

    • 6 July, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Yes, we must all keep swimming, and writing, and publishing. And whatever you’re doing to attract new readers and new blog followers, keep doing it!

  • 7 July, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Is it worth it? You bet your bippy. My goal is traditional publishing, and I don’t like having to explain, over and over, that it’s a long slog from writing to getting published, but I’m proud of myself for persevering and continuing to write. If nothing else, I’m brave.

    • 7 July, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Good for you, Rhonda! I hope you reach your goal, and soon. It’s a tough old world out there, and I’m a niche market 🙂

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