Lessons and mistakes during 2015


I discussed the sales in my last post. So I thought I would discuss the mistakes I did in this one.

The first mistake I did, was to not send The Cauldron Bound to an editor for story editing. Don’t get me wrong. The story is solid, but it could have been better. On the other hand, I am not making that mistake again. 🙂

The second mistake: Not asking a pro to write the blurb. I wrote the blurb myself, and that was a mistake. I should have asked my editor to write it. Or at least edit it.

The third mistake:

Releasing in the summer. I thought more people would buy books in the summer, turns out that for fantasy the summer is a bad release period. It would probably have been better to waited until October. Or even until 2016. Because that was another mistake I did.

The fourth mistake: Not sending ARCs to reviewers and bloggers. Next year, I am using Netgalley, at least for my novels and novellas.

The fifth mistake: Too long between releases. Yeah. It is much easier to gain momentum if you release more than one book per year. I think 3 months is the ultimate, since Amazon has some kind of algorithm that kicks in.

So, I have made mistakes, but I am aware of them and I am doing my best to not repeat them. Will I make other mistakes next year? Probably, but it will not make these ones. I think this is an important part of growing as a writer. Figure out the mistakes you did, and do your best to not make them again. Especially if you want to make money on writing.

Something I have realised is that if you want to sell, you need to put out a professional product. I am spending a lot of money on editing, since I can afford it. But if you can’t, send it to a beta reader that you trust. Whatever you do, don’t put out a book that hasn’t been betaread at least once. Because I have some authors that I love, but I am cautious about buy them, since they have broken my reader trust one time too many.

And get a nice cover, made by a pro, that tell the reader that this book is fantasy/ science fiction. Because bland covers only work if you are a bestseller. Then people buy you because they trust you. Most of us, don’t have that luxury.

Personally, I think I am on the right path to steady sales. My books in the Portal Universe has a graphical branding, people see that they are a part of a series. They are well edited, the covers are made by a pro. The only thing I need to do is to release more books on a steady basis. As much as I love The Cauldron Bound, one novella in a bronze age setting isn’t bound to be a bestseller.