Month: March 2017

Oh, what a fickle business is publishing.

Publishing

Oh, what a fickle business is publishing.

Or at least, the selling books portion of it is.

(Well, who am I kidding? That’s really all there is to it, anyway.)

Starting from scratch with a publishing imprint and unknown pen names was always going to be an uphill battle. Building contacts from scratch, establishing a brand with the new pen names… that was going to be challenging. Is challenging. I knew it would be time and capital intensive.

I’ve got a raft of Amazon ads going right now, which is driving a steady and increasing number of book sales, but I’m still outspending the book revenue with the advertising – a LOT. Fortunately, my paying work right now can fund this growth stage, but it’s a little nerve-wracking to see the ad dollars flowing out in a steady stream and the revenue trickling in a few drips at a time.

I’ve been experimenting with different ad copy for different target audiences, and tweaking the book description copy on the page, and my conversions have steadily improved. But I’m still missing the very important Gold Stars. That’s right – Reviews, baby.

Without review data, it’s that much harder to get someone to click the “Buy” button. Even the best-written book descriptions in the world don’t mean much until we see “Oh, 109 people have rated this and it has decent reviews, so at least someone likes it.”

As a reader, I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. I’ll pass on books that don’t have many reviews, by unknown authors, even if the writing looks decent or seems like something I might enjoy. I can’t blame other readers for doing the same now.

I feel like if I can just get some reviews, the conversions will go up drastically. Some of the ads might even start paying for themselves. It will also jump-start Ye Olde Online Bookseller’s algorithms to market the book more effectively even when I’m not paying for ads – should boost the organic search results.

It’s just getting past this initial hurdle of getting the books into enough people’s hands to get reviews on them that’s the hard part.

In the meantime, book sales come in fits and starts. In the beginning, I wasn’t really marketing, so there were no book sales (while I was trying to clear up some problems with the listing pages). Since the beginning of March, though, sales have steadily increased – first one, then one every day, then a handful of days with none, then a few… currently, in the past seven out of eight days, I’ve gotten at least one sale every day… multiple sale days are becoming the norm, versus days with none or only one. But that makes the days like today, with no sales, worse.

“Why did I sell five the other day, then three, then one, then four, and now none? Why no sales today? Is there something wrong with the page? Have the ads stopped serving? Why? Why?

The changeable uncertain nature of this business is tough. Plowing ahead when I don’t necessarily understand all of the variables involved, or when my sheer stubborn will isn’t enough to just make it work, isn’t always easy. I wonder if I’m doing the right thing, spending the money to try to get over this hump, or whether I should go back to something ‘safer’ and put the money toward household goals, instead. It feels kind of selfish to just be pouring this money into a dream just to try to make it work.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten kind of accustomed to pushing at something long enough to make it give way and make it work. Pretty much everything in my life has been like that. “Hard, hard, hard – oh, wait, there we go, this is actually a thing that I can do.” Whether it’s starting my own business when I started freelancing a decade ago, or losing weight and exercising, or learning how to ride a motorcycle, or even just turning a wrench… there’s a point when you get the leverage just right and the thing becomes easy.

I guess being stubborn isn’t the worst personality trait. So for now, I’ll just keep trying different things and see what it takes to make this publishing thing work. It would really be nice to get to a point where it doesn’t take quite so much time, though, so I could get back to the thing I really love – writing.

Who would have guessed that starting a second business on top of my regular full-time business would leave me less time to do my hobby?

*laughs*

Personal

Welcome to my new home

If you’re here, it’s because you’re looking for Dachary Carey.

(Or maybe you’re here because you found me through one of my projects, or one of my old articles.)

Welcome!

This is a long-overdue overhaul of my old site. When I decided to stop focusing on client work and work on my own writing, I took down my old website. It was really focused on ‘selling’ me as a writer to potential clients. I used it in job proposals, email signatures, on business cards, etc.

I don’t wanna do that anymore. I want to focus more on my own writing, and on my burgeoning publishing empire. So this page is all about me – the person, the writer, the publisher, the traveler, the adventurer. It’s basically a glorified blog, with a little background on some of my various projects.

Well, ok, it wasn’t quite that much of a straight line from there to here… I was having some deep thoughts on Saturday about writing, and wanted to blog them somewhere. But I don’t have a blog anymore. There was one attached to my old site, but I took that site down when I stopped focusing on client work – and it was mostly focused on topics that clients would find relevant.

So I embarked on what turned out to be a lengthy relaunch of my personal site just so I could jot down a few notes about writing.

And of course, here it is the following Wednesday, and I’ve gotten the fancy new site, and written hundreds of words about various things… but that post on writing? Nowhere to be found. (Yet.)

Hah. So this is me. Someone who will set up and populate an entire friggin’ website on a whim because I want to blog something.

Welcome to my little corner of the Internet. I hope you’ll find it… entertaining? Amusing? Thought-provoking? Relatable? Many things.

I promise to start filling it with content soon.

But not too much, because I’m also busy writing, and running a publishing empire, and podcasting, and (hopefully someday again) traveling, and, and…