Monday, September 23, 2013

Sometimes I wonder ...

Two weeks ago, I published my fourth book. I was on top of the world and nothing could stop me. I had received wonderful feedback from all of my beta readers, be they family, friends, or near-strangers. Even my mom admitted that it was a good book ...

But then only four people showed up for the blog party.

I wasn't too upset, there were plenty of people who had expressed interest in the weeks leading up ... so I still had potential readers, didn't I? I couldn't always have a smashing success of a book party ... maybe I just chose a bad day.

But two weeks passed ... and I'll let ya'll in on a little secret ... not a single copy of the book has sold. No one has bought a paperback, or snagged it on kindle. The giveaways of my first three books were a smashing success, not my best giveaways, but the number wasn't puny, either. I've even sold two kindle copies of Take since then ...

But no one has bought The Ankulen.

Maybe I spend too much time watching my KDP ... but I try to only pull it up once a day.

I've never dreamed of becoming rich off my writing, I've never even dreamed of becoming famous (though that would be really cool). I write because I like to go on adventures, and I publish because I'm presumptuous enough to think that others would like to go on my adventures with me. But I like to see sales, too. I'm a people person, which is a rare thing for authors, I've learned, so I like to hear feedback from my readers.

I suppose that sales of Take should be high, the fact that it's a sequel is a built-in promotion ...

But there are days when I wonder ...

Am I doing this right?
What am I doing wrong?
Should I even be doing this at all?
Maybe I should give up this whole authoring business and focus on my knitting business. At least I know I'm good at knitting.

And then, to make maters worse, I start comparing myself to other authors. Sew has only three reviews on Amazon ... and Annabeth's War, by Jessica Greyson has 25 ... and Sew's been out way longer. People ship (reader talk for pairing up fictional characters, often romatically, somtimes not) Jack's characters, but the only time I've had anyone do that for me, they were trying to pair up Arthur and Madeleine ... (And as the readers of that book know, not only is she already betrothed, but A and M are very closely related)

When I published Sew, it was only my second book to reach the words "the end." The only other book I'd ever finished was book two of my Rizkaland Legends. Why was I so presumptuous as to think that I was ready to publish? And why that book? The first in a series that I had (and still have) no end in sight for? What made me think that I could keep it up? Sure, I had stuck with Rizkaland for five years, rewriting book two in play format three times and I had just finished the prose format, but I could never get through that book without making a HUGE change half-way through and deciding that I needed to rewrite it again.

Maybe I should have made myself rewrite Sew. I've rewritten every single other book I've written at least once, preferably twice. (Or four times) Okay, so I haven't rewritten Infiltration yet, but I plan to.

Maybe I did something wrong in the promotion. Before I published Sew, I did talk about my writing, but this was more of a blog for my school work. I even wrote and published some poetry. I didn't try to build a readership.

But I've published Sew, it's selling pretty well, and receiving good ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads ...  and Take is selling REALLY well and is receiving even better ratings.

I AM an author, an indie author, but an author all the same. I write books, I finish them eventually, I rewrite them, and then I publish them.

And I do hear feedback from my readers. They like what I write. They're begging me to finish and publish Kingdom. Currently, it's sitting next to me and I'm writing the scene where Eric discovers the depth of Robin's childhood hatred of him. I also have Worth of a King up on the computer and I just introduced a character who will be very important. I need to pull up and work on my short stories ... maybe once I finish writing this blog post.

I may have my doubts some days, but they don't change anything. They don't change the fact that I love my characters. They don't change my love of the written word, the scratch of my pencil against paper, the tapping of my fingers on my keyboard (And BlackViolet has the loveliest tappy keyboard). It doesn't change the fact that I DO have readers who DO tell me that they like my books.

I'm an author. Nothing will change that.


Okay, I'm done being sappy and inspirational, and ready to be serious. I do need more reviews, since they are what sells books. If you are willing to read and review any of my books, particularly the short story collection and The Ankulen, email me (See my FAQ page or the "Contact Me" page on my Official Website) and I'll send you the PDF file that went into the print version, or the word file if you want to read on your kindle. If you are a "physical books only" person, I can give you a 20% discount. (For Take and Ankulen. The other two I already have their prices lowered as far as they'll go).

Please note, I'll only send you one book at a time (as incentive to make you read my book), and I would prefer it if you post your review at least two places, and three would be wonderful (Amazon, your blog, goodreads, shelfari, there are many places to review my books)

So ... bon appetite, and feel free to share the fact that I'm giving away books for review. The more reviews I get, the more readers I can attract!

Oh, and speaking of free books, "The Prior Quest" is currently free for kindle. If you're wondering if you should read this lovely little story or not, here's a review to convince you that you should.

Also, I'm looking for interviews. If you are interested in having my face on your blog. I might be able to put together a guest post, but you'll have to give me a topic. Otherwise it'll just be gibberish. If you'd like, we can do an interview swap and I'll interview you here on my blog. If you have a book, I could also review it on the O.Scarlett blog ... but we do have a backlog there (thank-you life for becoming fun) so it may be a while before I get to your book.


  1. I've noticed the same with my second book, my Loyalty one. I've only sold one Nook copy and it has got no reviews. But I am thinking it might be because, as new authors, before established, if we go out of a series none of the readers will be as interested. They want the next book in the series. But give The Ankulen time, don't push it too much. Let the readers talk about it when they're ready, marketing works better that way. Yes, promote it, but pushing it might only hender it. And don't give up on it, because it is a great book 8-D

    1. I'm actually more interested in Loyalty, but wanted to read your first book first... I'm weird that way.

  2. Have no fear! I still plan to buy a physical copy of the Ankulen. But I think it will be closer to Christmas than now... because I have to figure out some things financially first.

    I suppose this is the downfall of self-publishing. You can only reach a small audience, instead of reaching everyone in the world because your book is right in the front of the library or on a display in the front of Barnes and Nobles.
    There's something I have to keep reminding myself when I start thinking about sales and stuff. I know for a fact that After the Twelfth Night isn't going to sell well, because I haven't gotten out and publicized it. I have less than 20 followers on my blog... I can list the people who know about After the Twelfth Night on my hands (and maybe a foot). But I'm not writing this book for the money, or even to say 'hi guyz, guess what? I wrote a book. And published it.' No, I'm writing After the Twelfth Night because God has given me a talent with words, and I want to glorify Him with it. I'm also writing for the experience. Thirdly, I'm writing 'cause it's my hobby and I have fun with it. If I wasn't having fun, you can bet I wouldn't be writing, or pushing myself through this agony called editing and formatting and stressing over whether the cover will fit. But on top of it all, I'm not writing for me. And I'm not writing for whoever may read my stories. It sounds harsh, but they don't matter to me. What matters to me is that what I write, portrays the morals of God, and glorifies him.

    And somehow, tonight, I just can't stop rambling... and I really need to go to bed.

    1. When I published Sew, I had fewer than ten followers, maybe closer to five. My mom had lots of followers, though, and we both had plenty of facebook friends, so I managed to make some pretty good sales. In fact, it wasn't until after one girl added Sew to her to-read list on goodreads and I clicked through to her blog, and then through to the blogs of several of her friends that I began amassing followers.

      Writing is my career, so I am more serious about sales. Honestly, if money weren't an issue, and I could figure out how, I'd make all of my books permanently free so that people could just enjoy them. Ah, well ... maybe someday.

      And I completely understand the finances thing. I'm patient ... You're in for a treat when you do finally buy it ;)

  3. Oh, Kendra! I'm so sorry! I wanted to be one of your first sales for The Ankulen, but I've been waiting for my gift cards to come in from Swagbucks, so I don't know when that will happen. :(

    I know I'm a terrible reviewer. *hangs head in shame* I've got both Bookania books on my PC Kindle app, and have read both, enjoyed both, but never got around to reviewing either of them! Ugh, now I feel like such an awful friend!! Well, let's change that, shall we? I am determined to start reviewing more! I *will* do this!

    Your face on my blog? Sure, thing!! I'm thinking maybe we should go for a guest post on a topic of your choice since I just did an interview with you just a little while ago when The Ankulen came out. You should have my email address already, so if you have any questions, go ahead and drop me a line and we can get cracking on this!

    1. Ah, swagbucks cards. They're so annoyingly slow! When I stay on the ball, I can usually earn about one a month ... but I've been slacking off recently. With my last two cards, I had every intention of purchasing Jack's Loyalty book ... but both times, a huge 99 cent sale happened featuring some author's that I'd really been wanting to read. The next one, though, goes to Jack.

      Eh, don't feel too bad about not getting around to reviews. I have a reviewing blog, and several authors to whom I've PROMISED reviews, but haven't gotten around to writing. I've read the book ... I just need to find the time and brainpower to actually write the reviews.

      And I SHALL take you up on the offer of the guest post.

  4. I know exactly how you feel. This year, I've sold exactly 5 copies of my book. 3 paperback, 2 on kindle. Sigh. I was hoping to have book 2 out by now, but the cover has been delayed a couple of times now (all for legitimate and understandable reasons) but frustrating none-the-less.

    The Ankulen sounds quite interesting, and up my alley... so it's on my to-be-read list (well, technically, my to-be-purchased list) and I'd love to take you up on your offer, but as I only read paper-copies, I have to save my pennies.

    I would love to have you over for an interview!!!! You can check out my blog here:

    And you can find my general question bank here: (usually I will either pick a few questions, or tell authors they can choose up to 10 of their favorites to answer (if you absolutely love 11 of them, there's a bit of wiggle room on that rule) :)

    1. One of those kindle purchases was me. Your book is really good. I had a few issues, but they were mostly just personal pet peeves of mine. I understand about the cover issues though. That's one of the reasons Take was so long in getting out. I can't wait to read it when you finally jump through all of the hoops!

      I used to be print only, but then my mom got a kindle (she has really bad eyes, and print books were no longer working for her, even though she LOVES reading) and I found out how cheep kindle books are. (Many of them are free!) E-reading isn't for everyone, but once I get into a book, I forget whether I'm reading it in a print, on my own kindle, or on my android (My kindle is connected to my mom's Amazon library, and my android kindle app to my own, so I have different books for each). Indeed, I have this bad habit of skipping ahead when I'm reading, and I've found that it isn't as easy to do on a kindle.

      And I'll take you up on that interview! You have some great questions! Which to chose ...

  5. I, too was surprised that so few people showed up for your Blog Party--it sounded like (and was) so much fun!

    QUOTE: "I may have my doubts some days, but they don't change anything. They don't change the fact that I love my characters. They don't change my love of the written word, the scratch of my pencil against paper, the tapping of my fingers on my keyboard.... It doesn't change the fact that I DO have readers who DO tell me that they like my books.

    I'm an author. Nothing will change that."

    The fact that you were able--in one blog post--to go from, "What did I do wrong?" and "Maybe I should just quit 'cos no one likes my stuff" to realizing that it's not as black as your doubts sometimes paint it, and that you WILL keep writing in spite of it all...that's huge. It shows a real maturity and determination, and I know God will honor that. Keep up the good work, Kendra, and keep your eyes Heavenward...but you know that already.

    God bless,
    ~"Tom Wild Rose"~


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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