Feeling Down and Irritable

Sundays have become infamous for low (or no) sales days for my book.  Not sure why, but today is looking like it will knock off all those Amazon lists completely.  I’ve been preparing myself for this and trying to find a way to soften the blow.  I was doing okay until a thought crossed my mind:

I’ve seen a lot of self-published authors talk about how important ‘word of mouth’ is and I’ve preached it too.  I use social media, support other authors, and do whatever I can to spread the word of my book and the books of other authors.  I greatly appreciate the hep and advice I’ve received from all of the WordPress friends that I’ve made.  Yet, there is a piece of my puzzle that’s lacking and it’s finally hitting a point where I’m annoyed.

Back when I set out to be an author full-time, I announced it to my friends and stated that ‘word of mouth’ would be essential.  I told them that I would need their help and they eagerly agreed to do whatever it took to help me.  So far, only 2 people have really stuck by this.  Everyone else has either ignored me, bought the book without reading it, or hit that damn ‘like’ button on FB.  Honestly, the ‘like’ button isn’t really a form of support for something like this.  It’s just a well-wish and doesn’t tell all your friends about my book.  It’s an action with no ripple.

Now, I made a small plea on my FB today and asked that people simply share my post about my book.  One person did it and it’s one of the usual suspects, so I wasn’t surprised by that.  I still thanked her for her unending help.  Truthfully, I’m not annoyed at the people who are actually helping and they know who they are.  It’s the ones that I thought had my back, but are apparently too busy to share an FB post.  People I’ve had drinks with and hung out with.  I’ve been to the weddings and birthdays of some of these people.  I’m ranting again, but you get the gist of what I’m feeling.  Here are some private responses to my plea:

“You should stand on your own two feet and earn your success by yourself.” (Nobody really succeeds by themselves.  Eventually, you need somebody to spread the word of your product or it won’t go anywhere.)

“I don’t read fantasy books.”  (I didn’t ask for you to read it.  Just hit the damn share button for a friend.)

“I don’t think I’d be much help.” (You couldn’t be much less help now.)

“You should stop this and get a real job.” (Good to see you’re in my corner.  I’ll remember this when you ask for a favor.)

“My friends don’t listen to me on FB.”  (Congratulations! Mine don’t listen either, but you have over 300 ‘friends’.  I figure even two of them sharing that will help.)

“You can’t depend on anybody.” (That’s rather severe.  Especially since you’ve depended on me for help and I’ve delivered.)

“Why do you keep asking people to spread the word of your book?”  (Because going door-to-door with a staple gun and homemade bookmarks is illegal.)

“Here’s something with kittens to make you feel better.” (Great.  Thanks.  Virtual cats.  How was sending this to me easier than hitting the share button?)

“Stop whining!” (Stop posting about what you ate.)

“You wrote a book?” (We’ve met in real life.  I’ve been carrying a notebook and talking about being an author since high school.  Should I assume you were ignoring me all these years?  Do you translate everything I say to ‘boobies boobies boobies beer cake boobies guns’?)

That’s the real-life support that I have today.  My family and I are going to a craft fair, but I might stay behind because I’m just too down.  My wife seems to be a better saleswoman anyway.  She’s handed out my business cards while doing temp jobs if she hears someone likes fantasy.  If I go then I might be the toddler wrangler and let my wife do the work.  After all, she’s got the cute sexy thing going while I’ve got the hefty sad thing going.

Thanks for letting me rant here.  Needed to finally get that off my chest.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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129 Responses to Feeling Down and Irritable

  1. greenembers says:

    Hey Charles, sorry you’re so down. I’m going to do the little I can to help you and share your book info on Facebook and Twitter! Hopefully it helps. I’ll be reblogging this post later today. Stay strong!

    Like

    • Thanks. I greatly appreciate the help I get from my WordPress friends because that’s where 95% of my support is coming from. It’s the lack of support from the people I know beyond a computer screen that has me disappointed. It kind of hurts.

      Like

  2. Papizilla says:

    I hear you Charles. I have the same issue. I have lost many friends over this same topic. I have and would have supported them in whatever endeavor they chose(that is what friends do, right?) yet they couldn’t even hit the “like” button on Facebook or share the post. I received a great deal of hate mail from my friends and some family.

    After much discussion with my few friends and family that did support me, I cut those people off. I dropped them off of social media, blocked when necessary and stopped answering phone calls and attending functions they threw. It was difficult at first, but my life is better for dropping the “dead weight”, for lack of a better term. And I’m not even Published yet! More support and help from the WordPress community than family and friends.

    Honestly, it is a darn good way to find out who your true friends are. Who has your back, and who is jealous. The person that sent “get a real job” is probably insanely jealous and hates their own life. I think that we are not the only ones in this boat, a great many successful people end up by themselves, or with few if any true friends. Some call it the price of success, I think of it more as cutting the anchor of jealousy and hate away. I could be wrong, but I am probably not.

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    • I don’t think I’m going the route of cutting people off, but I’m not going to be nice if they start talking about how they ‘helped’ down the road. I’ve also stopped being so helpful them with passing things around on FB. One person got annoyed with me that I didn’t share their adorable kitten picture like I always did. They shut up when I told them they never shared my ‘spread the word about my book’ posts.

      The ‘get a real job’ was from someone that I expected and is family. I tend to forget the person is on FB and they occasionally swing in with that. Due to the type of family, I can’t really ditch the person. I can throw back a curse-laden response, which will go over like an anchor when we meet face-to-face again.

      Thanks. It is nice to know that I’m not the only one in this boat. Just wish one of us had an oar, so we could paddle it.

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  3. rbdavis5 says:

    Some people never get behind writers, from what I can tell it’s because they don’t actually think they can or do know writers. (I am married to such a person). It’s nothing personal I suspect it’s a psychological thing. For some reason it’s hard to accept the ‘presence’ of creativity, until its validated by the rest of the world. Then suddenly it becomes real.
    I also hear you about Facebook. I managed to pick up 14 followers, but only from my page, ML Newman has retweeted my link and posted it as well, but the only person from word press to follow on Facebook is you.
    Social media is a misnomer; it should be called “Antisocial Media” (I did share your post, even if no one reads my page, maybe just maybe you’ll get 1 person. Not like it costs anything to hit that ‘share’ I was hoping someone would on my note, but gave that idea up a while back.)

    Like

    • Good point. There is that sense that I have to ‘prove myself’ before anyone will help. Basically, they’ll step up to help when I’ve already succeeded and have a publishing contract. I’ve tried to explain that such an act is too little, too late, but nobody ever thinks I know what I’m talking about. It’s a culture clash between practical-minded and dreamer.

      Antisocial media is definitely a better name. Thanks for helping. Even one person is one more I had before.

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  4. eTilde says:

    This is just a personal opinion FWIW. I don’t think many people note or suggest a product or business unless they think a lot of their friends are interested, and I don’t think people tend to share or publicize their less common or popular interests–they just follow them. Within those circles of special interest, word of mouth is valuable. If interest creeps outside of a circle, that’s great but forcing it outside of it seems like it could do more harm than good.

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    • I’m not sure I follow. My current problem is that I can’t get my circle to even mention my book, so that their other circles can hear about it. I’m of the mind that humans work in a chain type of reaction. One person talks about something and their friends will talk to their friends and so on. The product has to be jumped from circle to circle in order to grow. Otherwise, you’ll hit a point where everyone in the circle has the product and isn’t telling anyone outside of the circle. The product his dead water.

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      • eTilde says:

        IMO success with niche products doesn’t necessarily work that way. The word of mouth that sells a niche product is spread by people who are actual consumers of it.

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      • Ah. I can see how that works. Do books fall into niche products or simply genres? I mean, Harry Potter is a YA fantasy adventure that spans various ages, cultures, and interests. So, I guess my goal is to make my books more than a niche.

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      • eTilde says:

        Your series, from my perspective, is a niche product right now–The people that can help your series gain momentum and that can actually convince readers that don’t think they’re interested in fantasy are the people that love your fantasy books. Again, that’s just my opinion.

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      • Yes. Though, I’m not asking for the conversion of non-fantasy readers. The truth is that most people know at least one fantasy reader. My issue annoyance is coming form when my friends who have access to vast groups of people (300+ FB friends for example) refuse to throw my book into the air to see if anything sticks. I think with word of mouth, it can include the ‘I don’t like this genre, but I know people who do, so I’ll pass it on.’
        Truthfully, several of my friends who are into fantasy are refusing to help because they simply don’t want to be bothered.

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      • eTilde says:

        Then they are indeed jerks!

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      • Yes. And they better not ask me to help move any pianos up several flights of stairs. 🙂

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  5. ioniamartin says:

    So Charles, I’m not going to send you and virtual pussy–er–kittens. But what I will do is ask that you put together a guest post about your book and your journey as an author with appropriate links, etc. so that I may spread the word to my followers. (I’m almost at a thousand straight WP followers and I’ve no idea how to tell how many I have from other sources. I also will send out the word to FB and Twitter for whatever good it does.

    In any case. tell everyone to shove it. This is a real job. It takes work and it makes money even if it isn’t millions–Yet-never give up on the word YET.

    Like

    • Thanks. I’ll work on a guest post today and get it to you once I’m done. Though, I’ve never done one before, so I’m going to have to do some research first. I greatly appreciate the opportunity and I’ll definitely try to throw in some advice and helpful hints for other authors.

      I’ve been pushing the ‘shove it’ line a bit today, but with less kindness. I can only take so much apathy from people who are supposed to care.

      Like

      • ioniamartin says:

        I really do get it. Honestly there have been members of my own family who don’t bother to read my damn books but are totally happy to tell me about a review they did for someone else. It pisses me off. Seriously, if you tell me you care and you want to support me then do it already. I really would leave them standing on the side of the road if I saw their car broken down lol

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      • I forgot to put this in the post, but I mentioned it to Sarah. Best ‘help’ to date from a friend:

        “I got the free sample from Smashwords! You’re welcome.”

        You could have knocked me over with a light cough because I couldn’t believe that was said.

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      • ioniamartin says:

        Oh my gawd. That takes nerve.

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      • ioniamartin says:

        I’m filling up my gas tank right now, maybe I should tell them in the store ” I bought gas, you’re welcome.”

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      • Exactly. This person wasn’t a close friend or even much of an acquaintance. Someone I knew my freshman year of college and reconnected with to some extent. Still, it takes a level of WTH to do that.

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      • ioniamartin says:

        Totally. Were you so tempted to send them a message saying “oh wow! I know how painful that must have been you have my eternal servitude?” I would have been

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      • I didn’t say anything, but another friend responded by saying ‘you realize that doesn’t really help, right?’ Never got a reply.

        Working on the guest post. Any suggestions because I’ve never done one of these before.

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      • ioniamartin says:

        Sure. Since my blog is a review blog, you might mention how important it is for an author to get reviews, word of mouth etc. and of course discuss your book and upcoming projects, add links where they can find you and a good book cover image. Ill do the rest

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      • I’m going on about community and how I’ve been using my blog to help other authors. I’ll email the cover image along with the Word doc once I’m done.

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      • ioniamartin says:

        Great! I look forward to sharing it;)

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      • Thanks. I should have it to you soon.

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    • And I can certainly share that wit all my friends on FB and Twitter too.

      Like

    • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

      That’s lovely of you, Iona. In fact, the reason I visited here is because I visited you! Doesn’t mean I’m interested in fantasy (I like autobiographies) – & sorry Charles, you will think I am not serious but I do not have friends, so I would not be helpful to you (my son & me moved to a new part of Australia 2008 & I have not made friends), but yes, it works! I visited! 🙂 [& work people are people I am simply polite to – this is the reality, for me]

      Like

      • No problem. Though, even a reblog/share/retweet on-line can help an aspiring author. You never know who might be reading your blog in terms of on-line friends. I’m not saying to do this or me, but a lot of people overlook this.

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  6. sarahcradit says:

    Are you in my head? This has been almost my exact experience since “announcing” my first book, except that no one has actually said any of those things to me (and I almost wish they would…its better than complete silence and wondering why people I’ve known my whole life aren’t more eager to help me out). I’ve had almost 200 likes on my FB page, and I have had a handful of die hard friends and family that are fantastic about sharing links and participating…but that’s it. My own sister hasn’t even liked my page (she just says its because she doesn’t read…well, I don’t do interior design but if my friend sends me a link for their business, I’ll sure as hell like it). Surprisingly, the biggest friend supporter I have is someone I barely knew in high school…yet she’s purchased my books to give our for her charity, constantly shares my posts, reviews my books across all sites, recommends them. Funny how life pans out.

    Its that weird dynamic where they start off being so excited for you and then you realize that even your parents haven’t read your book. In fact, there are people I mention in my acknowledgements (for helping me and encouraging me while I was writing) who haven’t read mine…and how messed up is that? The biggest supporters I’ve had, I think, have been people I’ve never met. While that’s a great thing (I guess you could call those your real fans), its also disheartening because you never even considered that people you love would not be among them.

    If someone I knew in real life wrote a book (or “insert other artistic endeavor here”), I would be the first one in line at the store to buy it. Because- that is so COOL! And if that person is a close friend or relative, that makes it even cooler. I think that’s what makes it so difficult for me to understand the lack of general interest. I would go to the ends of the earth and back to support someone who has followed their creative endeavors and its just…weird to me when others don’t think and act the same way.

    But this is why we are artists…we put our hearts on the table and don’t understand when everyone stomps on them.

    Like

    • Exactly. My FB author page might be at 60 with most of them people I’ve never met. Yet, I sent an invite to all of my friends and family. My biggest real-life helpers are a former co-worker, a college friend, and a guy I haven’t seen since high school. Most people bought the book without reading, including my sister who is ‘too busy’.

      I should have added this one, but I got one ‘friend’ that said: ‘I downloaded your free sample.” Great. Just fantastic. I think beating me with a copy of ’50 Shades’ would have been more humane than that one.

      The ones that hurt are the people who I’ve stood by in times where they needed help or supported them when they took a risk. It’s simply not reciprocated and I’ve really had it after a week of struggling to get the word out. I’ve been fighting to counter the ‘out of print’ message on my books’ Amazon page, but only a handful of people have tried to pass the message along. It’s disheartening, especially when I get a sense that many of them are going to pull the ‘we always knew you could do it’ when I get a publishing contract.

      Like

      • sarahcradit says:

        I understand completely. This is why writing can be a very lonely business. The only folks who have actually helped allay that feeling have been other writers 🙂

        Like

      • Yeah. Though, I get a good amount of support from one friend who played the halfling thief in the game that my books are based off of. So, I guess that’s something.

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  7. sabcooke says:

    Reblogged this on Seán Cooke and commented:
    After hitting above 2,000 sales, Mr Yallowitz is starting to struggle and finding it hard to get “friends” so spread the word. Why don’t we all chip in and reblog this post to brighten his day. We’ve all got to stick together in this business and I know from few months I’ve known him that he’d do the same for fellow writers!

    Like

  8. Reblogged this on helenvalentina and commented:
    Charles is a great writer and one of wordpress’ most generous bloggers to fellow writers. Another blogger suggesting re-blogging this to help spread the word about Charles’ books and I heartily agree! I think he eloquently describes in this post a challenge we all may face if we self publish. Please check out his blog if you haven’t already and reblog on so that more people can find Charles’ wonderful writing, the story of his journey in writing, and the links to his published works. Cheers, Helen

    Like

  9. Annie says:

    Reblogged this on Annie's Blog and commented:
    I have not had much time for my own blog lately due to other commitments and health issues, nor have I had much time to read others. Found some time today and read how Charles is enduring what many other writers have encountered, so I am re blogging here so my kind writer friends (who stick by me even when I am not doing a lot for one reason or another) might also find his dilemma compelling, and maybe reblog this post to cheer him up and show some solidarity, because we will all feel down about things like this from time to time.

    Like

  10. tyroper says:

    I’m not in your position, so don’t have any idea how you feel. I think you are doing all the right things. I think you are doing the right thing being honest about how you feel, and blogging about your progressing book sales. Eventually a new writer (like me) will finally self-publish, and will see that your rise to best seller status started from humble beginnings. I however, tend to drown my ears in Metal when I’m feeling down. Not recommended. Feel better. Your next book is coming out soon…can’t wait.

    Like

    • Thanks. I plan on being around when you self-publish to read, tweet, and review about your book. 😉 I go with Disturbed when I’m feeling down. I can’t wait for the next book, so I’m probably as excited as everyone else.

      Like

  11. That absolutely sucks 😦 I’m sorry! Friends and family should have your back, no matter what. Apart from a few select people, the most marketing help I’ve actually received so far have been the lovely folks at Blackbird LSD in California — and while yes, technically, I’m paying them to publicize my book for me, they’ve gone way above and beyond the call of duty. I actually sent out a request to my close friends a few weeks ago asking if they could please post a review of my book on Amazon, since they’ve all read it and claimed to like it, but only one person has actually written a review so far. I know people are busy, but … how many sales could I be missing out on due to lack of reviews? Argh. ARGH! Anyway, sorry your social network isn’t pulling through for you 😦 I guess … keep on trucking, and be content in the knowledge that your book is doing pretty damn spectacularly for a self-published book! #3,828 in the Kindle stores? I’d kill for that kind of ranking! Well, not kill, but … maim? Mutilate? Still seems a bit drastic …

    Like

    • Thanks. That sucks about your friends not writing reviews. I got 2 non-blogging friends to write reviews, but one of them wanted in on my debut contest. I’ve been told by several friends that they read it, but they’re refusing to write reviews. No reason why.
      I think a good part of my sales come from my .99 cent pricing, which is to help set up a foundation for the sequel. That will probably be the real test when I debut that at 1.99. Maybe you can get away with a shin-kicking for that ranking.

      Like

  12. zombiephreak says:

    We’re here for ya buddy! I promise I’ll keep doing everything I can to help 🙂

    Like

  13. Kira says:

    Ugh…those comments, REALLY! I don’t get people sometimes!! Stay strong…I’m in your corner! And I do get the frustration of family & friends who just don’t want to take the time to support you! It sucks & it hurts!!! And I’m really glad you went to the craft fair!

    Like

  14. Kira says:

    Reblogged this on Wrestling Life and commented:
    This is for all you authors out there! Charles makes a good point that sometimes the hardest part of writing is having our family and friends stick by us as we write and publish! I just wanted to show Charles some love today by re-blogging this. Please check out his blog and book! All of us writers need to stick together 🙂

    Like

  15. tjtherien says:

    I can totally relate to your Facebook plight…of close to 300 friends and family all of whom I’ve known many many years 14 liked the Facebook page I set up for my writing…after months of asking for support I gave up on trying to get my friends to help…it is discouraging to be sure…

    Like

    • Discouraging is definitely the word for it. It really sucks when you have to give up on most of your friends. I’ll take the scraps of verbal support they give me, but I’ve got to stop putting much hope that they’ll reblog and share without me having to beg.

      Like

  16. C.N. Faust says:

    I showed my fiancee this blog post, and the first words out of his mouth were that you “need better friends”. Not that I mean to speak ill of them, of course. But wow – if they can’t so much as support you by clicking a “share” button, that just goes to show the extent of their ‘friendship’.

    Promoting is hard, they don’t need to make it harder.

    Like

    • I know. It’s more the comments and them taking offense at my request that has me irked. They know what I’m up to around here, so the stream of book-based posts is expected. I don’t complain when they post pictures of their food, which I still don’t understand.

      Like

  17. korimiller says:

    I think every writer can relate to this at one level or another. If I recall, I mentioned on another blog that you should contact Back Porch Writer. If I didn’t, I’m saying it now. I’m booking guests for August and September. The show is for writers, about writers, and writing. We can discuss this specific frustration AND discuss your writing. I happen to enjoy PB, MG, and adult fiction (specifically female mystery authors with female protagonists), but I love watching Science Fiction (Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.) So, I’m completely open to reading fantasy. If you’re interested in being on Back Porch Writer, send me an email. After the show, I ask follow-up questions for the blog: http://backporchwriter.wordpress.com. Check it out so you can see my style.

    Like

  18. korimiller says:

    I just bought Legends of Windemere. The cover art intrigues me, and has since I first saw it. I won’t be able to read it right away, but will before our interview (if you’re up for chatting on the show.)

    Like

  19. greenembers says:

    Reblogged this on Green Embers and commented:
    Hey, Charles is feeling better but I think this needs to be reblogged (although ALOT of you have already) but let’s support our friends and family with their endeavors and come help support Charles!

    Like

  20. Reblogged this on Year 'Round Thanksgiving Project and commented:
    My friend Charles has some very valid points. How do you support others? I try and support indie authors and musicians when I can. In fact his book is next in my queue.

    Like

  21. sarahcradit says:

    Reblogged this on …and then there was Sarah and commented:
    I think this is a good summary of how a lot of writers feel when they start to break out into the world and share their work. If you have a writer in your life, I recommend reading this.

    Like

  22. ioniamartin says:

    Reblogged this on readful things blog and commented:
    We got this Charles! You’re amazing don’t let anyone stand in your way

    Like

  23. JS Riddle says:

    I wholeheartedly feel where you are coming from, and I’m young out the gate on the self-pub route, although I’ve been writing for a long time. I could swear you were speaking from my heart and mind, and keep it up.Blogging, Goodreads, us Indies need to stick together and I’m going to reblog this if you don’t mind.

    Like

    • Thanks. I’m the same with writing for 17 years (God, I’m ancient) and just recently going for self-publishing. We definitely have to stick together. I’ve already gone off to send a Tweet and a Pinterest for your book. 😉

      Like

  24. JS Riddle says:

    Reblogged this on J.S. Riddle and commented:
    He’s obviously put some great thought into what he’s done and has worked hard, I can see the frustration and want to share some love and maybe some insight

    Like

  25. “Because going door-to-door with a staple gun and homemade bookmarks is illegal.”

    Hehe; love it. Honestly, I don’t see the point in NOT hitting the “follow” button in a case like this. It’s not as if it takes more than a second to do.

    I’ve gone ahead and bought the book; at 66p it looks like an absolute steal. I’ll be sure to read it when my backlog is cleared up 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks. I’m lost on the ‘difficulty’ with hitting the ‘share’ and ‘follow’ button. I think most people have gotten into the habit of hitting ‘like’ and thinking it’s enough. Especially on Facebook.

      Good luck getting through your backlog. I’m actually taking a week off from my writing to clear through some of mine.

      Like

  26. katemsparkes says:

    Looks like we need a support group for everyone who’s commenting. I suggest lots of comfy cushions in the meeting room, as well as a high-quality printer and a dartboard so we can print out pictures of people who make stupid comments about free downloads and… never mind.

    I’m not at the promotion stage yet, but I understand feeling low about this. I’m a Fantasy writer in a social circle of non-fantasy readers. I have a few friends who have read Bound and enjoyed it (one who’s not a Fantasy person said she neglected her kids so she could read it, which is both the best and weirdest compliment I’ve ever received), but my husband won’t read it. But then, he doesn’t read novels, period. My mom won’t read it because it’s not her genre, my dad doesn’t think he’d like YA-style Fantasy, and my brother… I just don’t think he thinks I have it in me. That’s rough. The family thing hurts. I want to yell, “When I was 5 and made you an ugly ashtray, you put it out, and you DON’T EVEN SMOKE! Now I wrote a frigging novel and you won’ even read it?!”

    Annnnd there’s my rant for the day. All I’m saying is that I see where you’re coming from, don’t feel badly for ranting, you’re not alone. And I’m glad to see you keep your sense of humour through all of this; I think that without that and hope, we’re all done for.

    Like

    • I think my mom is the only family member who has read it. I don’t count my wife because she’s one of my beta readers. Mostly because she has this ability to focus on plot holes and not let them go until I fix them or prove they’re foreshadowing. My sister is an odd one who bought the book, didn’t read the book, but tries to tell her friends. She’s a step ahead of the people who bought the book and haven’t read it. My dad is on the fence because he still isn’t sure this is a smart idea. My use (and occasional crucifixion) for using present tense doesn’t put him at ease. The bizarre ones are the friends, especially the ones that are like ‘I bought the free copy on Smashwords during free eBook week . . . but I haven’t read it’ or ‘I downloaded the free sample. I’m helping.’ It really brings out a writer’s ‘you can’t be serious’ look.
      Humor is definitely what keeps me going most times. That and a few supportive non-internet friends (and an army of friendly bloggers) that make sure to cheer me up.

      Like

      • katemsparkes says:

        I can see a few of my family members sharing without reading (maybe two or three). It’s better than nothing, but I’d really rather have a solid recommendation (and maybe an honest review) when they know what they’re talking about. I guess we can’t have everything, though.

        PS-my five-year-old says he likes the trees on your blog. Apparently it’s a “ditch forest…” I have no idea what that means, but he says it’s a good thing. 🙂

        Like

      • I’ve actually told my family not to post reviews of my book because they’re not subtle people if they do try to help. I’d rather not have the blatant mother post on there.
        The trees are actually from a photograph that a friend took in a NYC park. Not Central Park, but I forgot the name. The original is a shot of him looking down a walking trail and my wife upped the green for the background to make it look brighter. Not sure if that’s still a ditch forest.

        Like

      • katemsparkes says:

        It will always be a ditch forest to him. 🙂

        Oh, my goodness, I can only imagine a review fro my mom. The mom blog comments are embarrassing enough!

        Like

      • I’m glad that my family typically stays away from my blog. My dad looked at it a few times and voiced his opinion about me being ‘negative’ at times. Though, this was at the beginning when I was trying really hard to be a happy, shiny person. I think he was referring to a joke that was a little dark.

        Like

      • katemsparkes says:

        Everybody’s a critic -_-

        Like

  27. Olivia Stocum says:

    I soooo hear you. I’ve had better support from virtual strangers than friends and family. Sometimes I have to wonder if they want me to succeed. Maybe it kills them a little inside to see me follow my dream….

    Like

  28. Hi, if you do a guest post on my site I will promote it to 50,000+ followers. Strangers can sometimes help better than family. http://www.lpobryan.com

    Never give up.

    Like

  29. I can’t wait to jump into the pain pool (published author) I am just starting so my follower base is small. I will tweet to 900 followers five times today. The first is on it’s way

    Like

    • Thanks. The pain pool isn’t as bad if you jump into the deep end and get the shock over with.

      Like

      • I love folks who say they don’t know how to help. How about just do something!!!!anything but sit there. I just had a person on Facebook leave a comment on my wall that they did not know how to read one of my pieces in a magazine link that I posted. (uh..you need to purchase..gasp..the flipping magazine that’s how.

        Like

      • Geez. That’s usually my response to them too. Do something! I even give them a list or a suggestion to tell other people. Maybe even jump on a few forums to mention my book to other fantasy fans.

        Like

  30. Tacey says:

    I’m sorry this is happening… I agree that there is more support here than with the ones who know me. I want to read all the comments later and see how I can help. I’m glad you wrote about this because you are not alone.

    Like

  31. words4jp says:

    I am afraid I am not a writer- would possibly like to be someday – and the whole social media thing escapes me (I do not do it and I am clueless to the whole self publishing/self promoting concept) – so I am not certain what words i have to offer except, if you you truly believe in your project and your dream, you will continue to work at it. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what the cost. I realize life has changed through the years, but no matter what technology springs up or change of criteria – what remains is if a person has something they want to do, they have to go for it, ignore the negative comments and just keep trying. Never give up. xx

    Like

    • Thanks. I’m not a massive social media user either, but I’m getting there. It’s really a necessary tool for anyone who does self-publishing. I’ve found that connecting everything to my blog, so that my blog posts appear on all of them is an easier way of doing things. Less stressful.

      Like

  32. Charles, I have to admit. I have one real live cheerleader and she’s not even related. One of my sisters (BLOOD) just now finally got around to reading my book which I provided at no charge. My other sister was the first to have my manuscript before I even published. She read the first 40% right away, said she loved it and gave all the reasons why, but has not finished reading it to date.

    None of my reviews have come from family. Not a one. I have asked but I don’t want to be a total pain. Out of my 200 Facebook “friends”/acquaintances maybe 35-40 of them actually liked my page. Arg!! Now I’m getting frustrated. 🙂 Just know you’re not alone. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks. I’m in the same boat. I’ve actually requested that friends not tell me they bought the book until they’ve read it.

      Like

      • I hear ya. Then I wouldn’t constantly wonder what they thought of it. Sometimes I wonder if they read it and secretly hated it so are just avoiding me. lol

        Like

      • Being the present tense writer, I’m sure that’s part of the reason on a few people. One friend was excited to have bought the book within minutes of it’s debut, but I never got a review from her and she never told me what she thought. I know she’s big into tradition and ‘this is how things should be’, so I’m pretty sure that was it.

        Like

      • Ouch. That sucks. The kicker in my (life) story is that my sister, who still hasn’t finished my book yet, devours books for breakfast. She’s told me about at least 5 other romance-type books she’s read in the past few weeks. As for finishing mine???

        Like

      • Ouch. Does she have a reason for not getting to your book? Maybe ask her for a review as a birthday/holiday present? I’ve had a few friends go ‘you should read this book’ and then disappear from the internet when I ask if they read mine yet. Guess some people are more interested in throwing money to me instead of spreading the word, which is cheaper.

        Like

      • No good reason. She just has her favs and keeps reading em. My reviews/ratings have slowed down immensely too so I could use a pick me up.

        I think our books are at the same stages time line wise, because my book went live only days after yours. We’re probably fretting over the same thing… a slight slump in sales after the heap of them last month. Now I’m reaching out to others in hopes that their sharing will boost interest. Does that sound about right?

        Like

      • That’s about right. The slump hit soon after I dropped off the New Release lists, which I think I was depending more on. I’m hoping that the release of the sequel gives me a boost, but I’m not sure if it will be an early May or Late May release.

        Like

      • Good luck. With my timing I’ll be lucky if I can finish up #2 for the end of June. Welps, it’s been nice bitchin with ya. 😀

        Like

      • Thanks. I’ve actually got 2 and 3 in cover art stage, so they’re depending on how long that takes. My cover artist is helping me out as a favor while his real job is tattoo design, so I need to practice patience. It’s worth it though. Just wish I could get more than a few verbal teasers from him because patience isn’t really one of my virtues. 😉

        Like

  33. Running Elk says:

    boobies boobies boobies beer cake boobies guns

    Sorry, man. Couldn’t help myself… Excellent post… and since it’s you, go on… I’ll spread the word on that damnable facebook… 😉

    Like

  34. Jae says:

    I’m sorry you’re feeling down. It seems like from what I’ve read building the momentum of success is a slow process and will feel like failure for a long while before it feels like success. There are tons of book review blogs out there, with pretty substantial followers. I’d say befriend them, maybe offer them a free copy and see if they can’t help spread the word. I feel like Facebook is the worst platform to spread much of anything when it comes to branding yourself. It’s that whole, you can’t be a prophet in your own country. They’re good for jumping on the bandwagon after you’ve already achieved a certain amount of success. (Most people are still surprised I have a blog, even though I occasionally link a post there). Whatevs Facebook friends.

    Like

    • You bring up a great point. It’s amazing how Facebook is so widespread, but is also so weak. Everyone is on there, but they hit the ‘like’ button instead of doing anything else. I still keep it in the loop when I make posts, but I spend most of my time on my blog. I keep FB open only to converse with a few friends.

      Like

  35. mreuther says:

    Keep writing dude and don’t be afraid to keep telling people you are a writer.

    Like

  36. Robynn Gabel says:

    You don’t know me, but I had the insane desire to help out! Probably because I know your angst so very well. Anyway, posted it my Facebook. Not guaranteeing anything since I haven’t worked up a large group of followers, but my theory is every ripple in the pond helps. Good luck!

    Like

  37. mreuther says:

    For marketing your book, they say you should do at least one thing to promote it every day. I’m not sure who “they” are, but it makes sense.

    Like

  38. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Well said, Charles. I can understand your peeve – people saying they’ll support and they simply hit a ‘like’ button. That ‘like’ button can be loathsome!!

    All the comments were interesting too – great post!

    Like

    • Thanks. I’ve begun to hate that ‘like’ button, but I’m guilty of doing it at times. Mostly when I can’t think of anything to say. I’ve finally gotten into the habit of reblogging important stuff like contests.

      Like

  39. Julie Israel says:

    Oh man, my first book is still a long ways from publication and I’m already starting to feel the sludge of this journey myself. It’s a tough one, and there are too many people out there who simply can’t be bothered, or worse– like some of those examples you cite– lash back with negativity. But there will always be people who don’t understand, people who don’t come through, and people who are, unfortunately, rude about it.

    As I haven’t *really* been there myself yet (being unpublished), perhaps I can’t offer any true words of consolation– but I can offer my sympathy, and I can say a number of things that I imagine have already been said in the 120 or so comments above me: Great things do not happen overnight; sometimes things get worse before they get better (but they DO get better); you are doing what you’re passionate about and that itself is a victory– and when you find it falls short, because it something you are truly invested it, you will surely fight to see it through.

    Like

    • Thanks. Even without being published, this anti-support seemed to happen. It’s slowly getting easier to handle, but mostly because I made friends with other authors and, for lack of a better term, people like me. That’s really the trick. If the friends and family around you aren’t supportive, you need to hunt down people who will be.

      Good luck with your own book and hopefully your publishing adventure runs smoother than mine.

      Like

  40. justmoo33 says:

    Yup, twenty or so sales to friends straight away. So excited! But six weeks later only four reviews. I’ve tried hinting that reviews are soooooo important for sales. Hey, then I realised I’m so in my own bubble, I haven’t reviewed my day’s books. One has been on Amazon for years. Yes, years!!!! Maybe your FB friends are just like me? So, I’m going to start blog reviews for all books I’m reading (and catch up with Dad’s obviously). These go to my captive Facebook audience, so maybe they’ll get the hint 🙂 PS: will re blog this too 🙂

    Like

    • I considered that until most of them said they never read the book, didn’t like fantasy, or they simply stopped talking about it. I get the feeling that a few of my more stubborn, traditional friends are refusing to write a review because they don’t like it. The second person to buy my book when it was released hasn’t said a thing about it even though I’ve asked.

      Honestly, I don’t think I want my friends reviewing the book because they would be too obvious that they’re my friends. I’d rather they share and reblog my marketing posts. Instead the posts sit on my FB untouched.

      Like

  41. Pingback: End of an Era Redux: Feeling Down and Irritable | Legends of Windemere

  42. Pingback: End of an Era Revisit: Feeling Down and Irritable | Legends of Windemere

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