07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Year, New Hopes and Learning New Things

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. This month's topics is all about goals, new directions and plans, which fits in very well with my intentions for 2015.

2014 went from awful to awesome for me, both in terms of my publishing and private life. At the start of the year I had one publisher close leaving two unpublished books homeless, had my first publisher bought out by another and my debut novel there removed from retail sites, and had to take the decision not to submit further to my remaining publisher due to the introduction of an exclusivity clause. I was left with one novel and three shorts available, and two of them were freebies. I felt like giving up the idea of being a published author and quitting the whole business altogether.

Well, I can look back on that collection of disasters with a smile now. In the last six months I've had five new releases. Five! I currently have ten titles for sale, eleven listed on Goodreads. But even with that, my sales are...disappointing to say the least. I've bemoaned that fact, and wrung my hands over how I suck at marketing. Since my reviews are generally good and I've a collection of nice, shiny awards - my YA scifi novel Gethyon became a finalist in the SF category of the EPIC ebook Awards just last month - it doesn't seem to be down to having terrible books. I knew early on that I wrote in a niche genre, whether it's straight SF or my scifi romance titles. So I decided the time has come to stop saying I suck at marketing and actually do something about it.

Marketing is not something I enjoy doing in general, but it needs to be done. January is the only month I don't have a book release (I have print releases February and March, another new title in April, and I'm looking at re-releasing my debut novel in May), so I set it aside to research marketing. I have a few books recommended to me, plus several blog posts on the topic bookmarked to read. My main publisher took a class on Amazon sales and filed some documents in our author group for us to use. I'm also doing a workshop with FFnP (the Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal chapter of RWA) on book launches - fortuitous as I really want to re-launch my debut novel Keir in style (I'm currently halfway through edits and just finalized the cover art, squee!), and it's the first of a planned five book series . And after seeing much debate for and against KU, I decided to give it a shot with my three short stories, since what few sales of them I get are all on Amazon anyway. Really, I can't be any worse off by giving it a try, and it may well be a boost to my longer titles all with publishers. I have a course on Moons starting in February - okay, that's not marketing but it satisfies the scientific research part of my persona. >.<

So the New Year is the start of me learning and trying new things, probably more so than any year so far. My only problem with it is right now I'm not finding the time to write. I still have enough material to release another three or four self published titles of my own over the next year, but nothing to submit to my publisher for the foreseeable future. My hope is that, after May, I'll be able to devote myself to simply writing after almost non-stop editing, touring and cover reveals since July 2014.

And if you're interested in seeing what's coming next from me, you can sign up to my newsletter here. I have four upcoming releases already, and the prettiest cover reveal you've ever seen scheduled here for the 28th January (pssst, newsletter subscribers get to see it a day before everyone else). ;)

2014 ended up being one of my most awesome years in publishing, and I have high expectations for 2015. May the New Year bring you all you hope for!


Judith Ashley said...

Pippa, Very Inspiring!!! Like you I'd much rather be writing new words or even editing/revising old ones than market. I've had a stern talk with myself since the release of "Ashley" on Christmas Eve and have promised myself to start with baby steps and build so when "Hunter" is released the end of April, I can concentrate on promot and marketing the month of May.

Please keep us informed on your progress!

And, have you had a Newsletter and I've just missed that or is this something new you are trying out?

Echo Ishii said...

Way to go Pippa!

I really admire that way you keep going with all of the ups and downs. I hope that things are successful and that you get more new writing out there too.

Sarah Raplee said...

You go, Girl!!!

Nowadays we have to be in this for the long haul. And we have to market and promote, as you said. We all get discouraged at times, but persistence pays off.

Also, your books are not terrible - they are awesome!

Diana McCollum said...

I loved Keir! Good blog post. Marketing is hard, but can be fun too. Good luck on meeting your goals.

Pippa Jay said...

Hi Judith! I will definitely let you know how it goes. I've had the newsletter about a year, but only really made use of it in the last six months because I had so many cover reveals and releases, and even now I probably don't shout about having one as much as I could/should. I always let my subscribers see the cover a day before the rest of the world as a bonus.
Echo, thanks! I try to keep to a motto borrowed from Galaxy Quest - never give up, never surrender!
Sarah - aww, thanks! Yup, I think the common comparison is that publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady!
Thanks Diane!