Friday, August 2, 2013

A thank you to readers and some of my own advice for authors

So, in a nutshell, July was an amazing month for me!

About the beginning of August, I happened to notice that Baby Stetson got recommended by a reader on the popular Facebook page What to Read After 50 Shades of Grey. I follow that page because I've found some great books on there! It's not just a page for erotic romances, I've seen a lot of various books on there that are not erotic in nature at all! So when I saw Baby Stetson  on there by a reader's name I didn't recognize, I was stoked!  It meant that my books are getting out there to more than family friends, and others I associate with.  My sales that day skyrocketed. Within a day, my sales exceeded prior total MONTHLY sales! Now, let me tell you this isn't a lot by best seller authors stats, but for a little known gal like me, it was amazing. For a week and a half, my rank on Amazon for the book stayed under 15,000.

My author page on FB has gone over 900 likes...I think at the beginning of the month, I'd barely gone over 700. I had inquiries on my wall and through messages wondering when the next Love and Music in Texas book was coming out. I got a few new great reviews and ratings.  I also met a few new friends that are also authors that I've connected with.

Then The Melody in My Head released on July 27th. I wasn't sure I would keep my original July release date or not. Things at home have been crazy since May, and my summer writing hasn't happened like I'd hoped.  Next year, I'm making a better plan, because it's obvious I can't count on people around here to give me that promised time.

August has started out great already! I woke up on the first day of August to a decent spike in Baby Stetson sales, projecting me back up the ranking charts. I haven't made a top 100 list yet, but you know what? There's time.

I've been published since November 2012, and while my Christmas debut made a decent splash, I was still a new author that not many people knew about. I had some people excited about Baby Stetson's release, but again, I'm new. Baby Stetson's reviews were a mix. While all the reviewers enjoyed the story, there was a variation of comments on my writing, etc. But you know what, that's all good with me, because I'm not going to make everyone happy.  I'm fine with that.

Some things I did in July to gain exposure:

Some authors/bloggers were having so and so likes giveaways. So, I offered up donations of my book. In return, they added my information to a Rafflecoptor and the likes soared. Great exposure!  It gets my name out there.

I had the best sales month as an author in July. Even though Baby Stetson has been discounted to $.99 cents for the entire month in preparation for book 2 in the series, I found some new fans that were excited for the series. That's what I was aiming for. Baby Stetson will go back to it's normal price of $3.99 on August 7.

So I have a few messages.

For my readers: I appreciate the chance you took on me. I've been writing since 5th grade and besides music, it has been a dream. I've always had an active imagination, and for a reader to connect with my story and my characters is a dream come true. I've got so many ideas that I can't wait to create and share. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for embracing me and the books I write. I hope you'll share your thoughts and spread the word, in hopes that others may find my stories.

Authors- I am by no means an expert, I haven't been around for a long time yet, but I'm learning new things every day. To get noticed, you've got to put yourself out there. You don't have to go crazy with promotion day after day, but once you find a group of readers, the word will spread!  My dad, (Yes my daddy!) is one of my biggest fans and he has spread the word about my books at work. Now a few of his co-workers have read Baby Stetson and or/The secret Santa Wishing Well and loved them!  That recommendation for Baby Stetson propelled me into a great month of sales, as I said, and the readers have been sharing!

This isn't going to happen overnight. There are days I look at my sales and ranks and wonder what I'm doing wrong. It's just a matter of time, the right moment, etc. There are SO many authors out there with books that sometimes, we are in the middle of a crowd trying to find out way.

DONT get discouraged. WORK on that next book! Get your name out there! Write the best story you can and keep on with it! If this is your dream, go for it and don't give up.

DONT Look at other's successes and wonder why you aren't there.  Everyone's path goes differently. Some are lucky and just happened to jump on that bandwagon when it was ready to take off. It doesn't mean you're any less as great, it just means your path is going to take a different route.

I'm not at the best seller/ crazy sales part yet, but you know what makes my day?

Readers are staying up late reading my stories. They love them. They want to share. My best friend recently told me that I have brought the joy of reading back into her life.

THAT RIGHT THERE is what it's about.

Touching people. With MY words!!

So take it a day at a time. Be the best you can be and your time to shine will come, big or small.

Thanks for listening to my words today. I really appreciate all the love and support you have shown me.

-Nikki Lynn Barrett


Andrea Cooper said...

Lovely messages. Thank you.

Brenda said...

Nikki, I'm so happy for you--and proud.
Your message is wonderful. I'm going to take your advice and try and get my name out there more.
thank you!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Nikki. :)
Too many times people get caught up in writing being about making money. it's not. It's all about sharing our stories with the world. The readers are what should always matter the most. :)

Melissa Keir said...

It is really hard not to compare yourself to others and wish your book was doing better. I think that's why I don't look at the numbers. I enjoy writing for it's own sake and if I make one reader's day, I'm happy.

Great post! Thanks for sharing!

Nikki said...

@ Andrea- Thank you. I wrote from the heart today, and I'm glad my messages are really making one think.

@Brenda- Thank you so much! And the world needs to see more of Brenda Dyer! It's a big, scary world, but your books are worth it!

@Kitty- I so agree. Yes, it would be great to be making a darn good living off writing, but that should not be the main focus. I take in all the little milestones and celebrate each one.

@Melissa- comparing is always happening. I know I do it with writing and even in my singing, but it's habit that needs to be broken! Easier said than done, but it's totally the truth.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

I'm so happy for your success!! Great advice. I tweeted.

Nikki said...

Thanks so much Ella!