Discouraged, and also Bookbub Ads

I’m feeling real discouraged today.

Where to start? No, I know where to start: my author career. I feel like I am pouring a lot of money into marketing and I’m not seeing results to equate the money I’m putting into it. I’ve been running Bookbub ads for several months with little results. In January, I paid for professional ad design for Thief in the Castle. The CTR tripled for my ads. So, I paid for a professional design for Hard as Stone. They have not tripled. Granted, my ads for Hard as Stone have not yet run a week, and I have not seen my royalty statement for January.

So, logically, I don’t know if I should be discouraged or if I have made more sales.

Marketing had been the hardest part of being an author. Marketing is business. It is sales and numbers and using design to present products in the best light and at the best time and in the best places. I am not gifted with a business brain; the Lord blessed me with a creative brain.

Now, I know that the success of my Bookbub ads depend on how many people are on BookBub in a day’s time. However, it weighs when my efforts aren’t bringing in results. By results, I mean reviews. I won’t know until I get that fated email from A4A with my royalty statements, and I get both a thrill and an insurmountable sense of dread. What if I didn’t sell any books? What if that digital number is zero? What if the past few months of pouring hundreds of dollars into marketing hasn’t brought be anything?

The lack of results would hurt. It has hurt. There’s been months where I sold nothing. There were several months in a row in 2019 where I sold nothing. It hurts. It’s like getting a bad review. It feels like rejection. It’s that same nagging feeling as when I’d get emails back from agents that said my book wasn’t their stuff, or the form rejection, or the email from Bookbub telling me that their editors didn’t pick my book their deals.

So what do I do from here? 

It seems that all the marketing venues are either directed at indie authors or are vastly out of my price range. I am not an indie author, I’m with a small press, so I don’t have access to my book files to go in with all these cool indie platforms. Even if I did, I feel like my books are never “quite what we’re looking for,” when it comes to marketing. Yes, I know that YA Fantasy is a monster to get into because everyone and their uncle thinks they can write the next YA Fantasy. 

SIGH. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’ll be fine. The book market is teeming with YA Fantasy, and while there is a marketing for high fantasies like mine, it is still a huge market.

I should know in the next few days if upping my marketing game on Bookbub has influenced sales. I won’t know if upping my game in February has had an effect until the end of March. Which, yes, is not that far, but it is when I’m throwing money at ads. It is a long time when you are desperately waiting for your author career to take off, freeing you from the burden of the 8-5 to write full time. 

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