Expectations of an Indie Author

img538Am I the only one who doesn’t trust people? Or assume that even on a good day we’re all narcissistic bastards? Okay, maybe not all. I have run across truly nice people on occasion, but since I don’t trust anyone I just assume they’re either crazy or hiding something.

How about expectations? I expect nothing from anyone. Well, maybe I expect a certain type of behavior from my husband, but I live with him so I think that’s okay. But complete strangers who are my ‘friends’ online? Hell, no.

Hell, I can’t even get my family to buy, read, and review my books. Why in the world would I expect complete strangers to be any different? I’m amazed – and super grateful – when I get likes and views for my blog.

So it concerns me – translate annoys me – when I see posts about how some people are surprised that they have so many ‘friends’ and they can’t get one review. Oh, and the tone of these posts! Does the passive-aggressive guilt trips work with your real friends and family? If it does, Lord help you.

If anything, all those posts make me want to do is unfollow you at best and unfriend you at worst if I’m in a particularly rotten mood. Or maybe write about it in my blog…

Maybe it’s just something to try. Like they’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to do something. My books should be best sellers by now. If only these deadbeat ‘friends’ of mine would just do what they said they would do and write a review.’

I get it. I do. I had a dream the other night that Amazon emailed me and said that my books weren’t selling and they had no room for non-performers so they were going to delete them. I could republish when I wrote something people would read and review.

So, yeah, I get it.

But see here’s the thing, social media marketing does not usually translate into direct sales. Social media marketing is meant to fill the sales funnel, build relationships, and create brand awareness. If you think you’re going to have a best seller and hundreds of reviews once you’ve hit 5,000 ‘friends’ I suggest you find a good book on effective marketing and take it from there.

I’ve got writers screaming at me all day long to buy their books and then trying to guilt me into writing a review. Some even stoop so low as to offer to give me the book if I would only write a review. Which I think would backfire on them since Amazon has rules about who can write reviews…

I’ve yet to take anyone up on their offer. It’s a lot of pressure. A lot. What if I hate the book? What if it’s just bad? Like my former boss used to say, ‘People hate it when you have to tell them their baby’s ugly.’

It’s kind of the reason why I don’t ask. I want reviews from people who don’t feel obligated to do so. It’s also why I don’t push my books on my family. That and the uneasy looks I get when the subject comes up. Of course sometimes I bring it up just to see those looks because I think it’s funny…

Ah, but that’s me.

I will admit I had pie in the sky dreams when I was writing my first book. I will also admit to being deeply disappointed when they didn’t happen. But never once did I blame my ‘friends’. It was all on me. If I want a best seller I need to work harder, write better, and bounce when I fall.

And learn to laugh through it all.

That’s the life of an indie author and I wouldn’t change a thing…

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