You're pleased for them, genuinely you are, but it makes you question yourself even more. You look longingly at their Facebook posts; citing new glittering 5 star reviews, becoming finalists in The Best Indie Book on The Planet; there are pictures of them at signings and conventions, and in the local press, and you....
...well you feel like you're treading through mud. You've worked just as hard, just as smart. You've done everything that every writing and publishing blog has told you to do - but the sales are quiet, the reviewers all see completely buried under TBR piles and, worse of all, you're plagued by thoughts of quitting.
Well don't - don't ever give up, because 90%* of success is down to sheer bloody mindedness.
TOP 7 TIPS FOR BREAKING THE CYCLE OF GLOOM - (because 5 wasn't enough and it's not as complicated as 10!)
1. STALK (clearly in a non threatening or creepy way) your author buddies by visiting ALL of their social media platforms; maybe they are doing something that you aren't - it's easy to be standing so close to the trees that you fail to see the forest. Maybe you're missing something really obvious - like not properly engaging with your readers. (Make notes! I'm serious, this is like homework.)
2. REVAMP your blog, your website - create a logo, update your bio: remember you are a professional and maybe your 'tiredness' is being reflected in the state of your social media platforms. Who wants to visit and engage in a blog that hasn't been updated in a month, or a website where everything seems so static?
3. PLAN; make it pretty and use coloured pens. It doesn't matter if you never look at it again, but it will help you focus on your end goals and remind you of all that marketing stuff you already know but aren't putting into practice.
4. RECONNECT with your fan-base, your author community, your FB page followers. It can be really difficult when your esteem is low to keep a public face. Many of my author buddies are introverts - myself included, and one of the recurring patterns I see is a negative self-fulfilling cycle of disconnection. Because we feel that we aren't as shiny and glittery as our fellow authors, we retreat.
5. ADMIT it, you know there are flaws in some aspect of your publications; it maybe the blurb, cover, ending, you've never quite been happy with. Change it. Simples!
6. GIVE to others and the karmic nature of the universe will come full circle. If you don't feel that you have much to shout about your own work, then showcase and spotlight your buddies. Cheerlead and support them. Become a totally engaged member of the author community and watch as the love is returned.
7. WRITE your WIP. A lot of the most successful indie writers out there are doing so well because they have momentum. By writing a lot, and getting more publications out there, they've got more to talk about, there's more energy, more excitement for potential readers to engage with. It keeps their marketing profile fresh and energised. It also keeps readers invested.
Now these tips are not coming from some kind of sanctimonious self-appointed expertise, (heck, I've even made some of the stats* up) but they come from my own broken ego. It's hard, and the longer you've been doing it, the harder it becomes in some way. It can be hard to maintain the youthful optimism of when you started out, and things are getting tougher.
Thanks for stopping by. I'd love it if you shared your own tips for pulling yourself out of the inadequacy doldrums. Let's connect and engage :) x