When I began my self-publishing journey, I looked at it as an opportunity to grow and pursue a passion that had always burned within me. After conducting my research, I never expected to be an instant success, but I didn’t expect to be a complete nobody either. Before you begin the self-publishing journey no one tells you how hard, time consuming, or emotionally frustrating it will be. If they do tell you, you probably just don’t believe them and continue on with a fire in your spirit. However, after having little to no success in growing your readership, reality begins to set in and you see that getting your books out and recognized by the world is going to be harder than you ever imagined.
After working on my novel for three years, it was finally published on April 11, 2017. I was beyond excited, but I didn’t have high expectations. I knew that I would probably only sell a few copies a month and I was fine with that. After launching an online book tour, a book blitz and hosting a number of giveaways, I only managed to gain a small number of social media followers. After all of the time and money invested into my venture, I had sold zero books. I was dumbfounded.
Thousands of people had signed up for my giveaways. I ran my book at a discounted price on Amazon. My name was out there, but and there I was with only a handful of reviews and my book was falling into oblivion. Talk about a kick in the a**; sadly that is the harsh reality of self-publishing. So instead of sulking and considering myself a failure I decided to think about what I had done. Honestly, I had only put in a fraction of the effort that other self-published authors put forth. I wasn’t spending as much time as I should on social media interacting with others and the simple truth was that I didn’t have enough content. There it was, the two things that I needed, but didn’t have, a support system (connections) and more content (books).
I knew that the content would take a while to produce, especially quality content, however; I had no excuse on why I hadn’t made any connections. I started looking for groups to join, but when I found some I immediately became overwhelmed. There were hundreds and sometimes thousands of people all trying to be heard. Then there were restrictions on even discussing your work and I immediately became frustrated and went back to the drawing board.
How do I do this? The question kept repeating in my head. Finally after some time had passed I decided that I was going to start my own group, but I would limit it to one hundred people. Then I had to ask myself, what are these people going to do? I decided that we are going to support each other by providing reviews, opportunities to guest post on each other’s blogs, and share our successes and failures in order to help each other be seen and grow in this industry. So consider this group your own launch team. Your own crew. Your own family of supporters that are like minded and serious about growing their business.
Would you like to be a part of The First 100? Are you ready to take the first step towards making connections with other independent authors? Are you ready for your work to get into the hands of more readers? If so, head to my website’s contact page (https://harlowhayesbooks.com/contact/) and submit the following:
- Brief introduction: Please discuss what you hope to gain from joining this group and current frustrations as a self-published author.
- Website links.
- Social media links (Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc). You must have Goodreads account. That is where the group is located.
- Book purchase links.
- Special skills such as editing, graphic design, and website design etc.
Once you have submitted your information it will be reviewed. If accepted, you will receive and invitation email.
Check out the video below to hear the full story.