Writing is a Business: IWSG

It’s time for my November contribution to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop. This month I varied from the recommended topic to discuss my recent marketing ventures.  Be sure to click on the #IWSG icon at the end of my post and check out the responses from dozens of interesting, experienced writers.


Being a self-published author is like running your own business. There’s a lot about writing books that I like, or else I wouldn’t do it.  But there are many activities I’m not that crazy about.

I like that I set my own schedule.  I don’t have a publisher or agent looking over my shoulder checking on the content and status of my next book.  Most of what I do is at my own pace.  Don’t get me wrong. If an agent or publisher would take me on, I’d be glad to crank out books on their schedule, but for now, I’m not real sure if this is Wednesday or Saturday, nor does it matter that much.

Time at my desk writing is what I prefer.  When I’m heads down, typing away, it can be exciting.  It’s not like work.  It’s more like discovery or invention.  I frequently ask myself if I’d write if no one read my work.  It’s a tough question, but most days the answer is yes. The creative process alone is its own reward.

I’ve mentioned before in blog posts that marketing is the part of self-publishing I struggle with the most.  The creativity required to write a novel is not the same as the creativity needed to market a book. Sure, there are some common elements, but selling me and my books is not something I find easy to do.

After finishing At the River’s Edge, I promised myself I would spend more time learning the “ins and outs” of social media marketing.  I’d had a website and Facebook and Twitter pages for many years, but I had never spent much time running ads.  I closely studied what others had done, trying to understand what to do and what not to do.  I targeted specific readers and ran test ads to see what caught their eyes.  I tweaked the ads as I learned.

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I spent more money on ads than I had originally planned, many weeks in excess of my sales.  I woke up mornings checking my CPC (Cost per Click) on Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon Marketing Services.  I became obsessed with the daily sales tally on Kindle Direct Publishing.  After three months, I ended up selling many more copies of my new novel than any other over that period.  But I wasn’t making any more money than before, and I was spending less time writing.

I’m still marketing my books, but electing to run fewer ads and put my focus back on my writing.  I learned from the past three months.  I learned the part of the writing business I like best is writing.


Many thanks to Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor,Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman for hosting this month’s blog hop.  To follow nearly 200 writers participating in this week’s IWSG blog hop, click on the icon below.  You can also follow on twitter @TheIWSG  or #IWSG.

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge


Click HERE to check out my latest novel, At the River’s Edge.

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** Tablet image from Pixabay.com **

19 thoughts on “Writing is a Business: IWSG

    1. Creating ads for your books can become addicting, almost like gambling. You post the ad, put down the money, and wait to see if the slot machine pays off! Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy… Many of my marketing ideas fall short, and I end up feeling foolish for spending the time and money.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for sharing your findings with the ads and your time spent investing in the process. It’s such a fine balance. I am definitely on social media less to focus on the writing piece. Thank you also for another informative post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is me. Hands down. LOVE the writing aspect. HATE (and am terrible at) the marketing part. They definitely use different kinds of creativity, and I just don’t have the business part of it. Yet. (Hopefully!)

    Oh, and I loved your line “the creative process is its own reward.” Spot on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The marketing and promo in general are things most authors would rather avoid because of the reasons you’ve stated. The good thing is that you’ve analyzed it and tried it out, so you’ve put thought into what can work and how it works best for you. You’ll get it all tweaked as time goes on. The important thing to remember is that the writing is the focus, or none of the rest of it matters.

    Liked by 1 person

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