Reflections On The Year -- Ava Manello

This year has been a mixed bag for me. In Feb I lost my Mum and it has left a massive hole in my life. This is going to be the first Christmas without her, and I have to say I am not looking forward to that one bit.

There have been some positives this year, a lot of which revolves around the very active book community that I am part of and they have made a huge difference. It would have been a very different year without them.

However, despite having released two books in the latter half of the year I find myself seriously considering quitting writing. I put my heart and soul into the first book I released this year, Mum passed away whilst I was writing it and I dedicated it to her so it will always have a special place in my heart. The second book was again, as is always, a work of passion.

This year, despite having released two new books I have earned less than I did last year when I had no new releases at all. It seems that the more books I release the less I earn. In 2017 I earned less than the previous year and this decline goes all the way back to 2014 when I released my first book. Each year I seem to earn 50% less than the previous one.

I attend book signings, pay for advertising, am active on social media and have great reviews. What I don't have is the magic wand that explains to me what makes a book sell. When you consider that a lot of authors work full-time jobs and have to juggle writing around that and family life it amazes me how many manage to produce great books.

As this year ends I find that Facebook will no longer allow me to promote my books on their platform as despite being romantic suspense they are classed as sexual. I'm confused and disappointed. It seems to me that political correctness has gone so far the other way that we are now living in a nanny state where decisions are made about what we can see, read and hear. What is more disappointing is that they have no problem allowing advertising from sites that link to counterfeit goods. What more can authors do? We can't promote ourselves without paying to advertise, but now we aren't allowed to advertise. This change affects not just authors but photographers too, their work will no longer meet the new guidelines.

I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I've always said that writing the book is the tip of the iceberg, the marketing etc that goes on behind the scenes is the bulk of my day, but now my audience isn't even in the same ocean as me!

Many of my author friends are in the same boat, but thankfully they seem to be a lot more positive about the future. I shall finish the work in progress that I'm in the midst of, and honour the commitments I have made for book signings and events next year but strongly suspect it's going to be even tougher to make headway than this year has been.

So if you do see a book advertised on social media do me a favour, click that link and share it, even better, buy it and review it. You never know, you may just make the difference between a writer carrying on or quitting.


Andrew Crofts said…
Interesting post. It would be even more interesting to know some figures. Fifty per cent of what? I have no idea if we are talking hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands. Indelicate question, I know, but intriguing, no? Or is just me?
janedwards said…
The whys and wherefores of what sells are a mystery! the only thing you can do is write what pleases you and hope other people are also pleased.

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