Hello! Newbie Author Seeks Reasonable Expectations!

Discussion in 'Meets & Greets' started by sbolton, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. sbolton

    sbolton New Member

    Jul 17, 2013
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    Hi everyone! My name is Shelly, and although I've been writing for several years (mostly ghost-writing), and have been working as an editor for a couple of years as well, I have only recently even made the attempt at a book. It is about fibromyalgia, which I myself struggle with. The idea was simply that I found lots of info online, but it was so scattered and much of it so technical or clinical in nature, I just found it to be largely inaccessible to the general public. The other side was that as I found and began to understand information on this, I more and more realized I was not just a freak, and that there were others who were experiencing some of the same insane symptoms. So I began to feel that I wanted to try and make some of the clinical and scattered research more accessible to more people, as well as describing symptoms and feelings in such a way that helped other "fibromites" feel that they weren't alone and feel kind of validated while also helping those on the outside looking in, such as friends and family, to better understand what their loved one is going through. So my book is a combination of descriptions of the symptoms that compare them to other sensations that everyone can relate to (to put it in perspective), some explanation of terminology and such, and little "sidebars" containing bits and pieces of my own story. The last half of the book also contains personal stories from 5 fellow "fibromites" who generously agreed to share. So glad to find a place where I can learn from people who have more experience at this than myself.
    With that being said, I would like to find out if my expectations are all off...
    I published in February and have gotten results well above what I initially expected and have been thrilled. I then, just this evening, came across an article claiming that statistically many of us should be selling thousands of books per month and making enough to live on! although I know that there has to be a lower end of the curve and not everyone will have the top numbers, I have found myself discouraged by the numbers in that article. So I came to where I assume there are some indie authors much more established than myself, and would like to find out what expectations are reasonable. I am an unknown author of a non-fiction book. I have not spent anything on marketing, though have had some help from an author friend in getting a little exposure on twitter (in exchange for some editing work) and have put the word out as much as I felt wasn't totally obnoxious on facebook, and realize i could possibly boost my numbers by getting some professional help with marketing. downloads/purchases of my book are averaging between 600-700 per month, including kindle and paperbacks, also including the free promo days, of which I have used about 3 days every 3 months. I've had many good reviews- with 39 reviews total, and 30 of those are 5-star. In the paid store, for the kindle version, my ranking generally averages around 10th in the pain management category, but has ranged from 2nd to 20th. A couple of times during my free promos, I ended up first in my category for the free books.
    Anyway, all of that to say, I felt like that was pretty dang good for my first book with virtually no marketing, and I didn't really start on this project because I thought I'd make a bunch of money or anything like that- it was more about getting the material out there. But after reading that article I am just having trouble shaking the feeling that the book just isn't doing as well as I thought.
    Would love honest feedback.
    thank you all for reading my rambling, and thank you for making this forum available to those of us who have no idea what we are doing :)
  2. ajattard

    ajattard New Member

    Jul 17, 2013
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    It sounds like you are off to a good start! I am interested in learning how to promote and grow my audience too with little or no budget. Congratulations on your book and I look forward to checking it out. :)