No Obligation

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.” 

 – Margaret Mitchell

Why I chose this quote

I’m having a bit of a bad month. And I think that’s partly down to having started the month with expectations

It’s currently Indie April. A month when everyone is encouraged to support small creative businesses, like indie authors. As an indie author, I may have allowed myself to expect it would be a good month for me. 

It’s not just the hype around Indie April that got to me, though. In the previous six months, I’d had steady sales. The numbers weren’t big but they were consistent. I’d started to expect sales. 

Most months my ads and promotions cost around the same amount I make in book royalties. It’s a long game, and if I get readers now, I’ll make money when I have more books available. But with more readers choosing indie books over traditionally published books this month, it seemed like a realistic expectation that I might, temporarily, make money.

I also expected to get some additional book reviews which would encourage people who click through to my book page, to click the buy button. I promoted a free book last month to get more reviews. Hundreds of people downloaded the book. So this expectation also seemed perfectly reasonable.

But life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. 

What this quote means to me

What actually happened is this. Many people clicked through from my ad to my book page. This has sent my advertising spend through the roof. The promotion has so far only yielded one rating in one country. Which is not the country I’m currently advertising in. So I’ve spent a lot but earned very little back in royalties.

Clearly, it’s time to adjust my expectations. Cut my losses and pause the ads. And stop looking at my sales report, which is currently not motivating me to write more. Or at all. 

Instead, I will try to forget about Indie April and go back to focusing on the writing. Who knows, with lower expectations, perhaps the remaining week will surprise me.

I’m also going to post reviews of the indie books I’ve read recently. Hopefully, that will at least help someone else have a good Indie April.

Have you ever had to adjust your expectations? How did you stay motivated?

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