Monday, 9 February 2015

The last pony books

In May last year, I wrote about what it felt like to be a full-time writer, and it was pretty scary.
In July last year I wrote about my plans - past and future - and what I had managed to achieve.

I worked super hard over December and brought out 5 of my existing titles in print, using Createspace, after being persuaded by some logical arguments that for the children's book market, I needed to offer print editions.  I learned lots in the process, but sales are very low indeed and the ebooks continue to sell better. So I'm unlikely to bring any more out in print unless this situation changes.

I also published two more of my backlist titles which I thought would do well. At the time they were published originally, I was told it was some of my best work, but when I came to update and edit, I realised my writing wasn't nearly as good as I had thought. I spent a week rewriting each one - just focussing on the actual writing craft.  I'm pleased with the results.

However, I'm disappointed overall by book sales.  It's a hugely competitive market, and, if I'm honest, I'm really tired right now with the whole marketing and promo circus.  Lots of other stuff has happened to make me feel cynical, and I realise it's time to make some tough decisions.

I've been a published pony book author for nearly 39 years, and some of my past traditionally published titles, many years ago,  were even bestsellers.  I have 3 more original pony books I want to write which I plan to self publish before the end of 2015.   And that's it.

So maybe it's time for a change, or a rest, or both.

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  1. Ah Jane. it's tough going,trying to support oneself as a full time writer. I decided a while ago that I would never be able to do it, and now I enjoy it a lot more as a subsidiary business to my teaching.
    I can't imagine how hard it must be to market ebooks aimed at the younger market - YA stuff seems to be the biggest area these days, on the back of such books as Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games - and of course, those are a very different genre to pony books.
    I keep a few copies of my own titles in stock as paperbacks, but I only really sell them on a face-to-face basis; I've probably sold less than 10 on Amazon, but I do carry them with me wherever I go, and sell most of my own copies just pre-Christmas.
    I hope you can find a new direction, maybe a new genre, or a complementary business you can run alongside the writing - I think we all have to diversify these days; I do a bit of copy writing for websites - not fun, but it brings in the beans.

  2. Hi Deborah - I've written pony books since I was 14, so nearly 40 years! Eek! Time for a change. I'm looking for a job again now, and open to new ideas and directions. Freelance life is definitely not for me. I admire anyone who is brave enough to do it.

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