We have reached the end. It has been almost a week since I completed the April A-Z Blogging Challenge for my third year running. I initially found the blog hop during my desperate and naive attempts to sell my newly published novels across social media platforms. As a young, inexperienced, ill-advised and yet very talented author, I am struggling to gain a foothold in the industry. I want to be an internationally famous bestselling author. I know that I have the skill with words, I have the talent to write, and I have the determination. What I don’t have is a marketing budget, the expertise on turning my work into a sustainable business, and the right contacts in the right places that can get me started.
Nevertheless, I blithely threw myself into the #AtoZChallenge, telling myself that it was a good way to build followers, raise awareness of my books, and who knows, maybe even sell a few to my blog readers. It has not yet reaped the rewards I might have expected. Most of my blog visitors are fellow authors in the same situation. We all have stories to tell, books to sell, and no means by which to break in to an industry dominated by stalwarts and professionals who have been working at it for longer than I have been on this planet. We have no chance. The big publishers will not give us the time of day. The agents are far too busy plowing through their slush piles, and will generally only take on TV celebrities or people that they are certain will sell because they are famous for other pursuits (I’m talking sports personalities and the like).
Anyway, in terms of selling books and growing my author platform, the #AtoZChallenge was, once again, a massive fail. And yet, I don’t feel like a failure. I feel very proud of myself. I took on the challenge to write a blog post every day for a whole month (with Sundays off), and I did it. My fiction writing has stalled a lot lately, because I decided to have children before my biological clock exploded. Writing for blogs has given me an outlet to rant, to let off steam, and even to play around with new ideas about my work. And actually I did make quite a big decision about my career direction while I was doing this year’s challenge. All for the better. So you see, it was worth it. It was a success. And I will do it again. See you soon!