Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#AtoZChallenge 2015 - Was it Worth It?

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!

14 comments:

  1. Hey nice to meet you here.And i liked your reflections.Well i could only advise you not to loose hope,may be your writing needs some babyluck too :)
    Take care

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    1. Hello, thank you for your kind words! :)

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  2. Thanks for visiting my blog :) I'm glad you deemed the A/Z challenge a successs :) I'm not an author so I don't know the frustration one has being an author and trying to get books to sell, publishers to notice you, etc. I do think you were wise to have children even if it pushed your writing a bit off, they certainly are worth it :)

    betty

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    1. You are welcome Betty, and thank you too! Oh yes, my daughters are wonderful and I know this was the right time to start a family. I have a lifetime left in which to write, and for now I am forever collecting ideas, inspiration, and new stories :)

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  3. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge. Thank you for visiting by my blog recently. Good seeing you again.

    Yeah, A to Z isn't a huge sales booster. A few people enjoyed my posts this month and picked up the book. Though, mine is reference, and is written to a very small and specific audience. So, really, I've already sold twice as many books as I ever expected. (And no, my numbers are not impressive. I just figured only a few people would be interested.) Plus, I covered nearly everything from the book in the blog. I wrote it just to help those looking for information, not for fame and fortune. Marketing a fiction book during the challenge... hmm, I don't know. Not sure what would have made me buy something this month. I tossed 6 books onto my Amazon wishlist based on some book review blogs I found. I picked up 40 free ones that I'll get around to reading sooner or later. But no, I can't say anything made me feel an urge to run right out and "buy now."

    -J @JLenniDorner

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    1. This is the problem. How do we find our readers, when we do not have the luxury of marketing experience and a sales budget? I will keep experimenting, and stumble along on the journey. Thanks for stopping by anyway, J. :)

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  4. Catherine -- I'm glad you found the challenge worthwhile, even if it is in a different way then you expected. I find it to be more networking and fun then book sales-related.

    Yvonne

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    1. Hello Yvonne, thank you for your feedback. Yes, it is great to chat with new people, and I always feel happier after meeting like-minded folk. My work can be very lonely here at home, and I struggle to get out and meet people on a professional level while I am in 'Mummy and Housewife' mode. Therefore, events like this are very helpful and enjoyable!

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  5. Glad to hear the A to Z proved to be a positive experience for you! I'm not a writer, just a blogger. And I do sometimes feel the A to Z is drowning in writers. But when the writer's pause and just blog, it's usually pretty amazing!
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops

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    1. Thank you, and I agree, sometimes it is nice to blog just for the sake of it, without an ulterior motive. I generally do that over on my SpookyMrsGreen blog, especially when I need to vent about the kids causing stress ;)

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  6. Just now getting around to visiting the blogs in the challenge. April was a busy month for me. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!

    Mary
    www.JingleJangleJungle.net

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    1. Thank you and yes, I am still doing the rounds. Oh, well, better late than never! This Road Trip may have to be extended into the summer...

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  7. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! I didn't get to visit your blog during the crazy month of April so I'm popping over today from the Road Trip/Reflections linky.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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    1. Hello, nice to see you! I must admit I have been distracted by the children lately, so I've had limited time on the computer to catch up as well...

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