March 07, 2023

Disappointing Sales

NOTE: My mom passed away on Friday, March 3rd around 2:22 am. I want to thank everyone who prayed for her and thought about her during the one year and two months she fought lung cancer. My return visits to your blogs and replies to your comments may be delayed while I process and heal. Thank you for your understanding!

I, just like any other unknown author—no matter if you are self-published or traditionally published—feel the bitter disappointment of few to no sales. It is impossible not to feel upset over no sales when you are doing everything in your power to get your name and your book out there.

I published two eBooks by 2014. In the beginning, I struggled as a new author—as any new author with no readership, no presence, and no writer friends would—but I did receive nice support from a small group of authors with my publisher and saw a boost from KDP Select’s five free days. (For my first short story eBook, I was completely okay and excited about those five free days, hoping for visibility when I was invisible.)

However, that quickly diminished, and by the time my second eBook came out, I noticed the small amount of sales and reviews that I was proud of for my first release did not arrive for my second release. (Side note: My publisher no longer participated in KDP Select at that point.)

When my third and fourth eBooks came out, I had an even harder time. When my first print book came out, it became an out-right battle. When my second print book and next short story came out (which to date has been my poorest selling eBook, despite the fact that I am extremely proud of this work), that fight turned nuclear.

Shouldn’t it become easier with each release?

In theory.

But that is not the state of publishing. Not then, not now.

Not seeing sales despite marketing yourself to the bone is hard to swallow. Sadly, it’s something all of us have to swallow, like a bitter pill.

I wish there was something we could do about this, and maybe there is. Perhaps if we banded together to fight the flawed system, change would occur. There are authors out there who stuff their Kindle Unlimited books to get more money, who do illegal tactics to get reviews that are against Amazon’s Terms of Service, and so much more.

However, there is something you can do, as an individual—don’t give up. Ever.

You may want to, but please don’t.

We need all the good, honest, hard-working (hard-writing) writers in this. We need you!

When a writer gives up due to disappointing sales, it makes me sad.

I get it. I really do. I’ve uttered the words (actually, I’ve yelled them) that I want to give up, but I never could. Even if I only sell to a handful of readers, because those few readers are precious. Even if I don’t make a buck—and I barely do. (How’s that for honest?) Even if I get rejections. Even if I don’t see the fruit of my efforts. Even if I continue to struggle—year in and year out—I won’t ever be able to give up. Depression tried its mightiest, and burnout came the closest, but I have a writer’s bone in my body, a writer’s muscle that needs stretching, and writer’s blood that keeps my writer’s heart pumping.

I am a writer.

You are a writer.

Don’t stop writing.

Keep on publishing.

Stay strong.

I have the hope that one day things will change for the better for all of us hard-writing writers, and I want to be in it when it does so that I may finally yank my feet out of the muck and climb up to where I should be, wherever that is. And I want you to be in it, too.

I want us to be in it together.

After a while, I did quit…

I quit looking at my seller’s rank on Amazon.

I quit looking at my sales.

And then I quit comparing my marketing efforts to other authors and stopped SHOULDING myself. So-and-so does this, so I should, too. 

By not looking at my ranks and sales, my stress cut down to half and I began to heal from my depression and burnout. 

Then, by not doing the things that were heavy shoulds, I started feel light and happy again.

I know that nothing has really changed; I’m not na├»ve, but sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Cocky Killer Chapter Two Teaser

"So, you're the muscle?" he said. His voice was deep, gravelly. "Yeah." She shrugged innocently. He let out a small chuckle that sounded like a rockslide. "That's cute." Avrianna bared her teeth. "You want cute?" She held up an index finger. " can give you cute." And her finger erupted with green flames.

Chapters Two to Cocky Killer is up today with BONUS material.


  1. I was sorry to hear about your mom. It's wonderful that she had you to help her. I hope that you'll take care of yourself and be kind to yourself as you move forward.

    This post is timely. I've been questioning a lot lately about my writing and my journey. I keep thinking I've figured out next steps then doubting it all over again.

    1. Thank you, Shannon.

      I'm glad this post was timely for you.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your mom. I lost mine last October. I know it must be very hard for you now because you were so close to her. Take care of yourself. Feel free to email me if you ever need to talk. I've had a lot of experience with grief.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss, Chrys. Please take care of yourself as best you can. Sending prayers your way....

  4. Sorry to hear about your mom. She was, and in some ways still is, awesome. I love how you two worked together to launch her picture books, which I adore and think I have them all. I can't imagine what you are going through right now but know that it's okay for you to feel whatever you feel for as long as you need to feel it. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Thank you for your words of encouragement to all us writers even in the midst of this tough time.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. My mom was awesome :) and always will be. :)

  5. Sorry about your mom. The day before, my FiL died. March is a crappy month!

    1. March had been a very crappy month. I'm sorry for your loss.

  6. Hi Chrys - losing our mothers is just so desperate and does take time to adjust to a life ahead without them ... yet they'll be with us along our continuing journey - go with Peace. I agree - we must write and continue to do so ... with thoughts - Hilary

  7. I am so sorry about your mom. Take care of yourself. Sending you good thoughts.

  8. No need to feel you must pay a return visit. I'm very sorry about your mom. My mother is showing signs of cognitive decline. I've been trying to be in business as usual mode with my writing, but I can't quite get there today.

    1. Thank you. And I am so sorry for what you're going through.

  9. So sorry for your loss, Chrys. I hope you hold tight to the positive memories and that they help temper the pain.