One common phrase that is often said to authors is “write to market”. The idea behind this is to do research into a genre, figure out the tropes, figure out a little bit of a spin, get the work completed and edited quickly, and put a professional cover on it. Then go ahead and post it on the marketing websites and things will take off! However, that’s not always the case. In addition, it may feel difficult or boring to try and write to a genre you don’t care about. So authors may take a more fulfilling route: Writing what their heart desires. In this route, you may not be able to make your investment back.
This can lead to a frustrating cycle of pouring in lots of money into a pit. That’s correct, authors can dig themselves money pits. When confronted with such a pit, authors are told to simply: write more. If you keep trying and keep paddling, eventually you may make it to shore. The problem I’ve found is that when one effort doesn’t work, a person isn’t motivated to try it again. That can lead to a depression in the creative outlet. I think there is a balance to be achieved. This is where an author can get minimal sales, but still be excited about upcoming work. It’s the place where I am at currently.
Build marketing channels that may work, while also building books that may work. The idea behind this is that you don’t put all your emotional eggs in one basket. Instead of just saying you failed at writing and get depressed, you have another horse to bet on. You can also look into that new marketing channel and see how you can sell you book. If you are constantly balancing these two acts of creation, then even minor sales don’t seem so bad. After all, each time you get a little better in either approach, you see the result immediately. This is an iterative process where you keep getting better slowly over time.