to sell books, need to promote them
I have self-published two books as e-book and print-on-demand formats, distributed by Amazon. One was a memoir under a pen name. The more recent one, my debut novel, was under my legal name. I didn't promote the memoir. Only a handful of people read it, whom I told it existed. It never was found under millions of books on Amazon. Let's face it, if no one knows about it, no one's going to buy it, are they? I 'unpublished it' and thought I had deleted the files, then recently recovered it. I am going to edit it, rename it Bipolar Cringe and republish it under my name with more context.
Well, since my last blog post, I saw my novel Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice hit #1 in top free best sellers in Biographical Fiction on Amazon US. If I had been paid for those downloads, I would have made more in royalties in a few days than well over a month of my part-time minimum wage job. I did some calculations, and if I were to sell at the rate of what was downloaded with the promotion, I would make nearly six figures annual in NZ dollars in royalties. Whereas, I made a few hundred bucks from actual sales, prior to the giveaway, which I invested into testing out marketing and promotion options. Potential is there.
It was a ridiculous goal to be an internationally bestselling author when I was struggling so much with bipolar 1 disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, that I was unable to cook a scrambled egg with a scrambled brain, or remember how to take my meds on my own. It took 7 years to complete Pet Purpose. I wrote and edited it in short bursts every few months.
I recently self-published my debut novel, Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice, about a character with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) navigating love and loss. I am currently running a free promotion of the e-book on Amazon. Today, it is currently #2 in biographical fiction and #19-20 in romantic erotica categories, listed in both in Top 100 Free Best Sellers. If it ever made it to #1, I didn't check, as rankings are updated every hour.
I have had a diabolical week with massive mood crash, the most distressed I have been since 2017. Quit a job. In the process of moving after my parents disapproved of me publishing my book. Attacked by trolls. The first reviews are starting to come in for my debut novel, Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice. Available as an e-book and print-on-demand (which was better quality than I expected).
Created in New Zealand. Printed in the USA. I was in a mood crash with bipolar 1 disorder with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had just quit one of my jobs as too overwhelmed. I opened the parcel on camera (while a mess). This is what I saw: Snowball peeking out of the box!
Below is Chapter 1 - No Rainbow Bridge from Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice by Xanthe Wyse. Pet Purpose is a pet-themed novel about a character with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from childhood sexual abuse trauma. Navigating love and loss, trying to make sense of suffering.
I finally published Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice. Sold a dozen copies online via Amazon from social media interest. Not a huge number, but got to start somewhere, right? Pet Purpose is a pet-themed semi-autobiographical novel with a character who is navigating love and loss with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So a character who shares my diagnoses.
I screenshot some initial reactions/responses from 3 readers giving feedback from Twitter. Even though they tweeted publicly, I cropped out their details:
This is the one page artist's statement I wrote to go on the wall for my art as therapy exhibition, Speak, in 2020. With some of the artworks.
Speak is a second solo art as therapy exhibition by Xanthe Wyse. Xanthe’s first art as therapy exhibition, Spinning Orbit, was two years ago. Spinning Orbit was messy, raw and intense artwork to help calm Xanthe’s mind while on a challenging journey towards stabilising bipolar disorder with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Below is what I had written on the 'about' section of my website which I am updating. It has a tiny bit of my story and why I do what I do - making my own meaning and purpose keeps me going.
Bipolar Courage is a blog of insights and art by Xanthe Wyse from New Zealand. Xanthe has been diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder. Xanthe started Bipolar Courage when she was feeling down and feeling like she needed a new sense of purpose to keep her going. Having a meaningful project is one of the ways that Xanthe keeps going despite at times overwhelming challenges and struggle.
Xanthe finds creative expression including writing and painting to be therapeutic and helps her to manage her diagnoses of bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).