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 I 'unpublished it' and thought I had deleted the files, then recently recovered it.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!
My brain is currently struggling to be organised enough to speak or write, so I will probably keep this short. Because I am exhausted and I have been getting breakthrough mania and mixed episode symptoms. And also because I am waiting for sedation to kick in enough for me to go back to sleep as emergency self-care.
I have seen people say 'I have bipolar' and others say 'I am bipolar.' Is it just semantics?
Or is 'I am' identity language? For example, I could say, 'I am a woman,' and 'I am a Kiwi (New Zealander)' and 'I am a mother' and 'I am an artist' (even though I'm a 'hobby' artist not a 'professional'). I could say 'I am a merchandiser' (working part-time helps my self-esteem).
Several times in my life, I have been told that I am 'too honest'. Lying makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. Over the past few years, I have been working on an semi-autobiographical fiction book called Pet Purpose. I see it as semi-autobiographical because it is telling my story in disguise.
Originally, when I chose the title around five years ago, I intended to write memoir about my bond with pets. But more of life happened and the story has evolved into a story of courage as a young girl suffers trauma and loss, is later diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and with her determination to survive, finally starts a healing journey many years later in adulthood.
The story loosely reflects my own journey, but I have changed the story-line to protect myself and others, even those who have hurt me. Changing names wasn't enough. I made the decision to write fiction, to 'lie to tell the truth', to help ease flashbacks of PTSD. So that I didn't have to remember it 'exactly' and keep re-traumatising myself. So that I minimise upsetting people. So people can't say 'that's not really what happened' (because they won't know what really happened) and minimise my message. So that I could have some distance while I still tell a personal story. So that I could express my truth in a creative way.
I grew up in a fundamentalist christian church that preached that illness was demon possession and oppression. They also preached that gays were going to hell and other things that I don't believe in anymore.
Many years later I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, which has episodes of full mania and severe depression. I have also been diagnosed with PTSD from trauma. When I was involved with the church, I was a very sincere Christian. When I had euphoric highs, I was told I was filled with the Holy Spirit. It certainly felt very spiritual. When a psychiatrist first asked me if I had 'highs' I told them that it was God. People in the pentecostal church I grew up in enjoyed getting 'high' on God. When I was suffering from internal torture and distress, I was told it was demons and that I needed 'deliverance' (exorcism).
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).