Born to Write, Born to Lose

by: bradashlock

Aug 22


I purchased KindleSpy last week. It’s a software program that allows you to analyze bestsellers on Amazon, popular key words for the site, and tells you what categories are popular, competitive, or profitable. It’s been a real eye-opener, to say the least.

I need all the help I can get. I’m not a successful writer—in fact, my books have hardly sold, and I’ve never broken beyond the top 100,000 bestsellers. Despite this, I believe in myself and hope if I keep working at it, I will eventually be able to quit the day job.

When you publish a book on Amazon, you also include up to seven keywords or phrases to help customers reach your book. These words are very important. Along with a bit of talent and a whole lotta good luck.

What I’ve discovered with the KindleSpy software is that my books are in unpopular categories, with low profits except a few outliers at the top, and in highly specialised but competitive markets.

If my books had tattoos, they’d be Sailor Jerry ones, with an upside down horseshoe including the phrase: “Born to Lose”.

I’ve adjusted the keywords best I can to give my little babies a chance, but what’s done is done. They are what they are, in the markets and categories they’re in.

It’s been a rough couple months. The novel I’ve been working on—Calamity Island—has been difficult for me. Very slow. I don’t know if I’ve lost interest because of the endless futility of it all. No, I’m not the best writer in the world—but I’ve read best sellers that, in my opinion, suck.

There’s a keyword for yeh.

I don’t know if anyone is reading this blog, or if it’s helpful to any struggling artists out there—but for me, there is an internal ball of despair winding in my stomach. Woe is me. The poor failed artist, simpering at the world.

Well, I know one person who is reading this blog—ME. And I am going to tell myself to focus. Stop drifting. Stop worrying about writing well. Just get the goddamn words down! Make a new plan in terms of genre and marketing.

It’s OK to suck. It’s OK to be lost in the miasma of Amazon.

But it’s never OK to quit!