Blogging has been a journey that’s served as probably the greatest companion and outlet for my creativity. This Hall of Information blog began life as a plunge into the unknown to create a presence and a home for my writing online. It pulled me along when nothing else did and eventually over some years it became the central pillar of everything Lee Hall.
This post is a short reflection on reaching 1000 WordPress followers which is a huge number for a WordPress blog and a powerful thing that has kept me inspired to simply keep going. Over some years I found my creativity, my consistency and of course my content through this blog and eventually it began to turn the needle for me. There are so many lessons I have learned over the years on this journey and this blog has been there for all of them.
Like many of my successful moments, they are defined simply by the fact I have just kept going, kept chasing and kept learning. Along the way I gained you, a loyal follower and reader, someone who answers back from the void that I was seemingly shouting into all these years – the secret ingredient to all of this. I am living proof that blogging can be a success if you work for it and part of this journey would be nothing without this Hall of Information blog – a hub and account of my journey told in real time. And time is what it takes for anything good in this world along with good people to help me, you.
There are a plethora of influences who have shaped my blogging success, from those who nominated it for awards to those who might just be silently reading without ever engaging with me – both and everyone in between is fine for me and no matter who you are, as long as you are kind, you are welcome at the Hall of Information. From the day in day outer’s who I see blogging everyday to the occasional creator, the interactions I have had over the years with all of you have given reason and meaning to this sometimes hard journey.
From then, now and to the future, thank you for supporting me. I have learned so much from what you have given me.
Everyday I am on twitter. And over some years I’ve learned a lot about the platform as well as a lot about myself. Reaching 30,000 followers wasn’t a solo effort because like most social media platforms, success is mainly defined by those you interact with and others ultimately decide your success. In this post I am going to reflect on how I got to that number.
There was a time not too long ago where my tweets seemingly fell upon deaf ears. And back in April of 2020 my Twitter was nothing like it is now but then things started to gradually change. During a time of uncertainty I was granted probably the greatest gift you can give a writer; time. And looking back, I spent it figuring out the best possible way to turn my Twitter into something much more than it was. And to me, much like writing, Twitter is a journey of self discovery.
With 3,000 or so followers at that time and not a lot of engagement I dove in to the platform. Using some stuff I’d already realised about the platform’s potential and with some consistency, things began to change. It took time, it took effort and it took a boat load of constant trial and error. Everyone’s Twitter is different but the application of trial and error is something everyone can do pretty much everyday, even just for a few minutes.
From figuring out what time the majority of my following is online to see my tweets to simply learning that replying to those who reply to you is incredibly beneficial for visibility amongst so many vital lessons. The time I spent self-learning about this strange but wonderful conversation driven app started to churn out results. From book sales to blog views, from followers to friendships and even important contacts who would help me with BETA reading or even editing of future works.
I was talking and people from all over the world started listening whilst that following was gradually growing. By the end of 2020 I reached 5,000 followers and year later it was 20,000. All of this was driven by spending time and figuring out the value of being conversational. That’s all this is at the end of the day and for someone who finds dialogue a natural habitat – lets face it, most writers do. I eventually turned my Twitter into something truly worth having in my life.
Books were selling every 10 days in 2020 and today its near enough every few days which is also driven by mainly Twitter. My presence and persistence has paid off in so many ways, from building friendships to even having a purpose to those sales.
All of what I figured out gave me the best chance for others to ultimately decide my success, and if I could sum up everything I have done for people to decide my success on the platform it would simply be this:
For all the things you want to be on social media, just be kind. Kindness sticks out these days and good people will remember you for it.
To those who do follow me on Twitter, now over 30,000 of you, thank you. I’ll be recording a special celebration Twitter coaching session this week which will be free to listen to.
Below you’ll find some of my better resources for Twitter success.
Just a few years back the concept of reaching 30,000 Twitter followers is something I would have laughed out loud at. Not anymore. And this journey has known zeros often but not today because I’ve reached that once impossible seeming milestone on the platform.
Of course and above all, this has not been a solo effort or journey. Much like all of my successes, they have been governed by others. And the help of others is what has pushed me to go further and dream bigger. I am nothing without the fantastic support of you and the now 30,000 followers who give me reason to keep going. This creative journey has been hard and every now and then it does bite me on the rear end but, the rewards are huge and this is a defining turning point.
But how? And what advice would I give to anyone looking to grow on social media as a creative? Just be open and do your best to build conversational bridges. My agenda has never really been to make money – I suppose that’s what has driven me to try and find something else and I have, conversation, support and consistency, they are just three of the many elements that make up the factors of my Twitter success. If you can offer something, someone out there will probably be motivated to take it. That and the sheer will to never ever give in, no matter what adversities I’ve faced internally and externally. Rewards come to those who work and keep going.
There is a hell of a lot more to come from me and you can expect a lot more content based on my Twitter experiences soon. For now, be sure to check out my Twitter Coaching Sessions here.
‘Destiny can fall into our hands during the most unexpected of moments…’
In celebration of a year since Consistent Creative Content was released I have recorded a special narration presentation which is free to listen to. For this weekend, the book is also discounted in digital format with quite a substantial price reduction.
To everyone who has supported me and this book in the past year and of course beyond, thank you.
Sometimes it can feel like you have done everything you possibly can to try and market and sell your book which can be difficult, especially for those who are self-published or indie because most of us have to face marketing alone.
There probably is always something else to try when it comes to marketing books but the problem might be before that. This post is a troubleshooter that will hopefully lay out why a book might not be selling by focusing on the basics. It is taken from experience which for me is nearly 6 years of being indie published with 7 books that have all sold well. Let us dive in…
The Basic Anatomy
To me there are no real rules when it comes to books but over the years I have concluded that they need to be a certain standard or at least have basic anatomy to have a chance of selling. That anatomy can be seen as two separate entities. Firstly the visual basics:
An enticing book title that matches the genre;
Professionally designed cover that also matches the genre;
An enticing proof read blurb.
And secondly, the internal basics:
Professional or some level of editing that is reasonably practicable;
Professional or some level of formatting that is reasonably practicable.
These five basic things are important to get right or as right as possible depending on budget but I would say if you want to publish a book well then you need to invest in the right services. These five basics will eventually hook at least one reader in to the point where they might be interested in buying. If you think your book has these things, then the reason it might not be selling could be a little more subjective, so let us look at some more subjective factors that factor in to selling books.
PartiallySubjective Factors (visual)
A fair price;
Book Rating/Amount of reviews.
Pricing and reviews can be an enigma sometimes. Price too low and readers might not think the book has value, price too high and readers think you are just in this for a cash grab. To me, the price and the rating kind of go hand in hand with review quantity being the key here. If your book has over 100 reviews, the chances are it has sold well and proven it can sell well so you have scope to maybe price a little higher. This stuff has no real concrete answer as it is based upon the individual book and author but my suggestion would be to experiment regularly with pricing.
In terms of average rating, for books, again it can be quite subjective. My book The Teleporter dances between 3.8 and 4.0 stars on Amazon regularly and has only gone up in sales as the quantity of reviews has grown. The Teleporter is my most successful book by a large margin.
I would say as long as the basics are mostly there, these partially subjective factors won’t effect your sales too much unless they are at the extreme (really high or low priced) and I call them partially subjective because over time you can work to improve these things. Reviews coming in should make the sales situation better while you also figure out the perfect price, so what else is there to troubleshoot?
This deserves a whole section because a majority of the time, the reason a book isn’t selling is mainly due to visibility or lack of, so you have to ask yourself the question: what are you doing to sell your book on social media? Or sometimes what are you doing nottosell your book on social media?
Being on social media and being published places you in the glass house that is the public domain. So now it is time to think about what we say and do at all times. Everything you say online; good or bad, positive or negative will most likely be seen by your following and may effect your sales – for those on Twitter, the majority of followers will see an argumentative response – this stuff tends to be overlooked and of course freedom of speech is something I fully support but my advice would be to keep things light on social media.
What can you do to sell books on social media?
The good thing about social media is that it is busy. Things move quickly and so its important to remind your following and the wider platform users that your book exists. You could just drop a link everyday but that will probably be buried by the social media platforms as they would prefer to keep you and users right there so its time use a little variety.
These seven things are a week’s worth if you spread them out because variety is key on social media- keep it light, conversational and occasionally about your work. Click on my tweet to see seven more ideas. As you can see, all of these things don’t mention dropping a link, if you can, put your book link in your bio or somewhere easy to find – algorithms on most platforms tend to suppress links sometimes.
My biggest tip about selling books on social media is to focus on convincing people to invest in you first. If they enjoy your content such as good conversation or even a little positivity that will go a long way towards selling.Consider social media platforms your stage and your books are available out in the gift shop.
It takes some effort and time to build a social media presence so what else can you do to sell books?
Quick-fire short term and long term Miscellaneous troubleshooting
(Lot’s of Things to consider)
Have you thought about advertising?
If so is it paid?
If so, is it with a reputable advertiser?
Have you thought about a temporary price reduction?
Is it just for a limited time? (this works well)
If so, have you informed your social media following?
Are you consistently present on social media? (this helps)
Are you supportive of others in the industry? (this helps build trust and trust helps sell)
Do you have multiple books available? (this helps)
Do you have stand alone and series books available? (this really helps)
Have you really considered whether your book really has the basic anatomy?
The final troubleshooting question is in red because if you have tried all of the above without a single sale then it is probably something before such as the basic anatomy or even social media conduct. Understandably Rome was not built in a day but eventually if you follow the advice in this post you will sell at least one book, I am 99% confident of that. Now this is all subjective which is my favourite word when it comes to publishing anything and means nothing is guaranteed.
The majority of my guides are received mainly by beginner or debut authors and so I will say this whole deal gets better over time. One slow release doesn’t seal your fate in publishing and especially after just one release. If you really want your book to be read you need to get yourself out there and more importantly create new content. This journey got way better for me after 5 or so releases and even then the results were slow. Regular blogging and social media posting drives my sales and this isn’t my day job but I treat it like one. Today I sell books roughly every other day and that is driven by the fact I have kept going.
To conclude in as simple terms as possible, your book will most likely sell if:
It has the basic anatomy visually (pro cover, enticing title and blurb);
It has the basic anatomy internally (editing and formatting);
You have a decent conduct and regular presence on social media;
You try as many ways as possible to market yourself and that book.
Keep going, keep writing and don’t give up. Someday someone will read your work and it could change their life!
Thank you for reading, there were plenty of opportunities above to include links to my various free-to-read guides but I would prefer to leave them below so it does not interrupt the flow of this guide, so here they are:
And finally, you’ll find the Basic Anatomy of a Book mentioned in detail via my author/blogger guide book Consistent Creative Content which is a concise, one-stop-shop for everything I have learned in publishing:
Variety really is the spice of life and being a social media author the same thinking generally applies for me. As long as you have a multitude of ideas and can lay them down in an orderly fashion, eventually you’ll succeed. The algorithms might change and so will the platforms but those who do continue to seek fresh ways to get their content out there will also have their content consumed by the end user.
Peaks and plateaus, that’s what this journey has been for me and while today’s numbers might seem low, they are still ten times better than a few years ago. No matter what valley or shadow banned state my social media engagement is currently in, it will spin back towards momentum soon. That needle, it can’t always be in constant motion but my drive and desire is. Everyday is an opportunity to find better results, reach new people and of course convince existing followers to stick around.
My conclusion is swaying towards a realisation that I might be a functioning serial busy person – by that I mean constantly having a challenging amount to do keeps me motivated and keeps me working. They do say busy people get things done and so here I am getting things done.
What a journey this year has been. Rewarding and difficult in equal parts and a major turning point that signals how much potential this writing journey has.
I came into 2021 with relatively grounded expectations and into a world where the pandemic was continuing to unfold and evolve much like it still is now. I won’t dwell much upon it as my whole philosophy has been to mostly exclude the negativity of the whole subject, instead I’ll dive into the positive aspects of this year and how the last twelve months has served as collective corner that I have turned as a creative. I hope none of this is received as a boast because I always share my results with a hope they are inspiring and helpful to my readers, you. While there are many wonderful things this year has given me, it wasn’t easy.
And without you, this wouldn’t have been possible and without you, none of this would have felt real and for your support I must thank you. From having a book I wrote back in 2018 that I thought nobody liked being downloaded over 10,000 times in a single day to the abundance of followers I befriended over on Twitter; 20,000+ and starting this year with just 5k – that is probably my finest achievement in all of my writing. This all started with convincing one reader at a time and if you can convince just one reader then you can convince thousands – I am living proof that being a creative in this modern age can be a successful endeavour and you can be happy with the results. There are a host of other wonderful moments this year has given me like being recruited to be a part of an author academy for young people, an exciting venture that I look forward to sharing more of soon. The abundance of wonderful reviews I got for my works, many of which have been waiting for a long time to reach readers. The support for the content I have churned out on here and of course my most recent release which has seen paperback sales that far exceeded expectations. My next ambition is to see creatives who have read my guide book finding success with their endeavours, while it is great to write all of these guides, seeing others benefit from them would be the dream for me.
After these twelve months I can happily say that I am at peace with so many aspects that were once struggles. Hard work and wanting to be successful go hand in hand. Now I look towards a new year as a more opportunity to build upon the foundations this year has laid. All of what I have achieved is very much possible for you too, remember that.
I’d like to take this moment to wish all of you a happy new year and let us hope that 2022 will be the start of some better days for all of us. Rock and roll man!
In 2021 over 20,000 readers visited this blog. A record that stands as the best ever for Lee’s Hall of Information and proof that your words can eventually find an audience no matter how long you have been trying. And to me, trying is all you ever have to do in any vocation to find results.
Good things take time, work and patience and if you are willing to endure the journey of facing zero and the general graft of it all then someday that reward will present itself. That may sound easier said than done, especially now as I sit here with such a great number but those who have been around a while will know this journey has not been easy. From reverting to zero to dealing with the general snooty gatekeepers who I share this literary industry with. I have also found a wonderful and giving audience, you guys, who keep me blogging.
The future of this blog is incredibly bright and after so many years, ups and downs and work, this whole deal is starting to pay off! Thank you for reading and joining me. 2021 is coming to a close but there are just a few more tricks up my sleeve before the sun goes down on it.
2021 has been a year of variety in terms of reads for me. 43 in total and all of them indie or self published. I’m a big believer of supporting the industry that I’m apart of and so here is a break down of the first 21 books I read and reviewed in 2021…
‘Civil Blood: The Vampire Rights Case That Changed a Nation’ by Chris Hepler
‘An alternative but realistic take on vampires with sharp political and biological edges…‘
What an incredible year 2021 has been. Although challenging at times the past twelve months could be described by many words but for me as an author, I’m going to use potential.
Potential because the results I have seen for my efforts has convinced me this journey is worthwhile and has potential to go a lot further than I am right now. Of course the support I have received by you on here or across the platforms has fuelled me to reach higher and further than ever. I’ve achieved so many wonderful things this year and that tells me I can go on and get even better things. From having my book downloaded 10,000 times in a single day to tripling my Twitter following from 5k to nearly 18k, damn, things have really gone from strength to strength, I have even made money from selling books.
I’ve never been one to boast and while my statistics are awesome let them be the greatest advert for what you can achieve because I know there are so many creatives who follow me and who are just like me. If I can get these awesome things then you certainly can, for me, the next chapter is around the corner and so is yours. All I have ever done is never given up and kept going. From figuring out what my following enjoys seeing to the wider aspects of selling books and myself as a brand. The truth is, I want others to achieve what I have done, you’ll see from the plethora of guides I have churned out this year because helping others helps me, helping others builds trust and friendships, helping others is also incredibly rewarding. If you can find just one aspect of a journey to be rewarding then it makes the whole thing way more worthwhile. I’ve left my mark this year and potential is what drives me every day to keep leaving it.