Someone who's learning his mistakes as a failed author Part 2:
MISTAKE #1: PROMOTING A BOOK THAT'S NOT EVEN FINSIHED YET-
I did my first step in mid 2020 and that was build my audience. I made an Instagram, hired an artist to make me art for this promotion to gain an audience for my story and it took off! People were interested, I gained followers fast, it was pretty jarring at first but it quickly got addictive. People were eager to read this story from the promo art, about my personal battles, they were ready to get a taste of what I had... but I screwed up because during that time I was still looking for an editor so the manuscript was nowhere near polished to 'my' liking. People asked "Where can I read?" Or "Where can I buy it?" I all I could do was tell them, "You're gonna have to wait, but don't worry, it's coming!" Weeks passed, months too, I finally did hire an editor but I had no idea how long of a process it can be, so I was completely ignorant of that. I tried distracting them with art I paid artists for, basically throwing money down the drain but I could afford to do so during that time. After months of delays, the hype died completely for it and barely anyone was interested in it anymore in the end.
MISTAKE #2: NOT GIVING THE PEOPLE A TASTE OF YOUR PRODUCT-
Going off from mistake one, during those months of delays and paying for art; instead I could've given people a taste of my story like a chapter or two, but my ego wouldn't allow it. I just kept telling them "it's worth the wait!" and "It's worth your money!" No, when reality hit and the sales for week one came, it was heartbreaking because two days before publication I almost lost my life to a roll over car accident. So seeing how I only sold 15 books in week one made my thoughts darker.
MISTAKE #3: THROWING MONEY AWAY-
I'll tell you how much I invested in my first book called ALWAYS TOGETHER VOLUME 1. I invested in 6500 dollars into it and my net loss is 6250 as of today. In total I sold 115 books but from that number I only sold 35 and the rest were from a free promotion I did. Right now I'm in the worst financial state in my entire life, mainly from mistakes of myself, my mother, and the accident.
THERE'S MORE BUT THOSE ARE MY MAIN THREE: KEEP YOUR CHIN UP; EVEN IN YOUR DARKEST TIMES-
I'm not going to state how much debt I'm in but from what I can tell you before writing and during promoting I was able to invest this much without a problem until that day and now here I am, a failure because all of the things above could've been avoided. if I listened to everyone who told me to give people a taste, glimpse, wait, stop throwing money, and most of all attract those who would read it instead of giving me false hope... then most of those things could've been avoided. I failed to attract those people, I kept stalling, and I was mainly doing it for myself, all this attention and art was all for me in the end, not for them.
Sorry if this post is long but I wanted to tell those that way they won't make the same mistakes I did. I'm at a point where I want to give up and question if I'm really just going to be your typical 9-5 guy. But in life and success you have to make trail and error to achieve greatness, how else will you learn right?" Am I afraid of the same mistakes coming back to haunt me? Yes I am, am I going to actually give up? Hell no, no matter how stress I've been getting, overworking myself, staying up late to meet ends meet, I'll keep grinding until I can finally shed a tear and say to myself, "I did it, I fucking did it!" Guys, don't give up, if you do, if this failure hasn't then you shouldn't either, keep going and maybe one day we can all come together and say, "We fucking did it!" Thanks and hopefully this answer some of your questions, cheers guys. I'll be posting more on these forums to get a better idea on how I can interest others on my stories and spreading them out without paying for ads and getting reviewed bombed from what I heard haha.
BryanZ Wrote: MISTAKE #1: PROMOTING A BOOK THAT'S NOT EVEN FINSIHED YET-
Ouch, that one's got to hurt. The funny thing is, I don't think I've ever seen this rule mentioned on a list of "what not to do" for new authors. That's probably because most people aren't able to build up an audience before they have a product, so the question doesn't come up too often. I learned this particular lesson in an old job when the company owners were announcing and promoting a new version of an existing product--a version that wouldn't come until eight years after they first started mentioning it. I was the person responsible for telling our customers, "It'll be out next year," "It'll be at least two years before that version comes out," and finally, "We don't have an estimated date for when that version will be available."
BryanZ Wrote: MISTAKE #3: THROWING MONEY AWAY-
This one hurts so much I can feel sympathy pains. The unfortunate reality is that self-published authors with a single book to their name are going to be lucky to hit 50 sales, which won't be enough to make back any amount of expenses.
That means there's got to be some sort of additional plan in place. e.g., trying to find a publisher to handle that; or self-publishing enough books in a series that it becomes cost-effective to spend money on advertising (which is gonna require more than one book); or having your own independent platform, where you already have followers, to hawk your book(s); or the Royal Road/Patreon model of using free web fiction to draw readers in with the hopes they'll like it enough to support you.
It's a tough call to pay upfront for professional editing services. Not much advice I can offer there, except to learn as much about grammar as you can on your own, and consider something like Royal Road (without a professional editor) for your early projects, as you're learning. I'd love to be able to hire a developmental editor while I map out future projects, but I just don't see that happening. Most of my Patreon income has been spent on my book covers, and I won't have much ebook income until I get more of the books edited and published.
EDIT: P.S. I hope you reported your losses on your taxes. At least in the U.S., that should help cut down your total tax burden for the year in question.