Depositing into the karma bank

I saw a homeless guy the other day on my way out of the Trader Joe’s parking lot, the same guy I always see there. He was holding a sign, and I never really took the time to read it.  But on this day, I did. It read:

Karma Bank.
Make a deposit.
Anything helps.

I was already passing him by when I read it, and I never did stop. I had several “good” reasons why…

– I have manual windows and couldn’t roll down the passenger side he was standing at.
– I was tired and just wanted to get home.
– I’m running short on dollars.
– Someone else will help.
– What “karma bank” is HE depositing into?
– It’s not like my dollar will make that much of a difference.

Like I said, I had “good” reasons. Or so I thought in the moment. As I drove away, I realized that my reasons weren’t really that good, that he probably could use my help a lot, that I did have a dollar or so I could spare, and I actually could benefit from a deposit into the karma bank.

That sign did more than make me feel guilty for driving away, it made me think about karma in general – author karma.

One thing I’ve learned in this whole indie author journey is how hard it is to sell a dang book. Some months are good, and the gods of all things downloadable smile down on me while gracing me with a few dozen sales. But most months? I’d be lying if it weren’t bleak. And I know I’m not alone. Judging by the constant barrage of sales pitches on Twitter or other social media outlets, I think it’s a fair assessment that their books aren’t exactly selling themselves.

However, every now and then I do see a pitch by an author that makes me pause amidst all the other dribble, and think “that book actually sounds kind of interesting”. Or a blogger I follow mentions a book they wrote, and I already know I like their writing since I read their blog regularly. Or I’ve fanned someone on Facebook who has written something.

We’re all living our dreams, having actually accomplished what most people only dream of – writing a book. However, we’re also living someone else’s dream because our book hasn’t become so big we can quit our 9-5. With our shoestring budgets, we can’t afford the heavy promotion the bigwig authors get to have. So our promotion is through family and friends, and via social media. And it only goes so far.

If you see an indie author promote a book that looks like one you might enjoy – buy it. You don’t even need an eReader to read it. Kindle has an app, and you can download to the “cloud”. And many other eBooks offer something similar. Most times, these downloads will cost you a mere $3 or less. But that one download helps indie authors to pass thousands of other struggling authors in the rankings, allowing them to become that much more viewable by those searching for a good book. If you enjoy the book, tell others. Even better, spread the word via your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you can get a good reach.  Leave a review where you bought the book. Share the good news on Goodreads.

And here’s where the karma part comes in.

If you’re an indie author and you help promote another indie author, how can the gods of all things downloadable NOT smile upon you? Not only are you making a fat deposit into the Karma Bank, but potential readers will find you easier when word starts to spread about your indie book reviews, etc. They may even check out what what book YOU wrote, download it, and eventually leave a comment.

So take a break from re-reading the masterpiece you just wrote. Kick back from your diligent self-promotion. And start checking out what other indie authors are writing by reading a few of them.

To get you started, here are a few I’ve recently downloaded and am about to dive into:

Forged in Grace, by Jordan Rosenfeld
Class Collision, Fall From Grace, by Allison Mackey
Lucy Green Eyes, by Paulette Benjamin

Or just search for #indieauthor on Twitter to find one of millions of small time authors hoping to one day make it big. 🙂

Make a deposit into the Karma Bank. Anything helps.


Crissi Langwell is the debut author of A Symphony of Cicadas. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Are you an indie author? Leave the name of your book and a short synopsis in the comments so I know what to read next!

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3 thoughts on “Depositing into the karma bank”

  1. Pingback: Depositing into the karma bank | Wandering Stars Press

  2. Pingback: 14: What Caught My Senses This Week

  3. brownelllandrum

    Hi, I just launched my own books – three novels and the re-release of a nonfiction book I wrote. I figured out a lot of stuff to market books and would love to help others do the same! My website is: Might as well get some karma, right? Let me know if I can help anyone.

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