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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Help, my book's not selling!

Louise Wise

It can happen to the best of us.

Sometimes a book won't hit the spot with your readers, maybe the cover isn't right or the blurb is wrong? Maybe you're hitting on the wrong readership? Over-priced?

How do you know if any of the above apply to you?

Trial and error, but most importantly be honest with yourself.

My dark romantic comedy had become stagnant in the Amazon charts and the few reviews it received (luckily all good) weren't enough to advertise it on sites such as BookBub. 

I tried all the usual things authors do to get the book moving: composing mini blurbs for Twitter, rewriting the blurb, redoing the tags, joining a tweet gang all which resulted in a flutter of sales.

I did the above again the following month, and again. All I received were flutters in return. For a highly researched book that took years to write I wasn't about to give up on it so quickly. But despite my efforts in October/November time last year the book was flat lining and needed a defibrillator QUICK! 

Something was wrong with the book.

I looked at the title with critical eyes and it screamed: literary! The title, The Fall of the Misanthrope, didn't portray dark, comedy romance so I began thinking up suitable names. 

I took a look at other dark comedies high in the charts and checked out their titles (I didn't want the same), but I wanted to see what was selling. Chick lit titles seem to do best with clich├ęs as titles or words from a song or even just expressions, dark comedies had titles that were self-mocking or just mocking.

Jane Dixon-Smith's profile photo
Jane Dixon-Smith
I composed a list of titles I liked and put them against my book, but I found the cover all wrong. Time to spend money and design a new one. I called on the designer of the original cover, Jane Dixon-Smith and together we came up with how the cover looks today, and I think it's a HUGE difference, and brings alive the book's theme perfectly--comedy.

With the title and cover all sorted I needed to do one more thing, and that's get word out about my relaunch. I didn't want to waste money on buying promotion from sites that take your money and don't offer much of a return, so I looked to my romcom groups on Facebook: Chick Lit Goddesses and The Official Chick Lit page. 

Great people came forward, and I didn't even have to force them! They offered! In return, I took great pains in writing something worthwhile on the themes of their choice. I made sure everything was correct and my links worked.

Hiring a blog tour organisation will take you to bloggers who specialise in hosting authors, so you may get better results from them, but I was after free and I wanted it NOW. Here are my articles:

Kristina Knight  - cover reveal
Susan Buchanan -  Why an Overhaul is Needed
Caroline Fardig -  Keep Calm and WRITE
Deb Nam-Krane - author interview
Courtney Giardina - Bridget Jones for a Day
Georgina Troy - character interview
Monique McDonell -  Mental Illness: Nurture of Nature?
Alissa Baxter - Is Romance Harmless Escapism?
Matt Posner - author/general interview
Do Authors Dream of Electric Books?  - Just Writing a Book isn't Enough!

Next, I lowered the price to a bargain 99c/77p and will keep it low until the end of May.
So, all in all, has this hop been worth it? 

I'll be honest with you, for this book, no. I enjoyed the blogging process, and my name and articles are on the web for as long as the blogs are there, so that's a plus. 

The flutter of sales (pity sales from my hosts maybe?) didn't make this hop a success. My other romcom, A Proper Charlie, which although sees better sales, still doesn't bring in a huge amount, so maybe it's the genre?

My sci-fi romance Eden and Hunted are doing very well in the Amazon charts, so maybe romantic comedy is too swamped for any new author to do well in it? 

I'd love your thoughts on the subject.


Oh no, I've Fallen in Love!

All Valerie Anthrope wanted was to be in control of her destiny.

In a short-sighted decision, she employs ‘mad as a hatter’ Ellen Semple as her assistant in her financial brokerage, only to find her life being taken over by the domineering older woman. And to add insult to injury, client, Lex Kendal, seems equally determined to own her.

77p / 99c until end of May 2014

When Valerie’s bitchy ‘Devil Wears Prada’ image is ignored by Ellen and a turn-on for Lex, her only other defence is to close her heart to the pair of them. But it cracks when a bedraggled kitten finds its way into her life, making it easy for Lex to swoop in and Ellen to declare herself Valerie’s fairy godmother.

But just who is Ellen Semple? Where did she come from? Why does she want to help Valerie so badly? And how come she seems to know Lex even though they’ve never met before?

When Valerie can’t fend them off any longer and allows them into her life, her past rears its ugly head to remind her just why she’s alone in the world.

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