So I think I know my problem with my novel not really selling (besides poor marketing efforts on my part)…I’ve had it listed in the wrong genre.
Urban fantasy still fits, but I listed the second category as occult/supernatural because I was afraid of being pigeonholed as an author of what it really is: erotica. Why, do you ask? Well, I guess it’s the whole notion that erotica is “dirty” or something. But let’s face it; I wasn’t exactly stingy with details. So erotica it is.
What brought about this revelation? Well, it seems in the first two attempts at writing a new novel since publishing my first one, both times the writing has leaned back towards, you guessed it, sex. I can’t for the life of me get away from it, even when I’m trying to write in another genre.
So I might as well embrace it. Let myself become an erotica author. Screw the fear of being typecast, so to speak. For some reason, this is where my muse is taking me, so I’m just going to go along for the ride. Er, pun not intended.
Now that I’ve gotten copious notes written about my new WIP, I think I’m ready to at least get started on rewrites.
I don’t plan on rewriting the entire bit that I’ve gotten so far, but I need a stronger beginning for sure. And middle. And I have to write an ending. So….okay. Almost the entire bit. There are a few scenes that I want to keep (with minute changes for continuity with the new material), but most of what I have needs to be scrapped. It needs to be stronger and to make more sense. (Because even though it’s fiction, there has to be some sense of…sense to it.)
Rewriting is going to suck, but it’s a necessary evil. I know, I know, you’re supposed to just get the story out & go from there–but my story’s changed so much during these months of brainstorming that it really isn’t the same story anymore. Oh sure, the core is the same, but the details have changed enough to where the outlying threads are pretty much unraveled.
I know what you’re saying. “But AJ, what about the cosplays?” Oh, they’ll get done. I’m determined, but today wasn’t a sewing kind of day. At least not so far. Maybe after work?
Anywho, off I go to recreate my creation!
Ah, this weekend was so nice. Relaxing.
And too damn short.
I’ve been awake for an hour & a half, but I can barely keep my eyes open. They keep crossing and closing, trying to force me back into slumber. They almost succeeded–almost.
Today it’s back to work, followed by (hopefully) more cosplay progress. I got a decent amount done yesterday, but my back started getting sore (and my hubby needed the power strip from the craft room for some of his cosplay work, so there’s that too). Yeah, yeah, I could’ve taken the strip back when he was done & gotten back to it, but damn I was tired. I think I was asleep before 7:30.
The jacket I started working on yesterday has the front two panels sewn and the back is almost done (not counting lining and such–that comes soon).
Damnit, eyes! I can’t be going back to sleep now!
Anywho, I also got a lot of character development done for the dystopian/sci-fi novel I’ve been working on for ages. This book will definitely be slower going than Whispers of Death, mostly because I’m having a more complicated plot…not to mention the research. I have to figure out what kind of tech we’ll have in a few hundred years…or at least speculate to within a reasonable accuracy. For instance, flying cars? Eh, maybe, maybe not. Bionic implants? That I can see happening. Genetic engineering? Yep, can see that too. And as far as current events unfolding in the ages to come, well….I don’t want to give away too much. 😉
Well, it’s time to make my husband’s coffee and see what the rest of the world is up to this early in the morning. Enjoy your work day!
So Kindle has this thing where if your book is enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited deal, you can see how many pages a person has read if they have downloaded your book through Kindle Unlimited.
Somebody has been reading my book! But they’re not very far in…eleven pages one day, three the next, then nothing for a few days, then twenty-five pages yesterday. (And there’s no way to tell if it’s all the same person or different people, so I don’t know if the first two days were people who got bored partway through or if all three days read are the same person.) Still, even if they’re all from different people, at least one person got a good couple of chapters in yesterday. I’ll keep checking it to see if any more pages get read. I’d love to be able to watch as someone reads all the way through.
Still no reviews after my free promotional period, but I’m not surprised. A lot of people download books while they’re free then take their time reading them. I’m sure plenty of those nearly 600 people have lists of books that they want to read, so I’ll try to be patient.
Haven’t written anything new in the WIP, but I’m planning on possibly rewriting the beginning once I have a better idea of what my world is like. And now, more pre-surgery-shift Internet laziness!
Next up on the cosplay list: the coat for Shatterstar.
More color blocking to work out. I’m going to start either tomorrow or the next day on the mockups for that part. The pattern I have is kind of complex, with lots of pieces, so it should be interesting to see how the color blocking will work into that. I may have to do some big modifications to the pattern. I’m feeling more confident about that sort of thing with each new thing I sew.
Very excited to get my serger later this week. I’ve heard that it makes things much easier (once I get the hang of it). It should prove interesting to say the least.
All of this cosplay is putting my work in progress on hold, but it’s given me time to reflect and realize that I really wasn’t ready to start it yet. Some of what I’ve written is good material, but it doesn’t have a solid foundation at this point. I need to reflect more on it and build up more of the world before I try to lay down a story in there.
Tomorrow I start again.
The final tallies are in, and I have mixed feelings on my free promotion experiment for my novel.
Overall, I “sold” 596 free units of the book. Yes, 596 is an amazing number considering I’m an unknown author who just posted on Twitter and Instagram about the deal. But considering they were all free, there’s no royalties in it for me. So now I have to rely on my lame “marketing” until I learn proper marketing.
I know, I know, I should read some articles or take a class or something. I just don’t have the energy for all that. In the mornings it takes me a couple of hours to wake up enough to be able to comprehend the ins and outs of marketing techniques, and when I get home I just want to spend time with my husband.
Another side effect of the free promotional thing is that in order to be able to do a free promotional period I had to sign up for a Kindle program that allows for people with Kindle Unlimited to read the book for free as well. Soooo….that will cut into potential royalties.
Then again, if no one wants to pay for the book, the royalties will be zip.
I’m going to give this a month or so before I make a final decision on whether or not this was a success. Give the people who purchased the free copy time to read it, wait to see if reviews come in, etc. Then I’ll decide if I want to do a weekend promotion next time, or maybe a promotion where it goes down in price then increases by $1 increments each week until it’s back at regular price. I might even do another free promotion during my birthday weekend. Why not? If I’m not selling paid copies anyway, might as well give myself an ego boost by watching the numbers go up as people grab a free copy for themselves.
My experiment is more than halfway over, and I have come to the conclusion that perhaps a full five days of freeness might be too much.
I wanted to reach the largest audience I could, so I figured the longest available free promotion would be best. It’s looking to be an error in judgment right now. Though the book did quite well the first day and somewhat well the second day, yesterday (day 3) was something of a bomb in comparison:
The first day saw 227 copies sold, the second 144, but yesterday only 42 copies were sold. Granted, 413 copies is vastly more than any number I had reached prior (I think my previous record was six in one day, just after the launch), but how many will read it? I myself have gotten free books before and not read them. I have probably at least a dozen on my Kindle app waiting to be read, maybe even two dozen.
I’m not drawing any definitive conclusions until the five-day promotional period is done, but I’m thinking that five days is too long. Free for a weekend? Yeah, that’s a possibility. But free for five days? It’s not looking like there’s much interest anymore.
Today (day 4) there has only been one copy sold, but given that it’s only 1:15 in the morning we’ll just ignore that little tidbit and wait for more solid results later in the day.
As far as predictions for tomorrow go, it’s hard to say. Have all the people who were interested in the book gotten it already? Will some people see that “last day to get it free” tweet and scramble to pick it up while the deal is still going on? Who knows.
The second day of my free promotional period on Whispers of Death is over, and the numbers are about 100 less than they were on Day 1. I ended the day with almost 400 total with the two days combined, and so far today only 9 units have “sold.”
I’m debating on tweeting about it again, but I feel that’s part of my problem when it comes to marketing: I don’t know how much is too much. I feel like I’m annoying and/or bothering people with the tweets and Instagram photos and the like. Buuuuuut…I still want to get my book’s name out there. If people download it and read it and tell their friends how much they like it (hopefully they like it), then maybe after the promotion is over people will be more inclined to buy it.
Also, I’m hoping reviews start to come in. I’m sure having only four reviews so far isn’t helping me any. Well, I guess it’s helping a little. Even with the “decline” in units sold between Day 1 and Day 2, I’m still in the top 10 in the Occult genre on Kindle and hovering around 20 in the Paranormal & Urban Fantasy genre. Not too bad for someone who is almost a complete unknown.
Which type of fiction is most difficult to write, I wonder? Historical fiction? It certainly has its challenges. Researching for accuracy while trying to put your own unique spin on things. Trying to keep the nitpickers from tearing apart the tiniest anachronism. Taking what was and turning it into what might have been.
But what about urban fantasy? How would modern characters react to the magical and supernatural existing side-by-side with cars and cell phones and airplanes? How would the magical and supernatural beings react to existing side-by-side with these things? Did they always exist together? Were they recently introduced?
Okay, those are both tough subjects to write. But I’m not done yet. Futuristic sci-fi and dystopia? You’d have to take current events and let them play out in your mind, marching forward into a time that has not yet happened. Do those cars and cell phones and airplanes still exist? What, if anything, has taken their place?
Yeah, yeah, that’s all well and good–but high fantasy? World-building? I don’t know if I could even attempt that. Creating an entire world, sometimes an entire universe, from scratch. Sure, you can take bits and pieces of the past and present of our reality and combine them with the realities in your head to make a quilt that blankets your stage, but where to start? What do you use and what do you toss aside? How do you stitch the pieces together into a cohesive picture?
So what’s next for me? I’ve tried my hand at urban fantasy already. I’m too lazy to do the research for historical fiction. And I’ve already said that high fantasy is beyond me … so sci-fi it is!
So the final tally for the first day of my novel being free on Amazon Kindle is 227 copies sold (well, given away…details, details).
I don’t even know 227 people. Given that when I initially published this book I was afraid that no one other than friends and family would ever read it, I’m extremely proud. Yeah, I know, the vast majority only picked up the book because it is free, but with that many people downloading it there must be some interest in the book itself. Maybe they won’t get around to reading for a month or a year (like I have with some of the free eBooks I’ve downloaded in the past), but they’ll have the book to read.
I’m interested to see how today and the following three days go. Will most of the people who are going to see the tweets and such that I’ve posted have already gotten it? Did I peak already? Will there be more downloads? The same? Who knows.
There have been about 19 sales since midnight and it’s 4am here now. Yesterday it took roughly the same amount of time to get 7 sales. No new reviews yet, but let’s give people time to read the book. There might be some crappy reviews, but there also could be some good ones.
I could become known for being a terrible writer…but you know what that means?