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!
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!
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?
So, as I’ve established before (or at least I think I’ve established it here before), I suck at marketing for my book. I’m trying something a little different now, though.
I’ve actually set up a temporary free promotion through Amazon KDP for a few days, starting tomorrow. I’m trying to see if this generates any “sales” (yeah, they’ll be unpaid sales, but sales nonetheless) and if it gets the word out more about the book.
I don’t know how well this will work. I don’t know if there will be ANY sales during my promotion, but I figure since it’s not selling now, what am I really missing? At least this has the potential to get more reads, reviews, etc. Maybe some of my friends & coworkers who have said they’ll read the book will actually “buy” it? 😉
But what’s this? I’ve also put my poetry anthology & collection of horror flash fiction/short stories on a free promotional period as well? I must be crazy!!!
Or….I’m just lost.
We’ll see what the next 5 days brings.
By the way, here’s a link for my Amazon author page (where you can find all three books):
It’s already showing Whispers of Death as available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers…I don’t know if I did something wrong (the promotion is supposed to start tomorrow), but what the heck. Here I go!
No, I’m not turning twenty years old. I’m long, long past that. No, I’m talking about 20,000 words on my manuscript. It’s slow going, but I broke 19,000 this morning and think I have a decent momentum.
The story rapidly evolved from straight sci-fi to sci-fi/dystopian, which works fine for me. It’s interesting to try to imagine what the world will be like in a century or two. I haven’t fully explored the possibilities yet, but I already have ideas brewing. What wildlife would survive the crap we humans are doing to the environment today? What repercussions will our actions today have on the future environment? What cities/countries will survive the passage of time and what ones will fall?
With my first book, I kept the time frame current and used Christian mythology as a base for some of what I was writing. Now? Now I have almost total autonomy. I’m not creating a new world; I’m not up to full world-building status yet. Still, it’s envisioning the future of this world, so it’s a creation of sorts. I’m creating the future. It’s unreal.
Well, of course it’s unreal. It’s a work of fiction. But you get my point.
Well, I made it through a long, tiring work day. My back is sore, my legs are sore, my arms are sore … in fact, not too many places on me aren’t sore. Still, I made it through, and I got rare praise from the surgeon.
Tomorrow is an off day, and though it’s my anniversary (yay!–three years strong), my husband will be working until 1pm, giving me plenty of time to write. I also plan on writing some more tonight. If I keep it up, I’ll break 20k before the weekend. Pretty amazing, considering the first draft of Whispers of Death was not even 40k words long, and this book is in its infancy still.
I probably should exercise tomorrow, too. I have got to get back into exercising. Just because work gave me a workout today is no excuse to not get back into the swing of things exercise-wise. I have the day off, my husband will be occupied with work, and I can try one of the workout DVDs I have in the living room while he works from the bedroom. I get so self-conscious when anyone sees me working out, even my husband, so this should be interesting … he’d better not laugh. 😉
Well, thanks to the advice of an author friend of mine, I think I’m slowly getting back on track with the manuscript. It’s still slow going, but it’s picking up speed and I think I’m going to have a better time of it … for the time being.
Writing is so hard to predict. I don’t know how full-time authors do it. I would be staring at the screen for half the time. I guess it comes down to focus and practice and developing a routine, but even with my routine of writing (or trying to write) every morning before work and every weekend when I have time, I still hit blocks.
This week I have Wednesday off (which, though it’s my anniversary, should give me time to write since my husband will be at work for half the day), so my plan is to write as much as I can.
Will I reach my goal of a completed first draft by the end of the year? It’s looking less and less likely as I get more and more stuck, but I still hold out hope. Whispers of Death was going slowly at first as well, but I blew through the ending once I had a good momentum going. This book will be interesting, because I sort of wrote a scene in the sixth or seventh chapter that belongs more like 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the book. So I have to keep the scene and just write the parts in between. Which will be tricky, given the way I normally write. I like to write in order, but I hadn’t planned on the scene being as integral to the plot, and I surely hadn’t planned on it spawning a new plotline of its own.
I love it when a story takes on a life of its own–probably why I enjoy pantsing more than planning–but this one is really challenging me. Political plots and intrigue aren’t my thing, but apparently they’re the thing this book wants to have.