Thursday, 26 January 2017

Tools to Boost Book Sales and Other Stories

Continuing my streak of no new work, I've been utilizing my time in catching up.
I've read some of those PDFs I downloaded in order to improve my writing and/or marketing and/or understand the industry a bit better.
Also catching up on walking dead - I'm sorry but Negan is super hot.
Yeah yeah, he kills people with a bat and scares small children.
It's fiction people. Make believe. The purpose of stories is to go where you can't in real life.
Besides.
Some of those people having the vapors over Lucille will sit back and watch real life people being shot by police and not be the least moved.
It's whatever man. The cognitive dissonance is real.
Anyway so in addition to reading up on improving my craft, I've been reviving old projects, continuing with my own writing and working on myself. Also waiting for the anxiety over no-new-work to take over me. So far so good though.
Among the many things I've learned in the last week or so is that I've been negligent. Negligent in my writing and my marketing...I have tools at my fingertips that I don't use because hubris. My confidence in my own abilities is stopping me from improving said abilities and product because in my head, it's good enough as it is. I don't need to put in more work.
But everyone has to put in some work right?
Case in point, Between Death and Heaven.
Great book.
My editor called it a masterpiece. I wouldn't go that far but I'm proud of it.
But the market is ignoring it.
Why?
This is a question that only occurred to me recently. Like two days ago. I just figured that 'it's people' would find it when they were ready.
I am such a hippie.
Once I thought about it though, once I asked myself why well, the next step was research. I played around with a few new covers, and asked some of my family and friends what they thought. Would you like to see the covers?
Okay.
Why not?


They all said without exception that the second one was the winner.
I must admit, I like it better too.
What about you?
However, the name...not so much. One person said that it sounded like an exposition. Another said that the 'n had to go, and maybe if I was choosing a new name I should steer away from religious overtones altogether.
So it's back to the drawing board on the title.
What methods do you use to choose titles? In my studies, I came across a website called pickfu where you can get instant feedback on book titles and covers. I aim to utilize it...just gotta get this work thing fixed first.
I tried a title generator, even kept some names...wanna hear them?
The Hansel and the Ninja
The Immortal Spirits
The Mortal Quest
The Day of the Hunt
What do you think of them?

After dealing with cover and title issues, you have to think about key words. Now before, when I was filled to the brim with hubris, the phrase key words just used to make me shut down and turn away. Don't even get me started on SEO. They were just a means to drive me crace.
Well, not anymore. One of my PDFs explained to me slowly and patiently how kindle uses key words to increase or decrease the visibility of your book and what you can do about it.
Ever wondered why your first three months of sales are much higher than subsequent months? years? It's because that's the only time Amazon key words are useful. In order to keep your books as highly searchable as possible, you need to pay attention to SEO key words which are harvested by Google. That means when you're giving those seven key words that Amazon asks for, don't go just for Amazon key words, but find out what people look for when they're looking for a book in your genre and tag accordingly. It'd probably be better if you just read it for yourself. I'm not the best explainer.
Let me close this post with some upbeat news. I sent Cinderella by Any Other Name to a publisher (on request) to read through and give me their opinion. They said that they very much enjoyed the book and if I ever finish it, they would be interested in publishing. Isn't that nice?
Me: Maybe my hubris isn't totally misplaced?
Also me: It is.
Seriously what do you think of the covers and the titles? Hit me up in the comments.

5 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

Cinderella By Any Other Name is a great title! It sounds like you have some interest. Definitely get to work!!! I know all too well the frustration of waiting. I have exactly FIVE things I'm waiting to hear from right now...and that's just in the novel world. I'm also waiting to hear back on four article pitches and one that was accepted that I haven't gotten revisions back on yet. Hurry up and wait...that's the very definition of publishing!

Damaria Senne said...

Cinderella By Any Other Name sounds like an interesting title. Not sure about the covers though - they're not calling to me to get the book, sorry.

Annemarie Musawale said...

The waiting is definitely the hardest part

Annemarie Musawale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annemarie Musawale said...

I got a new one. Will post it soon. Would love your feedback. I sound like a telegram.