What if you write a book, or series of books, and everyone who reads them agrees they are great reads, but nobody buys them because no one knows about them? What do you do then?
Obviously the answer(s) to the questions above will depend on why no one knows about them, but I’ve received a couple of suggestions from my friend Jillian Dodd, who has several highly successful novels on the market. I tend to pay a lot of attention to what she has to say about book marketing.
My novella series, Fancy, is historical fiction. The genre itself limits sales. YA and Romance together account for around 60% of all novel sales in the current market. All other genres together split up the remaining 40%.
Historical fiction’s market share is miniscule in comparison with Romance and YA, meaning not many people are even searching for my genre, much less for my books. Jillian, who has read my work and knows the material, suggested that I add YA to my categories. Actually, the closest I can come on Amazon is Teen Historical Fiction. Hopefully that will open up the market for more people to find my work, and I have made that change.
She also suggested that I put my books on Smashwords, Kobo and iTunes. This will not only give me access to new markets, but I can price Volume 1 at zero on Kobo and iTunes to draw in more people to try it. Apparently if it’s free on both of them, Amazon will price match and offer it for free, also.
This latter step wouldn’t make much sense for a free-standing novel. A million free copies wouldn’t make the author a penny. But it does make sense for the first volume in a multi-volume series. If people read the free one and like it, they are much more likely to buy the rest of the series.
This all sounds simple and likely to produce positive results. Unfortunately, my twentieth century brain seems to boggle easily when it comes to twenty-first century technology. Or my computer is infested with demons. Or something.
I managed to get the genre change made for all the Fancy series on Amazon. For some reason, however, I can’t get Barnes & Noble’s website to allow a change or addition to genres. I get a little whirling circle that never goes away and allows me to enter the new genre. Actually, I wonder if it’s Barnes & Noble that’s still stuck in the twentieth century. Seems like nothing ever works very smoothly with them.
When I tried to put Fancy on Smashwords, it wouldn’t accept either my e-pub formatted version or my Word version. After waiting a couple of days, I was able to get it to accept the Word version, and Fancy‘s now up and running on Smashwords. I can’t get it to accept volume 2, though. *Sigh*
Maybe next week I’ll be able to announce that all of this has been done—and that Fancy: Virginia City – Vol 6 is published. It’s almost ready to go and should be on the websites in another day or two. Meanwhile, I feel like I’m walking through molasses or something with everything an author has to do beyond actually writing.
What problems have you encountered in trying to market your books? How have you overcome them? Readers want to know.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.