So, a few months back, I had this idea for a New Adult romance. Something completely unlike ANYTHING I’ve ever written or thought I would write. There would be adultery, murder, suicide, sexual abuse, porn stars, and a friends-to-lovers theme. Does this holler “Christy Gissendaner book” to you? Nope, I didn’t think so. But this story came to me, and I knew I had to give it a shot. New Adult is one of my recent reading addictions, and I cut my teeth on writing NA when I was a teenager…even though NA wasn’t yet a “thing”.
So I wrote Coming Soon, shipped it off to my primary crit partner (who hated it), and I figured “Hell, why not?” Since my critter and I seldom ever like the “it” books on the market today, we thought the tale may be a hit. Of course, I love it. I wrote it, after all. But I knew it was time for more input. Two of my other crit partners loved it. My beta readers LOVED it. My ARC recipients LOVED it. So here I went, ecstatic beyond belief thinking, “This will be it. This will be my first big success.” I hit “publish” and sat back and wait for the pre-sales to roll in.
Yeah…*crickets* Today is the official release, so hopefully the sales will begin, but the lesson I gained in all of this is I will never do a pre-sale again. It’s disappointing when you don’t sell a book after it’s published. It’s even worse when you promote, promote, promote in advance and still get nowhere.
In the midst of all of this, I decided to put out a short prequel to a new series I’ve planned. Originally I meant to have them about a month apart. Instead they end up releasing within a week of each other. I figured if I was going to be stuck at the computer for hours promoting one book, why not kill two birds with one stone? Yeah…that didn’t go well either. Now I’m torn on which one to focus on. My gut is telling me Coming Soon. After all, it’s a story that has special meaning for me, but Claimed is the start of something that I hope will take flight in the future.
Both covers are lovely. At least, I think so. Hopefully the blurbs are attention-grabbing. I think the pricing is reasonable.
So why don’t I sell?
That’s the question every author struggles with. I’ve done everything I can to make a “name” for myself. Hell, my name should be memorable at the very least, even if no one can pronounce it. I’ve experimented, attempting new things to see what works. But what do you do when NOTHING works. Although my sales get (marginally) better with each release, I’m still lucky to break even. My reviews are for the most part glowing…from complete strangers! I’ve even seen the same individuals review several of my books, so obviously I have fans out there, people I don’t physically interact with on social media or in real life.
I do ads. I do blog posts and tours. I tweet. I interact on FB, not just book-related stuff although that’s the majority. I respond to each and every message I get from readers. I’d like to go the “sit back and do nothing” route, but I’ve done it. It doesn’t work, in case you wondered. A combo of 24/7 tweeting and FB posting, guest posts out the wazoo the first week, and obsessively checking my rankings is NOT the way to success. At least, I hope to hell not. I still have yet to get higher than about 5k on Amazon. Which is GREAT for me, but not where I want to eventually be.
Maybe, by the time this post hits, I can make an amendment and brag that my new releases have skyrocketed in sales, but I am a feet-grounded-in-reality sort of person. I’m optimistic, but not naïve. For every release I put out, there’s probably 10,000 more hitting the cyber waves with mine. How can I reach thousands of readers or make my release stand out in the crowd? If I had the answer, I’d be out doing it, trust me.
But until then…I’ll see you on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, and AuthorCentral!