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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My novel, The Device, has been on the market now since February.  I sold about 10 copies a day for that first month.  I received a slew of great reviews, then boom, one or two bad reviews came.  Ever since then, around March, my sales have tanked despite every marketing effort I can think of.  I've sold two copies in the last two weeks.  I have a Kindle Nation Ad next month.  If that doesn't help, I'm not sure what to do next.

Anyone else here been in the same boat?
 

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I don't think advertising should be your last hope. A lot of writers have reported sales increasing once they released more books. So you're "last hope" should be to write another and publish it. The success of one book could lift sales of your others. In theory...
 

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I agree with Bryan, my sales didn't increase until the second book was uploaded.

It is getting harder though for Indies to get recognised especially now Amazon have taken all the promo pages down.

Hope sales pick up soon. ;)
 

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I agree with Bryan: get busy writing and publishing the next book, for at least two good reasons. One, you'll be steadily improving your skills as a writer and that can only help in the long run. You may even look back at your first book after publishing a second and see areas that could be polished, leading to renewed interest from readers.

And even if the first book still looks pretty darn fine through the lens of hindsight and more writing experience, a second (or third) title might be the thing that leads readers to discover it and say "Why the heck didn't I notice this before?"

You never can tell  :)
 

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The best advertising for your first book is your second book. My advice for people with one book would be to keep your head down and worry more about producing words each and every day. Keep writing and publishing and success will either come or you'll decide you're not a writer after all.
 

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I have to agree with the keep writing theme, and a tough skin helps a lot too!  Just keep focused on your goal and keep trying.  I keep thinking about all those millions of readers out there...

N
 

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To answer your specific question, I'd say I'm in the same boat, but I'm using different oars. My book went live in March, started out well, climbed a bit in April, and has steadily declined since. I did a LibraryThing giveaway in April and have gotten a few reviews, but other than that I have done almost no promotion at all. Because of that, I don't expect my sales to do a lot, but then that wasn't my goal.

I have spent most of my time these past couple of months working on my next novel. I expect to publish my next fantasy novel in the next two weeks. Once it goes live, I'll do another LibraryThing giveaway to try to get some reviews for it, and then I'll be working on the next couple of projects, which will be two different novellas.

I figure I am in this for the long run, and given enough time it will all start to take off. It would be great if the book just suddenly started selling like gangbusters, but I'm enough of a realist to not expect that. In the meantime, I don't spend any time checking my rankings or my sales, and I don't spend a lot of time promoting. Instead, I'm focused on getting more titles out there!
 

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The most comman phrase I've heard around here is "it's a marathon, not a sprint". Give it time and see how things go. Sooner or later, if any of your books are any good, they will start showing up on the "also bought" list of other books. In time, as people discover one of your titles that they like, they will start to buy other titles.

Right now, with only one book, I don't want it to get too popular, because if people go looking for more of my work, they won't find anything. Then I'm faced with having to build a fan base all over again for the next book. I may start trying to do some heavy promoting after I get four novels or novellas out there, but I'm just exercising patience for now.
 

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No offense intended, but take a look at some other things. One piece of marketing isn't going to fix any long-term sales issues you have. And marketing is what a sponsorship is, it isn't a sale flyer. It will put eyes on the Amazon page, but if you're weak there, you're not going to see any sales result from it. And right now, you're weak on the Amazon page. I'm sure I sound rude, and I probably am, but I don't want to sugar-coat anything. Hopefully all of this will be constructive, and helpful. I promise I would not spend my time giving you these opinions if I didn't think they would help.

First - I don't like your blurb. Punch it up and let me know if the book is going to be funny, scary, thrilling, something. Referencing books from 60 years ago will not draw readers in like wildfire. Maybe say something about recent books that have a similar thread that may draw folks in. I'm a huge fan of dystopian lit, but your book's blurb doesn't read like a dystopian novel, which 1984 and Brave New World are classic examples of. Frankly, I'd dumb down the blurb a bit, make it sound a little less high-brow. "Classic speculative fiction" isn't going to draw a reader necessarily.

Second - bring in some of the snippets from 5-star reviews from below into your description, and if you've gotten any reviews from book bloggers, book reviewers or other sites you could put them in the description as well. Right now your description is thin and honestly, a bit dull. Punch that up and make it thicker, and you may see some results.

Third - the cover looks very techno-thriller to me. If that's what the book is, then great. If not, then take a look at a different cover. I like it quite a bit, but if it doesn't match the book, then it's bad juju.

Fourth - I'm reminded of a recent episode of Castle with Michael Connelly. He was talking to a new writer who had written his first bestseller and had developed quite the big head. He said "Kid, you know what I did when I wrote my first bestseller?" Kid - "No." Connelly - "I wrote 23 more." You want to sell more books, put your butt in the chair and write more books. You book has been out since February and you sold almost 300 copies in a month? Good God man, what are you crying about? My first three month's sales were 6,11,9 for a total of 26 copies.  I didn't total 300 copies until I had three books out, and my first one had been out for six months. It's not even June. So yeah, maybe a review hurt your sales, but you may also have other things going on.

I'm sorry if I came off as rude in any of this, it is intended to be a bit of cold water in the face. I see a lot of people trying to pin hopes on this or the other sponsorship, and that's not only short-sighted, it's a recipe for a short career. You want to succeed, it's all about having the right application. First you apply your butt to the chair, then you apply your fingers to the keyboard. Write, read, critique, edit, repeat.
 

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Patrick Skelton said:
But still....how does one promote his second title if the first one didn't sell well? Seems like a Catch-22 to me.
Several ways, I think. Most importantly, if you're early in your writing career, every book is going to be better than the last one. Second, if there is a random element, you've got twice the odds of having one of your books just take off if you have two than if you have one. Five books gives you five times the odds. Finally, if you have one book and one person per day finding that book independently and one person in five loving that book enough to make recommendations to friends and family, you will grow very slowly. If you have five times as many books, your growth rate has the potential of being much greater at an earlier stage because you'll start five times farther on the exponential curve.
 

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Good luck Patrick. For what it's worth, I like your cover and it looks like you have lots of good reviews. Maybe readers just need more time to find you.
 

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Never pin your hopes on an ad, not even the Mighty KND. KND does great for a lot of people but it didn't do much of anything for me; it was a disaster, and I was crushed. I'll never have that much faith in an ad again, and that's a good thing.

What will help me is the next book--I'm convinced of it. It'll help you too. Keep on writing and don't give up the fight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks all.  My plan is to revamp my current blurb, cross my fingers on the KND ad and get to work on my second novel.  I just need to chill a bit on the marketing aspect of THE DEVICE because it's driving me nuts...:)
 
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