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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I cannot even fathom that number. It means that over a million and half of those books were purchased this year. It's freaking nuts. Last summer I was banging my head into the wall trying to get some traction on my romance titles, but they were sucking up the charts and doing next to nothing. My paycheck was still shouldered by my YA PNR and I thought I made a horrible mistake. It's funny how radically things can change over the course of a year.

Someone asked me if pen names had something to do with it. I had a few pen names and still do. Those sales suck in comparison, even within the same genre AND telling people that I wrote them. It's interesting.

A few tips for people who are struggling to get some traction:

Keep writing: The titles that shot up the charts weren't the ones that I expected to react that way.

More Visibility: More books = more visibility. Everything I do is geared toward visibility and OMG, it helps. DAMAGED was created to be a loss leader, and act as a beacon to draw in new readers.

Remember the Trifecta: Cover, Title, Blurb - All three work in tandum to get readers to grab your sample. It's like a three-legged stool. If one leg is lacking, the whole thing falls over. You need all three to be solid.

Make Your Sample Kick Ass
: Remember the old saying, you gotta give a book 100 pgs to see if it's any good? Yeah, ppl with ereaders give it the length of the sample. That's it. Make it so good that they can't put it down.

Write what you love, love what you write: There's no way to make everyone happy and you'll go crazy if you try. Write about the things that you like, and don't worry about the rest. I threw a turkey vulture into one of my books, b/c I felt like it fit. I had no idea how the readers would react, but I loved it. So when I said it out loud, it sounded stupid. Actually, writing it here sounds stupid, but it's funny and who people interact with animals says something about their character, so I went with my gut and threw it in. The readers loved it.

Take Risks: The only way to find out of something works or not is to try it.

Failure is a Good Thing: Because we can learn from it. When things don't work it's b/c some variable is flawed. Keep hammering away at it until you figure out which variable isn't functioning the way it should. Sometimes it's one thing, sometimes its 5. The point is that when something doesn't work, you have the opportunity to fix it and that can make the difference between being a one hit wonder and building a book empire. :)

Hope that helps someone! There's so much to publishing. Writing the book is the easy part, so it gives you an idea of how hard the rest of this stuff is.

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Update: Passed 5 million this year. By the end of 2013, I'd sold 4 million.
 

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I can't even imagine selling that many books! Wow and Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
9thChapter said:
Forgot to ask... the sample. Can you select what the "Look Inside" sample is? I haven't published yet, but am shortly.
I think the Look Inside is different than the sample that kindle delivers. The thing I'm talking about is when a buyer hits the send a sample to my kindle option on the purchase page. It means you have them hooked 3/4 of the way and they'll buy the book if the sample is any good. It's typically 10% of the file size, at least that's my understanding. I buy my books to see where the sample cuts off to make sure it's in a good place and move things around if it's not (eg push the TOC, author's note, about, to the front or back of the book.)
 
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