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Why are my books not selling? I try to post here and other places at least once a day, I have a newsletter, I just started a blog, I'm active on facebook, but nothing seems to help. I'm so depressed.
 
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You could try lowering the price.

Yes, you're talking on forums, but from looking through your posts it seems you're just making comments. Try engaging with people and trying to strike up conversations rather than just adding your 2 cents. Facebook/blog can't be counted on to reach readers unless you are already friends/getting traffic from tons of readers. Do a giveaway, reach out to reviewers, break out of the comfort zone where you're just talking to other authors.
 

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bobavey said:
Why are my books not selling? I try to post here and other places at least once a day, I have a newsletter, I just started a blog, I'm active on facebook, but nothing seems to help. I'm so depressed.
I have only been on the kindle site a wee while. I have sold three books last count. I have a blog. I am assuming that it takes a while for the news to get round about your wonderful books sitting there waiting to be snapped up? I don't really have the savvy just yet. I'm going to sit and wait to see what happens. Good luck.
 

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I don't like the covers, personally. They don't look like the covers that I would buy on a traditionally-published book, and I think the blurbs could use a little work, too. Try moving the blurbs from reviews ahead of the product description on Twisted Perception, that may help.

This is my favorite advice for a blurb, and I try to re-read this every time I write a blurb for one of my books - http://www.publetariat.com/publish/how-write-back-blurb-your-book

Also, have you done a blog tour? I found it to be a lot of work, but very rewarding as far as return on investment.

What about a Goodreads giveaway? That's another good way to boost visibility.

Try Twitter, and try the Independent Author Network. They're very good about cross-promotion.

Those are things I'd try, but I'd definitely give some thought to new covers and revised blurbs. And yes, I realize that there is a beam in my own eye regarding covers, because mine aren't great, either. But all of my books will have new covers within the next 2-3 months.
 

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Hi Bob. I clicked on your link to Beneath a Buried House just to see what you had going on there. You have almost a dozen good reviews, so that's def. in your favor. Quickly scanning though, and all but one of the reviews seems to be back from 2008, so you may try to garner some more recent ones.

Maybe consider tweaking your blurb... While the story looks intriguing I don't think the blurb does it justice. Several things jumped out at me...

  • Or does his "true love" have feet of clay? - I'll admit that I'm prone to blonde-moments, but I don't understand this at all.
  • Sit back and read. I guarantee you won't be able to put it down. - I HATE when a blurb says this, or something to that effect. It's too much IMO

Also, the cover image is nice and creepy, but the small font of your name and the title look a little dated. For graphic reasons that I don't fully understand, red on black/gray/white tends to get a fuzzy (amateur-looking) effect. I've had the same problem with my covers...I know some authors manage to revive sales slumps with cover and blurb tweaks, so perhaps try the same. Hope this is helpful :)
 

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Where's the next book?  That would be initial question... your reviews are from 2005 through 2008 (with the exception of maybe two or three)... to me that screams "old".  Not saying the books ARE old or that your writing is old, but I would work on getting something new out.  Something new so you can jump back in say "LOOK! I'm still here!" 

I agree with everyone else here too - being on FB and Twitter and having blog isn't going to generate instant sales... what kind of promotion have you done?  What kind can you do right now?  Do you have a budget for promotion?  A blog tour?  Giveaways?  Etc. etc.

I'm not the best one to talk here since I only have two books up myself and I started publshing in April 2011... just tossing in some ideas.  :)

I like the idea of tier pricing - dropping the first one down a little.

But on first view without knowing all the back story of your writing career and plans, I would ask "When's your next book coming out?"

-jb 8)
 

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John Hartness said:
I don't like the covers, personally. They don't look like the covers that I would buy on a traditionally-published book, and I think the blurbs could use a little work, too. Try moving the blurbs from reviews ahead of the product description on Twisted Perception, that may help.

This is my favorite advice for a blurb, and I try to re-read this every time I write a blurb for one of my books - http://www.publetariat.com/publish/how-write-back-blurb-your-book
Thanks for that. Very interesting.
 

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Lynn ODell said:
You have two in a series.

Perhaps if you lowered the first in the series to $.99, you would sell more of those and generate interest in your second.
I agree with this: Price the first one cheap to get readers interested, then they'll be more willing to pay the "higher" price for the second if they enjoy the first.
 

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jimbronyaur said:
Where's the next book?
Exactly. Some people have luck on a first or second book. A few people can force that issue with lower prices, but IMHO, those tend to be people who have some momentum in the first place.

IMHO, you need to write more. And you need to give it time. The thing that really does us the most good is building up reputation in the internet algorithms (Google, and Amazon's internal algorithms) by slowly, naturally, just being out there and doing what you do.

Just remember that Google in particular values content which it sees as genuine and "high quality." So it's better to post when you have something to say, as opposed to forcing yourself to post every day. (Although forcing yourself to post helps you develop skills in responding to discussions -- so it's all good in the end.)

It might be worth it to take a break from marketing altogether and concentrate on writing some shorter works -- anything from short stories to poetry to non-fiction. Disseminate that for free -- blog posts, guest posts, submit it to magazines and webzines, give it away -- or for cheap in the form of small collections for 99 cents.

Camille
 

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I clicked on your book 'Beneath a Buried House' and tried to pretend someone had recommended it to me.

The top review (dated Dec. 2, 2010) mentioned "This book starts with the icons: the socially-challenged but instinctive cop, his gruff captain, his out-of-his-league girlfriend, and the office sludge they call coffee." So my first thought was This sounds like a thousand other cop books out there. I realize you have no control over the review contents but can you somehow make it clearer (in the book description) what makes this book different? Why should I (reader) buy *this* book instead of the thousand other cop books out there?

I downloaded/read the sample. Noticed a couple of typos ('heroine' instead of 'heroin', 'base' instead of 'bass'). Don't use a comma before 'and' when using it to connect two clauses. Relatively minor but they caught my attention. There was a rather abrupt jump (from one paragraph to the next) where the MC was in the police station, then at the crime scene. It confused me and I had to re-read it a couple of times to figure out what happened.

Work on making your book description and sample as good as they can possibly be because that's what sells the book.
 

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BarbaraKE said:
I clicked on your book 'Beneath a Buried House' and tried to pretend someone had recommended it to me.

The top review (dated Dec. 2, 2010) mentioned "This book starts with the icons: the socially-challenged but instinctive cop, his gruff captain, his out-of-his-league girlfriend, and the office sludge they call coffee." So my first thought was This sounds like a thousand other cop books out there. I realize you have no control over the review contents but can you somehow make it clearer (in the book description) what makes this book different? Why should I (reader) buy *this* book instead of the thousand other cop books out there?

I downloaded/read the sample. Noticed a couple of typos ('heroine' instead of 'heroin', 'base' instead of 'bass'). Don't use a comma before 'and' when using it to connect two clauses. Relatively minor but they caught my attention. There was a rather abrupt jump (from one paragraph to the next) where the MC was in the police station, then at the crime scene. It confused me and I had to re-read it a couple of times to figure out what happened.

Work on making your book description and sample as good as they can possibly be because that's what sells the book.
^^ Now that's some good feedback, right there.
 

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BarbaraKE said:
Work on making your book description and sample as good as they can possibly be because that's what sells the book.
No.

Work on making your book description and BOOK as good as they can possibly be. If you just fix the issues in the sample, sure, you might sell more books. However, if your book is filled with those kinds of errors, you will end up with reviews like:

"I like the sample, so I bought it. But just after the sample ended, the book went downhill with typos and other editing issues."

This kind of thing will also make the reader feel cheated. I know because I've purchased some books that seemed like they had the first chapter or two edited, but none of the rest.
 
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BarbaraKE said:
Don't use a comma before 'and' when using it to connect two clauses.
I beg to differ. If the second clause has a subject and a verb, placing a comma before 'and' is pretty much a necessity.

"The only other time I've been to Mississippi was when they had that giant frog-jumping contest back in 1976, and when my sister told me about that the first thing I did was hop in the car and pushed the pedal to the metal all the way down from North Carolina."
 

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foreverjuly said:
I beg to differ. If the second clause has a subject and a verb, placing a comma before 'and' is pretty much a necessity.

"The only other time I've been to Mississippi was when they had that giant frog-jumping contest back in 1976, and when my sister told me about that the first thing I did was hop in the car and pushed the petal to the metal all the way down from North Carolina."
The sentences I was referring to were more like "I went outside and the sun was shining." You would not use a comma before the 'and'.

Looking at your example, see how you didn't put a comma after 'car'?
 
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BarbaraKE said:
The sentences I was referring to were more like "I went outside and the sun was shining." You would not use a comma before the 'and'.

Looking at your example, see how you didn't put a comma after 'car'?
Yeah, I do think the length of the clause is a factor just for the simple matter of flow. So I would agree with your assessment of the sentence you submitted. In mine though, there wasn't a new subject introduced after car, and that's why there isn't a comma there.
 

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Actually, there should be a comma after "and" in:

I went outside, and the sun was shining.

"The sun was shining" is an independent clause. It has it's own subject and verb. This is basically a connection of two sentences.

In the other example given by Jason, there is no comma after car simply because the clauses share a subject.

If the sentence read like this, then there would be no comma:

I went outside and saw that the sun was shining.

Note: if the clauses are very short and closely connected, the comma may be omitted. However, putting one in is not 'wrong;' it's a stylistic choice.

Reference: Chicago Manual of Style, Sixteenth Edition, p. 316, sect. 6.28
 

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Lynn ODell said:
Actually, there should be a comma after "and" in:

I went outside, and the sun was shining.

"The sun was shining" is an independent clause. It has it's own subject and verb. This is basically a connection of two sentences.

In the other example, there is no comma simply because the clauses share a subject.

If the sentence read like this, then there would be no comma:

I went outside and saw that the sun was shining.

Note: if the clauses are very short and closely connected, the comma may be omitted. However, putting one in is not 'wrong.'

Reference: Chicago Manual of Style, Sixteenth Edition, p. 316, sect. 6.28
Having editors around always makes these discussions informative. ;D
 

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bobavey said:
Why are my books not selling? I try to post here and other places at least once a day, I have a newsletter, I just started a blog, I'm active on facebook, but nothing seems to help. I'm so depressed.
Welcome to the club. It's a hard business and don't let anybody tell you that it isn't. It's really a killer business, I'm beginning to find out that marketing the book is even harder than writing it. The main problem we have is that Amazon doesn't help us with promotion unless a book is already selling like hot cakes so nobody knows our book is there. We have to promote it ad nauseum and waste endless hours hoping somebody will give it a chance. What can I tell you? Unfortunately there is no magic formula here. You just have to be persistent and keep on trying, and try not to get discouraged by the other writers who are selling a thousand books a day, maybe some day, our ship will come in too.
 
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