Day 2 of promo with EReader News Today and “Red Clay and Roses” woke up surprised at Amazon Bestsellers Rank #35, and by bedtime was at #66. The flag came down and Taps was heard throughout the land.
I went alligator hunting last night and slayed the toughest one I could find in the swamps of Florida. I skinned it and wrapped myself tight in its leathery thickness preparing for the possibility of reviews yet to come. I know with additional exposure, there are bound to be people with varying opinions about the work, possibly the author, and possibly personal political/religious opinions expressed due to the nature of the sensitive issues in the writing.
I will tell you how this went. A complicated pricing issue prevented me from reducing my price to 99 cents. I notified ENT to pull the ad, but they said they didn’t need too, they would post a disclaimer reminding people that the actual price might vary, and they did. So, at $2.99, it sold more books in 2 days than it had sold in the entire life of the book which was originally published in March of 2013.
My analytical mind wonders, why?
It is the only answer. Continued sell may depend on quality, but initial depends on exposure.
On day one, hours after the ad was up on ENT, I had only 2 sells. ENT sent me an email saying that they were about to post the ad to their Facebook page (which I did not even know they had). I went to their page and saw that they had 464,000 “Likes”. That is a huge audience, but nowhere near the size of Amazon’s. Sometimes big is too big. The price did not seem to make a difference, the audience did.
A friend did a promo yesterday that was less than successful and my analytical mind wanted to know, why?
I checked the site’s Facebook page, they have 258 “Likes”. Perhaps they will build a better audience over time and posting ads with them will become highly effective.
You have all heard me say before that I feel we Indies have set our pricing ceiling too low. We are our own worst enemy. I have lurked in reading rooms and forums to hear that most readers download cheap books and “deals” but don’t value them enough to read them. Knowing many readers who buy books priced at $8.00, I know that people will pay for what interests them. It is a matter of getting in front of the interested people. Search Engines on monster sites with 20 million books don’t help.
I went all over Amazon’s site yesterday with keywords and “Red Clay and Roses” was still impossible to search, even with improved rank, without at least two precisely matched keywords. Not all readers are going to know those precise keywords. It may help, if they do. For example, I have read Historical Fiction for years, but NEVER did I know to search by the century. Yet, that is a required keyword through the BISAC Subject Codes that Amazon uses in its search engine.
I don’t have any solutions. I wish that I did. There are quite a few associations and organizations attempting to tackle Indie issues; reputation, quality, recognition, and so on. I would like to see good literary work by Indies recognized and exposed. I don’t know if Independent platforms for Indies to promote their work are the answer. Again, that puts a boundary, draws a line between Indie published work and traditionally published work. I am not sure that is the answer either.
If there was a platform for increasing exposure of excellence in literary work, how would the bar be set for each genre?
Some readers prefer expressive poetic prose; other readers prefer the minimalist approach in writing; others like to see a nice balance. Much of that depends on the reader audience. Much depends on setting and time period. Some people focus on character development; others focus on action or plot. Reading is a subjective experience. Who will decide what is worthy for exposure as excellent?
How do you design a criteria? Do you set the bar at number of five star reviews (we all know there are many with nothing but 5 stars from family and friends, just go to GoodReads and you will see hundreds), overall rating, number of reviews in conjunction with ratings, # of copies sold, do you say: maintains a four star rating over period of one year? Do you have a panel of experts/editors committed to reading and deciding what is worthy? (That would be a daunting task even for the devoted). Do you cover all genre or limit the platform to one specific genre? Do you use purely objective, empirical data, or do you permit subjective opinion? Do you create a high standard checklist that reviews all of the above?