Why is Your Book Not Selling?

21 Jul

So, you have an indie book out there already and it’s just not doing what you’d hoped it would? Sales aren’t taking off or even staying consistent. Your mom and your best friend can’t tell you why because it’s so great. Things aren’t flying off the virtual shelf and you want to know why?

Well, check out Why Is My Book Not Selling. Victorine E. Lieske started this site this summer and I have to say, I’m extremely impressed.

The format is consistent and straight forward. You post:

  1. Your cover
  2. Author
  3. Genre
  4. Launch Date
  5. Current Price
  6. Number sold so far
  7. Your blurb/Product Description
  8. First 300 words of your work
  9. And  (of course) your amazon link 🙂

Mine would look like this:

Author: Caitie Quinn
Genre: Rom Com
How long it’s been on sale: June 22, 2011
Current price: $.99
Total sold so far: Approx. 70
Link to book on Amazon: It’s in His Kiss

Product Description:

Jenna’s been letting life pass her by as she works on her career. But, when she needs to do some research of this kissing kind, things may get a little more heated than she expected.
Research has never been so fun.

WARNING: This 10k short has no vampires, shape shifter or scorching sex, but it might make you snort your diet Coke out your nose.

First 300 Words:

The thick smoker-voice on the other end of the phone made demands I wanted to ignore. “It’s time for Chloe’s first kiss.”

“What? It can’t be,” I replied, pushing back the panic. “She’s far too young to be involved with boys.”

“Honey, she’s sixteen. Almost seventeen if I remember correctly.”

“But, kissing? Boys?” I shook my head against the receiver, my glasses clinking the earpiece. “I don’t think she’s ready.”

“No, Jenna. You’re not ready. But that doesn’t mean a teenaged girl doesn’t reach that point without us.”

I glared at my Hello Kitty phone, tempted to hang up and claim a bad connection.

“I think maybe a big school dance story line would be great,” Ely continued. “She’s co-captain of her soccer team and vice president of the junior class. Isn’t there anyone she’d be interested in?”

Ely Morgan, Agent Extraordinaire-slash-Pushiest-Woman-on-the-Planet, had never steered me wrong before – except maybe that one time with the now infamous author-photo-from-you-know-where – but still, good advice was there to be had. That didn’t mean I had to like it.

I collapsed back in my worn leather office chair, tempted to spin until I was dizzy. “It’s time?”

“Sugar, it’s past time.”

“I’m not sure.” It’s too soon. “Maybe I could work a potential love interest into the next book.” If anyone good enough crosses my word-processing fingers. “And then we can fold it into senior year.” Or college. Or never.

“I know you want to protect her, sweetie.” Ely voice sounded muffled, the click-clack of a keyboard echoing in the background. Agent Extraordinaire was also Multitasking Empress.

The clatter from her phone hitting the ground told me I’d been right.

“Sorry about that,” Ely said. “You still there?”

“Mmhmm.”

“Ok, Jenna. Here’s the deal. Forest Oak won’t take another book unless Chloe matures a little. Your fan mail is from girls who grew up with her and, while a lot of them are shy or nerdy or untrusting or whatever it is keeping them from kissing a boy, that doesn’t mean they don’t want Chloe to. So the deal is, next book, out early fall, homecoming maybe. Chloe gets a kiss.”

 I pasted that in so you could see just HOW MUCH information that is. It’s everything you’d typically use to make a purchasing decision but not so much that you’d feel like you needed to make a crazy investment in time to either send yours in OR participate as a reader.

Wait. I didn’t tell you that this was a reader participation blog?

Yup. It is. Here is a chance to get feedback from people who buy books about why they would or wouldn’t buy your book (please review number one of my last blog before doing this…no seriously. Don’t be that person.)

So, first, Victorine gives a really balanced verdict of what she sees from the cover, blurb etc. She has a “final verdict” paragraph and then invites people to comment as well.

I have to say, I’ve been amazingly impressed with how thoughtful, fair and tactful people have been on the whole. It’s an amazing opportunity to ONE get great feedback and TWO promote your book. I’m looking forward to hearing if people have started selling their book strictly from being on Victorine’s site…before any changes are even made.

I’m going to go out on a big limb here, let’s hope it holds me 😉

I think Why Is My Book Not Selling could become the indie-publishing equivalent of Janet Reid’s amazing site Query Shark.

If you’re smart but not daring, don’t overlook this site. You can learn a lot about what might not be working with your book if you’re willing to read through comments on other books and be bluntly honest when reviewing your own. It is — just like Query Shark — a great chance to learn from the mistakes/missteps of others.

~Caitie~

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4 Responses to “Why is Your Book Not Selling?”

  1. Sofia Harper July 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    I think that is a smart idea. Me, if I can’t get past the blurb then I won’t even bother to read the sample. If I can get a sense of what happens (hell a short version of the gmc) then I have enough to make a decision.

    • caitiequinn July 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      It’s true. I ususally hit up the author’s website if I’m having trouble figuring a book out from its amazon page.

      Oh yeah, note to self: Don’t forget Lexie at Author Rescue keeps telling you to put up a blur page 😦

      LOL

  2. Tamara Morgan July 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    Years ago, I was publicly shamed on Query Shark. Best thing I ever did. This sounds like a great equivalent.

    • caitiequinn July 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

      It’s a great resourse. I wouldn’t be surpised to see people publishing their backlist and needing to relearn everything as indie will be flocking to it too

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