Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad...

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
- William Faulkner

I have been good recently. I have been plodding on with my ms for Poison in the Water- I’m half way! Hurrah! It feels good to reach this milestone. Not only that but I have been blogging (Check out my nutshell posts below on how to improve the dialogue in your ms and setting tone and mood in your ms) and I have started a new notebook for The Body in the Bath. The ideas are already coming to me and I need to scribble them down as I have promised myself not to start writing the draft until I have finished with this draft of Poison.

I have started reading a book by Nicci French as well. It’s called The Memory Game. I recently saw the authors on TV and I have heard good things about Nicci French so thought I would give it ago. So far so good. I also have bought The Cuckoos Calling (The JK Rowling one) and The Book Thief – They were 99p on Kindle and I wanted to read them so may as well stock pile! And I am half way through my New Years resolution which is not to buy new clothes till May. It’s going well so far, but I am buying way more books (fiction and research books on criminology and forensic psychology) and I’ve just subscribed to Mslexia Magazine. So much for saving money. 

I am also working on a new ‘In a Nutshell’ post on social media- inspired by a writing buddy who finds it all a little daunting! I am hoping to complete and post in the next couple of weeks and I think of all the posts it will be useful to all authors out there.

So still no improvement on my kindle ranking for Bittersweet. In fact it’s falling every day. What else can I do? Another attempt to ask people to write reviews on my personal Facebook page – was a poor cry for help and the direct question was not very social media friendly or so the marketing manager at work told me! I suppose it was a poor bit of spamming. I thought as its juts going to friends it didn’t matter but apparently it does! However, the low ranking, is making me pause for thought.  It really makes me wonder because I feel as the author that Bittersweet is a much better book than Goa Traffic and yet Goa Traffic is still selling well.  Are people reading Goa Traffic and being put off by Bittersweet? But then Goa Traffic has received some good reviews so maybe not. It’s a tricky one and I think much of the problem with Bittersweet (and this will apply to many trad published or self published books) is as follows:

1) It falls into a standard genre category with no differentiation – The tags are psychological, thriller etc. How many psychological thrillers are there out there?

2) The price – It’s currently £3.59 as set by the publisher. Is this too much for an unknown author? From my own experience the book buying public out there and I am talking kindle readers in general are extremely price sensitive. Unless you know the book is already a huge success and you are dying to read it- unfortunately people don’t want to part with more than a couple of quid.

3) Publicity .Now this is a tricky one. Goa Traffic has had the same number of publicity shots as Bittersweet plus Bittersweet has the backing of a publisher. Yet the ranking of Bittersweet (That’s all I can go on at this stage) is well below GT. In addition to the publicity I did for GT with Bittersweet I have had the official book launch and I have approached libraries and reading groups plus I did a little blog tour. Perhaps I need to think again and get some new ideas on how to promote Bittersweet!

4) I guess the one main difference is that GT is established. It’s been on sale since 2011 and I know that a book is for life – not just the year it is published in (especially with the e-book and POD). On this basis maybe I need to wait it out and see if, over time, my sales improve. 

And on that note I will end this post with one last question - What are you reading this World Book day? 

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