What Readers Want?

If you’ve been following, then you know for my last post I got a little behind schedule/disorganized/lazy and, instead of writing an entirely new post, I cobbled together a couple of lines and then added an excerpt from my novel, “On Unfaithful Wings”. Truthfully, there were two reasons why I chose this route: 1. I was a little behind — both on my blog and on my writing, and 2. I read someone else’s blog (about how to write a blog), and posting excerpts was one thing that was suggested there.

“That sounds good,” thinks Bruce. “Give ’em a piece of the book and it doesn’t take much time.”

The result? My lowest number of blog views in a month. Hmm. Maybe an excerpt isn’t the best way to go, at least not an excerpt from an already-published book. Maybe I’ll try a preview of a coming work in the future, but for now I’m going to go back to more of the ‘what I’m up to’ type of post. These seem to be the ones people read.

So here it is: I’m preparing to do another free promo for “On Unfaithful Wings” on April 26 and 27.

“But Bruce, you’ve done that before. We can go to your older posts and find out all about it!”

While that’s true, I’m adding a few twists this time. First, I ran a free promo for my short story collection, “Backroads and Alleyways”, last week. My hope was to give away a bunch and create more visibility, thereby bumping sales of both it and my novel.

It didn’t work. When I did my first promo for ‘Unfaithful…’, I gave away over 8400 copies and sales have increased (not enough to retire yet, but I’m getting there). This time, only 320 people took advantage of my generosity and it’s had no affect on sales. I attribute this lack of downloads to two things: the fact it’s a collection of short stories and because it wasn’t promoted by any of the larger sites that do such things. One of them sent me a very polite and informative email explaining that there are over 2000 books free for Kindle on any given day, so they only consider listing ones with 10+ reviews and 4+stars. In fact, one day, they explained, there were so many to choose from, you didn’t get listed unless you had 15 reviews or more! My poor little collection of diversions has only one review (an enthusiastic 5 stars!) so, alas, it was overlooked.

“So what are you doing that’s different?”

More lead time, for one. As soon as I’m done this post, I’m going to send out all my notices to the free-ebook sites. That’s a full week before I did last time.

Also, I’m having the cover of the book professionally redesigned. While I think the current cover is OK, and I have had one or two compliments on it, I don’t feel it measures up to many of the others out there. I don’t want anything to identify me as anything other than professional — I invested $2000 in having the book edited (and I’m glad I did), the cover should reflect that. Keep your eyes open, I’m hoping to reveal the new cover later this week or early next.

The other thing I’m going to try is a little bit of new-age advertising. No, I don’t mean I’m hiring a medium, I mean I’m going to employ more social media rather than purchasing an ad somewhere. I’m going to try a company called Book Tweeting Service. For a reasonable fee (well, we’ll see if it’s reasonable once the results are in), they will tweet to their 60000 followers for you. I’m not sure if it will be worth it (for 2 days, it will cost a little less than $1/tweet), but I’m willing to risk the $56 to find out. Luckily, the internet is easily measured: I’m not sure if this is true of all the link shortening sites, but I’ve discovered that bitly keeps track of how many times the link they create for you is clicked, so I should be able to determine the effectiveness of their service. I’ll keep you posted.

So there you are…no excerpt, just the straight forward, down-and-dirty facts of my writing life. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go write something I made up.


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