Eugene Greenawalt wrote:
do you really think a head shot matters?
I don't think it needs to be a 'headshot' - particularly if you are using a pen name. (mine is deliberately headLESS and the first line in my bio is that DDKimberley is a faceless pen name) Authors using pen names use different things in that photo slot. Mine is a drawing, there's another author who drops in (and damn I wish I could remember his name) who drew a funny self portrait. Maybe a photo of your glasses on a pad of paper (with legible or illegible writing on it), hands on a keyboard, a trashcan overflowing with balled up paper - or even a photo of you taken from behind while you're at your computer. It's not a BAD idea to be creative, it's just much better to have a discernible image - but what you've got up now, I can't quite tell what it is! (Is that some kind of animal that's blurred in the foreground?)
My advice - advertise. On Amazon, list at two to three cents a click, max, set a hundred dollar budget, and you should see your KU at least go up. Sales are different. I'm a new author, and I do fairly well overall with my sales, but many new authors don't shoot out of the gate with sales on Amazon the first time around. It takes time.
Richard, I am intrigued by your suggestion to advertise on Amazon at 2-3 cents per click. Can you explain the mechanics of how that leads to more KU borrows? IIRC they say the average bid is around 40 cents, so I would have assumed that a 2 cents bid would never get shown. But clearly you are having luck with it.
Also, congrats on being a new author but getting sales right away. I'm curious how much. I personally have about 200 sales in the first 6 months, which seemed pretty poor until I read some of the comments on these boards. Now I don't feel quite so bad. But I'm always looking for new wrinkles on marketing.
Your cover looks very nice and the Look Inside reveals that you've written very well. I would advise you to promote. Join writers and readers groups on Facebook. I use them to post a a pic of the cover and a link to my book on Amazon. I tweet, I established an author page on Goodreads and built a cheap website using Godaddy to advertise and collect email addresses from readers for use in distributing a newsletter. You can also sign up with Reader's Gazette which tweets books for no cost. If you have a couple bucks for promotional items I like to print up bookmarks with a QR code on them that people can scan and be driven to my book on Amazon (if you do the design yourself and use a free website to create the QR code you'll cut down on your cost). I drop those off at area libraries. Those are all things that don't cost very much. Good luck.
Most of the advice on here is great advice and I want to touch on one of the things I know most about. Book Covers. When it comes to book covers, you should always make it easy for the reader to understand what your books is about. You' only have about 2 seconds to capture the reader's attention and really say something about your book with just the cover. The problem with your cover is that it's hard to read. For you it might be easy to read, but for a person that knows nothing about your book, it will be hard. Here's a few things to keep in mind when redesigning your cover in terms of value. The number one thing you want the readers to see is the book title undisturbed and untouched (unless you are a famous author, your name will be first.) In your cover the illusion of reading is broken by the spaces between the letters and the close alignment. Second you want to see what the book is about if possible in the illustration. Third will be the catchphrase or something more about the book. And lastly your name, you aren't a known author or have developed a brand yet, so it would be best if people don't wonder who you are just by looking at the cover. I hope this is helpful and take it in the lightest of tunes.
There are loads of ways to promote, just Google 'Book Bloggers'. Most will promote you free for a quality article. Or book someone on Fiverr. I buy and sell on Fiverr (https://uk.fiverr.com/louise_wise), it's cheap, sometimes effective (sometimes not), but it will give you an idea of the TYPES of promoting you could do for your book.
Incidentally, I've added your book to my Pinterest library (Book Junkies).