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Thread: Okay so what am I doing wrong?


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Permlink Replies: 102 - Pages: 7 [ Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 | Next ] - Last Post: Apr 11, 2012 2:49 AM Last Post By: ladyhawk101
ladyhawk101

Posts: 114
Registered: 01/17/12
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 8:20 AM   in response to: mauvemallow in response to: mauvemallow
 
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Gosh, don't let my failure put you off Mauve. This is the first time I've asked for help. I'm very frustrated now and really need to cut down my online time, but I need to know what's working and what isn't.

I've also been burned by two publishers and so have never received a royalty check. That's doesn't help either.

All the best and don't give up.

xxxx
diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 8:56 AM   in response to: ladyhawk101 in response to: ladyhawk101
 
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Traci's right, you need to work out what is effective marketing and what isn't working for you. Seven hours a day is a crazy amount of time to spend plugging away for little/no reward.

I've had a look at your results on google and I'm seeing a decent mix of reader networking sites, author interviews and places to buy your book. It's a little bit of a puzzle. Your reviews are good, books are tagged, not the cheapest out there but I don't think you've priced yourself out of the market. From your book pages I'd suggest working on your blurbs, they're pretty short and they don't give a very clear idea of what exactly the books are about. Also try and incorporate keywords into the blurbs so they become more relevant in searches.

I think part of the problem is relevance and SEO. You need to create content - both on your book's amazon pages, and on your own webpages - that will be found by search engines. I can search for your name and come straight to you, but otherwise how will I find you? You're only appearing to people who already know you exist. With your personal sites you need to keep the content fresh and interesting: your first site is copyrighted 2006 - have you updated it since then? Free programs like Blogger and Wordpress will allow you to add a blog to your personal site, it's an easy way to keep the site updated and keep people coming back.

When you're writing [i]anything[/i] on the web you should be thinking about how it will appear in a search engine. I write m/m romance and I've been blog happy about the gay marriage movement in the US and the UK recently, meaning anyone searching for those topics stands a good chance of finding my blog and then my books are relevant to the topic so who knows, they may just buy them! Work out who your readers are and then utilise what interests them to get their attention. Keep on top of relevant news stories and get your spin on them out there quickly, when there's less competition for relevance.

I think you can also be using Goodreads better than you are doing. I am going to assume that you read the type of books that you write, genre-wise. If that's the case go to the friend suggestion page and add anyone who has a decent number of books in common with you (ignore friends in common). They are your target audience, and 90% of them will accept the request. Instantly your updates appear on their home feed, meaning that your name is constantly in front of them. 'Like' positive reviews of your books and those, too, will appear in your friends' news feeds. Go through adding more friends every week or so (GR limits the number of friend requests you can send a day anway).

Hope that helps for starters!!
ladyhawk101

Posts: 114
Registered: 01/17/12
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 9:38 AM   in response to: diamondlifestyle in response to: diamondlifestyle
 
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Thanks so much for taking a look around.

Okay, here's my problem. I don't blog, I tried it once and didn't keep up with it. I don't like it and I just don't have the time.

I write urban thrillers. Novels about outlaw motorcycle clubs. Unfortunately there are very few books out there, similar to mine. But I will try to add more friends on Goodreads.

Both of my websites are updated frequently.

Can I alter the blurbs without the reviews disappearing?

wendy-unsworth

Posts: 174
Registered: 01/25/12
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 9:47 AM   in response to: ladyhawk101 in response to: ladyhawk101
 
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Ladyhawke, hope your sales take an upturn very soon.
I am new to publishing and marketing and it's great to see the detailed responses to your post, I will go back through them and follow all the good advice.
By asking a really honest question you are helping others too.
Thanks

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00719ODS8
thorkill71

Posts: 261
Registered: 03/06/12
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 10:37 AM   in response to: tracihilton in response to: tracihilton
 
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Traci Great advice! :)
irene2147

Posts: 115
Registered: 09/13/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 11:10 AM   in response to: ladyhawk101 in response to: ladyhawk101
 
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"Can I alter the blurbs without the reviews disappearing?"

Yes. I find the easiest way to change the blurb is through author central.
monawrites

Posts: 172
Registered: 12/30/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 11:13 AM   in response to: ladyhawk101 in response to: ladyhawk101
 
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This has been the most informative and positive thread I've read for a while. Although I've only been following this author/publisher board for a few months, I imagine that this is, to quote Traci a while back, "how it used to be, with everyone helping each other."
But there I go...talking when I really want to ask a question about these tags, which I confess I don't understand. They are the next thing I will study, to be sure.
When I go on Amazon Kindle and put my name in the search field, I get all eight of my current books listed. Recently a book showed up at the bottom of my page by an entirely different author. I asked Amazon to remove it and they replied saying that my name had been mentioned (I didn't keep the e-mail, so can't give you their exact wording). Could this be the result of tagging? Because now another one has appeared and I find it rather annoying - although - confession time - the concept does intrigue me.
The question is: is this the result of tagging?
Thanks, Mona
ladyhawk101

Posts: 114
Registered: 01/17/12
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 11:17 AM   in response to: monawrites in response to: monawrites
 
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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and comments.

Mona. It sounds to me that another author has added your name onto their book tags, which means you may have similar products. My advice would be to check out these authors and see what they have on offer, their reviews and such and the add their name to your book tags.
ladyhawk101

Posts: 114
Registered: 01/17/12
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 11:18 AM   in response to: irene2147 in response to: irene2147
 
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Thank Irene. That's super news. I'll get to work on them straight away.
hecky3

Posts: 114
Registered: 02/04/12
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 12:17 PM   in response to: ladyhawk101 in response to: ladyhawk101
 
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Hello, I've become convinced that the drop in sales is the whole Amazon book market sales falling rather than a problem with one or several authors. Threads like this form a useful business survey.
I'd like to thank everybody who has contributed ideas for promotion because as a new author I'm clueless about how to go about this.
If we are in a slack period its a good time to review techniques (learn techniques) ready for when things pick up again

Geoff
mauvemallow

Posts: 944
Registered: 07/01/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 12:49 PM   in response to: ladyhawk101 in response to: ladyhawk101
 
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It just that you've done everything that is supposed to work; by this time, you should be writing from a beach in Tahiti. I know there's nothing to do but keep plugging, but it's hard not to ask yourself what the heck you're doing; I know I do. I hope some of the suggestions you've gotten here help; I know I've picked up a few things I'm going to try. Good luck to you too.
naughtybutnice

Posts: 510
Registered: 05/21/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 1:29 PM   in response to: diamondlifestyle in response to: diamondlifestyle
 
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Whenever I do this I find my books in the weirdest of places.
Your post prompted me to have another go, and today I find I'm listed on a Hindi Bollywood site and a bicycle store, alongside a watermelon style crash helmet.

Huh? I write sci-fi murder mysteries.

I guess they're probably Amazon Associates, but it's still pretty weird.
writerneil

Posts: 909
Registered: 05/26/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 1:42 PM   in response to: ladyhawk101 in response to: ladyhawk101
 
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I just had this same issue and even posted on my blog about how watching the numbers is making me crazy. I had no sales and then suddenly I've got sales. I almost think there was a glitch in the system that held back the numbers. Good luck.
http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 1:55 PM   in response to: monawrites in response to: monawrites
 
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It is slow all over at the moment, you don't have to look far on these boards to realise that.

The key thing is getting the readers to find you. Tag your books (Mona, go on your book page and press T twice in quick succession, a tag box will appear. You can add up to 15, make them relevant to your book - vampire romance / urban fantasy / space opera - whatever, but that kind of thing. Look what the bestsellers in your genre are tagged with).

Step one is making sure that people searching for Amazon can find your books. You have to assume that no-one has ever heard of you, and therefore searches by your name and/or book titles are irrelevant. They will only make up a tiny percentage of any search terms. Instead think about the keywords that people will type into a search, e.g. like the ones I listed. Get as many [i]relevant[/i] keywords on your book listing - in your blurb, in your tags. You can change the blurb through author central without having to republish the book on your bookshelf.

Step two is enticing all those people out there in cyberspace who aren't searching on Amazon for your book at that exact moment, but could be persuaded to buy it if they're intrigued / curious enough. You need to consider how people use the internet - how will they find you when they're browsing on google in their lunch hour? How will they stumble across you on goodreads or twitter or wherever. Know your audience, know where they hang out and what interests them. That's why I say keep uploading new content on your blog / websites, don't neglect your twitter or facebook or goodreads accounts. Give people a reason to keep coming back.

For a writer to say they can't blog quite frankly astounds me. Blogging [i]is[/i] writing, and there's a million ways to do it. Comment on current events, post flash fiction (<1000 words), do book reviews - [i]anything[/i] - but get your name and your work out there and get people interested in you. Don't harp on endlessly about writing - only other writers care about that, and it's not writers you're trying to attract, it's readers. If you're really struggling with content why not get people to do guest posts on topics relevant to your blog - free content at no effort and someone else promoting your blog / website on your behalf. The bonus to the guest is that they get access to a new forum to show off what they can do.

Stand on the shoulders of giants. It's always worth befriending people who have thousands of followers on twitter, or masses of subscribers to their blog or whatever. Getting a foot in the door of an established channel will pay dividends. Of course you can - and should - build your own platform, but that will take years (just ask Nick). It pays in the end, but it's a long time coming. In the meantime get a leg-up any way you can.
diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: Okay so what am I doing wrong?
Posted: Mar 9, 2012 1:57 PM   in response to: monawrites in response to: monawrites
 
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Dumb board isn't showing the whole post --- grrr!!

get your name and your work out there and get people interested in you. Don't harp on endlessly about writing - only other writers care about that, and it's not writers you're trying to attract, it's readers. If you're really struggling with content why not get people to do guest posts on topics relevant to your blog - free content at no effort and someone else promoting your blog / website on your behalf. The bonus to the guest is that they get access to a new forum to show off what they can do.

Stand on the shoulders of giants. It's always worth befriending people who have thousands of followers on twitter, or masses of subscribers to their blog or whatever. Getting a foot in the door of an established channel will pay dividends. Of course you can - and should - build your own platform, but that will take years (just ask Nick). It pays in the end, but it's a long time coming. In the meantime get a leg-up any way you can.

Message was edited by: diamondlifestyle
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