Paula wonders what she is doing wrong!
Last week Debra wondered whether visiting other people’s
blogs does any good (because of so few comments). This week I’m wondering
whether any of the promotion we do for our books does any good.
I had high hopes for ‘Irish Inheritance’. I knew it was a
good story, and my first review (within two days of its release) confirmed
description of the scenery and charm of the Irish countryside is amazing but
most of all, I love the story. What a great plot, characters and setting. Could
not put it down. Can't think of a better way to spend a snowy North Carolina
winter day, though I would enjoy it in any season.”
In the pre-release
period, I posted blogs about the various places in Ireland that feature in the
novel (with lots of my photos) and also posting a few excerpts. The reactions
seemed to be favourable with people saying they were looking forward to reading
this book. They raved too about the cover when I posted it on Facebook in
And so it was released on
As I said, I had high hopes. This
book has a good cover, and a blurb that has been called ‘intriguing’ several
times. It was also priced lower than any of my other books at $2.99 (or £1.84,
less than the cost of a cappuccino here in the UK!). I also though the 'Irish' link might prove attractive, since many people have Irish ancestry and/or would love to visit Ireland.
I know from experience that most
downloads come in the first couple of weeks, after which they tend to come in
much more slowly. The two week period ended yesterday, and to say I am
underwhelmed is an understatement!
I have worked hard during the
past 5 years, starting out in 2009, two years before my first novel was
published, when I didn’t even know if I would ever be accepted by a publisher.
Not only in this blog and my personal blog, but visiting other blogs, contributing
to the yahoo loops, playing an active role on Facebook, supporting other writers, and buying friends’ books. I’ve
interacted with dozens, if not hundreds of people during this time, and of
course I value the many friendships I have made.
It seems, however, that very little of
this leads to sales. The proof is in the disappointing sales of ‘Irish
Inheritance’ since its release.
It's at times like this I start to wonder what is the point of working hard
on a book when it’s only going to be read by a few people? What’s the
point of spending hours on promotion, only to be disappointed when it
has so little effect?
I’ve tried so hard with
promotion and marketing. Over the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve done practically
everything that is ‘recommended’ to promote my books, but now I am wondering what
I’m doing wrong, or what I’ve not done that I should have done (apart from spending a fortune on any 'professional' promotion, because I'm not sure this would really make much difference!).
Maybe sales will pick up sometime, but that doesn't alter the fact that this has been a depressing February so far! Last week I felt like giving up completely - but the stubborn (and optimistic?) streak in me is telling me to keep going. After all, who knows what next week might bring?