Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marketing: Doing Nothing Works Better?

In the first week of March I made a list of things to do for my writing/publishing goals. Among those things was to start marketing my books again, at least on Twitter. Over the last year I've gone through different phases with the marketing. I got a couple of book review bloggers to look at my books, but mainly I've sent out tweets promoting them. In the beginning this did seem to make a difference. Then I stopped doing anything to promote the books and even pretty much stopped blogging, because I was pregnant/a new mommy and my head just wasn't in it. And now since early March I started up again. Here's what I've observed:

Marketing seems to have no effect on my book sales, at least the tweet marketing. In past months when I wasn't doing any I sold an average of five books a month. This month, with renewed attempts to market, I've sold one.

I've been giving away books as thank yous to long time followers (let me know if you didn't get a DM on Twitter with a coupon code--I think TweetAdder has been patchy with this) and also new followers. The long-time followers got a coupon for Veronica in Paris, and the new followers got a coupon for Broken Ones. So far, about a dozen people have downloaded Veronica in Paris, and one person has downloaded Broken Ones. Generally, I sell about three copies of Veronica for every one copy of either Broken Ones or The River and the Roses. I thought it was because Veronica is priced at $0.99 and the other two are $2.99. But this would indicate that some other factor is at work, since I offered both for free.

Veronica is a novella, while Broken Ones is a full length, if short, novel. I've heard that novellas are popular--I didn't really believe it, though, because I like long books for the most part.

Veronica is a romance and is set in Paris, so it has a travel aspect. Broken Ones is a ghost story. Could people be tiring of the glut of paranormal novels out there? I think this is a possibility. Look at the popularity of The Hunger Games and the Steig Larsson books. No paranormal there. And everyone on Twitter seems to have a paranormal novel to sell. Myself included, of course. It's frustrating because I like paranormal stories a lot, I always have. But I think maybe some of these authors are just trying to sell what they think is popular. Did they all watch every single episode of Charmed via DVR, like me? I don't think so! Anyway, whether all of these authors are sincerely into vampires (or witches as the case may be) or not is irrelevant. I think paranormal may be in oversupply.

Then there's also the possibility that more people downloaded Veronica because they've known me for a while now and they wanted to give my book a try. It was free, so why not? Whereas with Broken Ones, it was offered to folks who've only just "met" me so it's much more of an unknown entity.

What do you think? Have you offered a book for free? What results did you get?

Do you think there's an oversupply of paranormal fiction? What genre are you into these days?

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