This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
By Anna Bell
Last week I launched my fifth self-published title, Millie and the American Proposal. You might think I should be a dab hand at launches by now, and as a result my book would have been propelled high into the Amazon charts, but you’d be wrong. In fact, I think my latest title had one of the lowest launch day rankings of any of my books. So what happened? In truth, I don’t know.
I’m lucky in that a lot of lovely reviewers participated in my cover reveal and reviewed my book for the launch. I also asked bloggers and authors to participate in a proposals feature on my blog, which is happening daily until March. This, believe it or not, is more than I did for my highest launch day book of mine – Don’t Tell the Groom.
The first Millie book I launched has sold close to 40,000 copies. When fans of the novel called for another, I wrote and published a prequel. That novel, Millie and the American University, didn’t do amazingly well and failed to catch the volume of readers the first book had. I chalked it up to the fact that it was a prequel. Some readers would find that off-putting. The word university in the title, meanwhile, might have made it seem too new adult or young for others. I hoped that with the new novel having the word proposal in the title, it might capture the same hint of romance as the first book.One of the things I tell aspiring authors to do is to create an author platform. I had forgotten how hard this was until I had to create a second pseudonym last year. I was starting from scratch with a brand new name, which in turn led to new a Facebook and Twitter account, as well as a new blog. Six months on, I still have under 300 Twitter followers on my new account. Whilst it’s no secret that I write under the name Annabel Scott, and those books state who is writing them, I wonder how many of those browsing Amazon realise it’s me. Perhaps my poor sales is a reflection in me not investing enough time in my new pseudonym platforms?
There are multiple theories relating to cost of a self-published ebooks, too. Some people say set the price high or people won’t think they’re any good because they’re cheap. Others say set them low to attract more people to buy. I set Millie and the American Proposal at £1.99. It’s the highest price I have set for a self-published work, and already I’m beginning to wonder if I should drop it.
Perhaps it comes down to the fact I wrote the wrong book. Maybe not everyone that read Millie and the American Wedding wants to know what happens next. Maybe there was too much time between the release of the original and the sequel (two years).
The problem with self-publishing is, I probably won’t know what went wrong. Even more frustrating, there’s nothing to potentially stop me from making the same mistakes again, and again. Or perhaps nothing went wrong. Maybe my expectations are too high because I’ve been lucky with past successes.
I might never know why my book failed to launch. Have you got any ideas? Or have you got any great tips on getting an ebook to sell?