Book selling is a mystery to me as an ebook author. I personally don't enjoy the self-promotion. However, I try to do what I’m supposed to do.
I've paid several companies for promotion, done guest blogging, and have blogged here on my own site—though I'll admit I've been lax this last month—I’ve got postcards and business cards and am really lame at giving them out, I’m on Facebook and Twitter. Despite all of that, these last six months have not seen many sales of my book. (Just got my last 3 month’s royalties.) It was rather disheartening.
Today I went on Amazon and this month I have 3 brand new customer reviews. (Previously there hadn't been any new ones since January.) Here are a few snippets from the new reviews:
“Alone is a cozy faith-based romance with a dash of mystery.” My thought: nice!
“Very well written book. Knew how to set her scenes very well, dialogue tags were awesome.” My thought: thanks!
“Alone is a pleasant read. SM Ford's style of writing is reminiscent of Jane Austen.” My thought: Oh, my gosh, I’d never even read Jane Austen when I wrote this book! I was trying for Mary Stewart.
Those opening lines of those reviews might draw more readers in.
And then those are the parts of those same reviews where as the author I want to protest or laugh. And those same parts may turn readers away.
“I did think that Cecilia seemed way too practical and much older than a young twenty-something year old.” My thought: Huh, I started writing the story when I was twenty-seven—her character was very set at that time. And I gave Cecelia reasons for her practicality—her mother died when she was a teen and she had a lot of added responsibilities.
“My biggest problem with this book was everyone was just too nice. They were overly perfect when it came to behavior.” My thoughts: First off, the book is published by a company called Clean Reads, so what did you expect? But I gave my characters flaws too. Shall I list them?
It’s a good thing we don’t talk to our reviewers. Though, honestly, I would keep my mouth shut!
Actually, I’m grateful for the time these people took to write the reviews, for both the positive and the negative. They have given me encouragement and food for thought. Were my characters too nice? Can’t fix that story, but can watch out for it in future writing. Was my main character too old-fashioned? Again, something to be aware of in future stories.
So, yes, I was down about sales, but now I’m up because of some reviews.
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.