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II. Publishing & Marketing Tips > Help, I need some advice

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message 1: by Esther (new)

Esther Byrt | 5 comments The best tip I've heard for Amazon sales is make sure your listing is in the correct category. IE: if it's Science Fiction list it only there, not also under fantasy etc. Also using the correct key words to further drill down to Post Apocalypse or whatever your particular book is about.

message 2: by Michael Cargill (last edited Nov 20, 2013 11:11AM) (new)

Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 217 comments To be honest there may not really be any particular reason for the change in fortune. The summer months tend to be fairly dry for sales anyway.

Your initial success may not have been down to anything that you did, merely luck. Amazon may have changed their search algorithms, meaning your book doesn't get shown to as many potential customers any more.

The sheer amount of books out there means that simply having a professional cover, a good blurb, and lots of good reviews doesn't make you stand out.

Um, sorry if this post probably isn't particularly helpful...!

message 3: by Bill (new)

Bill Habeeb (billyha) | 11 comments I'm in a similar predicament. My book is YA and recently I sent emails to the entertainment editors of my college and high school newspapers in hopes that they might review it. I'm waiting to hear back. It wouldn't be a huge audience, but it might open up an avenue that hasn't been explored yet. Small idea, but I thought it was worth sharing.

message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill Habeeb (billyha) | 11 comments That's how I feel. If you have a connection to a University, you might also checking to see if they have a radio station that might want to do an interview with you. That's a chance to give away a few signed copies. Every little bit helps. Good luck. I hope it helps.

message 5: by Fletcher (new)

Fletcher Best (fletcherbest) | 54 comments Hi Karl. I think I see at least a big part of your problem. I took a look at your book on Amazon and while your review average is 4 stars, the first 7 reviews showing (using the default of "most helpful")are all 1 and 2 stars, with some really negative headlines. I'm not going to repeat what one of the reviews said about you personally in the event that it's untrue (possibly you are being confused with a different Karl Jones of Bristol), but if it is true, that publicity is most likely hurting you - as it should in my opinion. If it's not true, you really need to respond vigorously to that particular review to defend your name.

message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (mysterywriter) | 44 comments Karl wrote: "Hi everyone, I'm hoping some of you have some good suggestions/advice to offer me.

Earlier in the year I was selling reasonably well on Amazon, not spectacular but acceptably, but in the last few ..."

Karl, I too skimmed the reiews on Amazon, as well as some of the comments posted in response to the reviews (including one that appeared to have been posted by you).

As disheartening as some of those comments likely are, you can turn that to your advantage. I noticed three key areas mentioned in the reviews: writing mechanics (spelling, punctuation, grammar); plotting (elements not fully addressed or "left hanging" as a reviewer commented, and the story's conclusion); and character development (depth, level of involvement).

Let's assume the comments address valid points. Your biography mentions "bestselling stories." How does this book differ from them, and specifically in the three areas noted?

While a good copy editor can help you with a lot of the issues noted, I appreciate that can be expensive. There are a couple of cost-effective alternatives you might consider. You could, for example, give a couple of chapters to a friend or two and ask them to highlight every error they come across. Then you can go through the rest looking for those same errors. (A good grammar book is a terrific resource, too.)

And finally, keep reading others in your field. Analyze their work; look closely at sentence structure and use of language. Try outlining their plot (time consuming but a great mental exercise). Study the ways the characters evolve--what makes them real to you?

Whatever happens, keep writing.


Deadly Ties A Waterside Kennels Mystery by Susan Holmes

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