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message 1: by Alex (last edited Aug 10, 2018 02:25AM) (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments Hi everyone, as many of you know, I have 4 books out in a series, book 1 of which is free as a loss-leader.
Book 5 will be coming out towards the end of the year, and I've noticed during one of my periodic looks at things that I am struggling to get people in the US to move on from book 1 in the series to the other titles; I don't seem to have the same problem in the UK where I get regular sales, if not in huge volume.
The series is quite English in writing style, characters and setting, so that could well be the problem but I would like to hear any suggestions, tips or advice that might help the series.

I am also aware that it can be good to revamp a blurb from time to time, so if anyone has any suggestions for tweaking the below, I would be really grateful.

Where There's a Will: Inspector Stone Mysteries #1 blurb

The kidnapping of a child is every parent's worst nightmare, for the Keatings though it isn't a nightmare, it's a reality.

Inspector Stone is tasked with finding Alice Keating and bringing her home safely. Hard enough under normal circumstances, but between investigating an unrelated armed robbery, family problems, and the machinations of an ambitious underling, it's almost impossible.

Unbeknown to either Stone or Alice's parents, the kidnappers have more in mind than collecting a ransom. And when it turns out that the Russian Mafia might be involved in the kidnapping, things begin to spiral out of Stone's control.

Can Stone find Alice before the kidnappers make good on their threats? If not it won't just be Alice that becomes a victim to their deadly plans...

Many thanks for the help


message 2: by Dale (last edited Aug 10, 2018 07:01AM) (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1701 comments Alex wrote: "Hi everyone, as many of you know, I have 4 books out in a series, book 1 of which is free as a loss-leader.
Book 5 will be coming out towards the end of the year, and I've noticed during one of my..."


In our publishing venture, we've noted that most authors do best in their home countries. I wouldn't fault the language or the setting for that, though, especially not where mysteries are concerned. Americans love British mysteries. But unfortunately, I can't really offer any good marketing advice. I'm still trying to figure out how to sell my own works, and I'm a native of these parts. :-P

For the blurb, try this on for size:

A parent's worst nightmare: your child has been kidnapped.

The Keatings are living that nightmare. Their daughter Alice has been taken, and only Inspector Stone can find her. But between an armed robbery investigation, family problems, and the machinations of an ambitious underling, he's got a few problems of his own. Worse, the more he searches for Alice, the more it seems the kidnappers are after more than just a ransom. But what do they really want?

When the trail leads to the Russian Mafia, even Stone might be out of his depth. Can he find Alice before the kidnappers execute their deadly plans? If not, Alice won't be the only victim.


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments Dale wrote: "Alex wrote: "Hi everyone, as many of you know, I have 4 books out in a series, book 1 of which is free as a loss-leader.
Book 5 will be coming out towards the end of the year, and I've noticed dur..."


Thanks, Dale, I guess it makes sense that an author would do best in their home nation. Maybe I just haven't hit my stride in the US, and I still need that bit of luck.
We're all trying to figure out that marketing stuff, just when we start to get to grips with it everything chances.

Thanks for the suggestion on the blurb, the last part needs a tweak since the Russian Mafia is a red herring, but apart from that I like it.


message 4: by Anna (last edited Aug 10, 2018 09:01AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1117 comments My books do better in the US than in the UK - or have done up til now, right from the very first few weeks of publishing my first book took off better in the US. If I knew why, I'd tell you. I was baffled. And I'm pretty sure most of you would agree that my writing is English in style.

But... getting readers to move on to #3 seems to be a bit easier in the UK. But... neither US nor UK trickle down as much as I'd like them to and I've heard that's just the way of things. Some very nice (xx) people have asked if I am going to write #4 but I am thinking that if the trickle gets any slower, it will stop, so why would I want to write another? I might do later because I enjoy writing the books.

I think the trick is to write in the same genre rather than a series. But... you only have to look at Midsomer Murders and their 100+ TV programmes to disprove what I've just said. And Downton Abbey and so on.

I suppose I'm suggesting authors write in the same genre (if they like it) but create different characters? Just a thought and certainly not a personal comment on your characters, Alex. Just me thinking with my fingers here.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments Thanks, Anna. I suppose there are some people who will keep going with a series no matter how many books are released and others who will only go so far and then prefer to find new characters to enjoy.
It's all a mystery to me, lol.

I think you're right to only return to your series if you want to. You don't want to write something just to please the fans, if you're not enthused. I have some more ideas for my series, but I wouldn't want to force them.


message 6: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1117 comments There are reasons why I think series are good to a certain extent and one reason is that I am only (so far) promoting book one, thereby saving money on promotions of two books.

Another reason is that readers can grow to like the same characters. I feel that with TV series.

Yet do ultra successful authors write series, or do they write in the same genre and style but with different settings and characters? I haven't made a study but it might be worth a look.


message 7: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments Anna Faversham wrote: "There are reasons why I think series are good to a certain extent and one reason is that I am only (so far) promoting book one, thereby saving money on promotions of two books.

Another reason is ..."


From what I know of the reading world there are successful authors who have focused on writing series, and others who are successful from standalone books.

If you can write both series and standalone books I suspect you might have an advantage over someone who does one or the other.


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