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Fun > Books that are unexpected reader favorites?

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message 1: by T.K. (new)

T.K. Arispe (tkarispe) Have you ever written a book that unexpectedly performs better than other books of yours that you feel are more deserving? Let's share a laugh (or a cry)!

My first novel has outperformed all of my others for reasons I can't explain. It's a little frustrating because am not super fond of this novel. I started writing it for a NaNoWriMo, and I feel like the plot is just all over the place and the worldbuilding needed way more thought. I had to revise it twice to get it to a point where I stopped cringing every time I read it. Even in its "fit to print" state, if I were to rank all of my novels by how much I like them, this one would definitely be at the bottom of the list.

But my readers seem to love it. It has the most reviews of all of my books. Years after reading it, people still talk to me about how much they enjoyed it (even the terrible old versions). When I announced a sequel a few months ago, readers got super excited. None of my other books have gotten this much attention, despite them being (unarguably, I think) better written. And whenever I do free book promotions on KDP, this particular novel gets way more downloads than when I make any of my other books available for free.

Am I the only one who has this happen to them?


message 2: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4335 comments Mod
Of course you're not the only one. If we knew exactly what was doing to excite readers we'd all be best sellers. I gave up second guessing readers and write to my own taste. It's much easier that way.


message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Sells | 124 comments I know exactly what you mean, T.K. My favourite book that I've written doesn't sell much at all, but another of my books that I consider okay but not the best sells like crazy by comparison. There's no accounting for readers taste! Much like Dwayne, I just write what I want to anyway. What sells sells, what doesn't sell doesn't - so be it.


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 547 comments Same here, T.K. My first published book has a lower rating than the others - although that seems to be changing - and it consistently sells more than the other four novels put together.

I'm hoping my latest novel will change this but it's not looking that way yet!


message 5: by T.K. (new)

T.K. Arispe (tkarispe) Aww, I wish you both the best! It's so frustrating when you've worked super hard on something brand new, you feel like your writing is better than ever on a technical level, and you're doing your best to get readers enthusiastic about the new release, and then it flops.

When that happens to me, I like to think it just hasn't found the right audience yet.

It probably does have a lot to do with readers' tastes. So it's really interesting to see how reader response can differ so much from how an author feels about a book. I mean, I certainly can't complain that something I wrote apparently resonates so strongly with so many people. It's also great to know folks are looking forward to the sequel. I just find it amusingly puzzling that the readers' favorite happens to be what I consider my worst book.


message 6: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 401 comments I'm still in the "I sold five books this month" phase, so I don't think any of my books can be considered "popular " That being said, my first book has by far the most reviews. My personal favorite has the lowest rating average. Hopefully my seventh book (soon to be published) will be lucky number seven and finds an audience.


message 7: by T.K. (new)

T.K. Arispe (tkarispe) I hope so too! I hear you, I have personal favorites among my books, and I always feel like each book is better than the last, but my favorites don't seem to align with readers' favorites.

Sometimes when people ask about the first book, I almost want to tell them not to read it because I think it's so awful. But I figure even though I personally don't care much for something, if lots of other people seem to like it, then there's a reasonable chance the person I'm talking to will like it too. It's always so tough to be on the inside looking out at your own work!


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