Changing genres has its problems
My latest novel, Black Tiger, was released early this month and I don’t mind admitting I expected to make a few sales. My space opera, Morgan’s Choice, had been in the top 100 best sellers on Amazon for three months and my other SF romance titles, Iron Admiral: Conspiracy, Iron Admiral: Deception and Starheart (along with the shorts) were doing fairly well, dragged along in the slipstream. Surely the people who bought those books would buy this new one?
I’d trumpeted my intentions on my usual venues – Twitter, the blog, Facebook author page. I wrote a number of articles about the new book, showed off the cover. What else was I going to do?
Blog tour? I decided against it. I’ve done them before, with limited outcomes. I think they’re overdone and I’m not at all sure they attract too many new people, so you’re just preaching to the converted.
Kindle select? No. I’d done that with Starheart and although the results were reasonable, several people had asked for formats other than Kindle.
Giveaways? I figured I’d given away enough books to prove I produce a quality product. I’ve given away plenty of copies of my earlier books on blog tours, discounts and the like. I’d had limited success from Goodreads giveaways, in terms of increased sales. Putting a book on the ‘to be read’ list on Goodreads doesn’t necessarily mean much at all, in my experience – and I’ve done the Goodreads giveaways four times. Besides, all profits from Black Tiger will go to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to help support tiger conservation. Giving the book away defeats the purpose.
Online book launch via Facebook? Again, I’m not at all sure how successful these are. I’ve been to quite a few, and really, the usual choir turns up. I don’t think Facebook was ever a great place to market. The entreaties to ‘buy my book’ are so common, and getting worse. Everbody sells but I wonder how many buy?
Advertising? Yes, I had to get the message out somehow, and this book was a different genre. So I bought a big ad on The Romance Reviews and an advertising spot on The Cheap. I haven’t noticed a surge in sales. The ads are pointed at Amazon, but maybe buyers are going to Omnilit or Smashwords.
What else? Buy reviews? (I have my tongue in my cheek, given the recent furore on that subject) I don’t think so. I’ll wait to see what readers have to say. That said, I have sent copies to a couple of reviewers and I’m waiting in hope for the results.
The book has only been out for a very short time. Still, my experience so far underlines the message that writing in a different genre can be a dangerous endeavour. I did consider releasing the book under a different name but if I’d done that, I would have had to build an audience from scratch. At least by publishing under my own name I thought some of my SF or hist fic readers would try the book. Without a doubt, I was right.
Ah, well. It’s early days. Patience (as they say) is a virtue. Any ideas, people? Do you disagree with my assessment?