Monday, June 01, 2015
A Great, Big Thank You!
A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to my last post. I received some great feedback, which I carefully assembled and fired off to my editor in four very long emails. I've learned so much. In the past, I've been arguing from a position of supposition; now I have some "proof" I can point to.
My biggest takeaway is that reducing the price of the first book in a series is enormously important. I know publishers hate this because they feel it devalues books. But this is the world we live in. Even readers who've heard good things about an author via word-of-mouth are still reluctant to shell out full price for an unknown author. I can totally understand this. I myself will first look for books by an untried author at our Friends of the Library book sale. I'm famous for "proctorizing" books and I get really annoyed when I give up on a book I paid full price for. Personally, I'd love to see the price of Angels dropped permanently, but I doubt that will happen.
Many of you mentioned the importance of Book Bub ads and Kindle Daily Deals in finding new authors, and several said you'll direct friends to a sale when you see a reduction for an author you've been recommending. I intend to really, really push for at least a temporary price reduction on Angels in the lead up to the release of the next book in the series. Fingers crossed.
Many mentioned using Amazon.com's scrolling "Customers who bought this item also bought..." ribbon or being alerted to new books by Amazon emails. I don't think that's something publishers can control, but it's still good information to have. A lot of readers find books at Goodreads. Book blogs are another popular source, which is interesting because I've heard authors wondering, "Do we really know if anyone looks at them? Are they a waste of time? Do they do any good?" Nice to know readers do use them.
I was also comforted to discover that many readers first discovered my books at their local library. Yay for libraries! But you know what else I noticed? Only a couple of people said they'd first stumbled upon my books at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore.
Social media doesn't seem to be nearly as important as publishers think it is in terms of attracting new readers. But several people noted that things like Facebook, blogs, signings, and newsletters are important for making personal connections and establishing loyalty. Good to know.
So, thank you to everyone who took the time to answer my question. And if you've more to say on the subject, please feel free to let me know!
(And if anyone's curious, that's a picture of my daughter's dog playing the Game of Life. Yeah, he's spoiled. But then, he was horribly abused before she rescued him, so he deserves it.)