Thursday, February 16, 2012

When sales attack

   It's easy to get caught up in the maelstrom of sometimes quick rising sales only to be devastated when they suddenly drop. Like a rock. Even more devastating is to not see any sales at all. I've been on both sides of the spectrum. Neither one has left me feeling like a very proficient author/ marketer/ publisher. It can make an Indie author feel like they've missed what ever it is that makes a good writer.
   My first book on the market rose in sales so quickly it left me breathless and a little confused. It was a very short novella that even by my standards wasn't very good. It took me only a little over two weeks to write.It was my test book so to speak. I put it up to get the hang of Editing and formatting. My second book, the pride and joy of my little world, took me almost a year to write. My sales on that have been so slow I almost wanted to cry.
   Sales of the novella slowed so suddenly that even among my confusion of how such a terrible book could sell at all I was disappointed. Now I was left with hardly any sales at all, and wondering just what it is that people are looking for. As an author we want to write what we feel, we also want the sales that will help us make a living. How do we combine the two? How do we write what the reader wants?
   If the writing is good, how do we package our product so that people want to buy? That's what I am going to be talking about today. Cover art. Probably the most important part of self publishing your novel. I touched on this subject a bit in my last post. Now I am going to go into a little more detail.
   What kind of cover is right for the genre you are in? Research, research, research. Go to Amazon or smash words and look up your genre. Take a good fifteen minutes to go through the top selling books. Do you notice a similarity in cover art and design?  If so that is what you are aiming for. I don't mean to copy it pixel for pixel, but a general idea is what you need. For example, I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Almost all of the covers in that genre feature sweaty half naked men and women, either engaged in (clears throat) each other, or standing provocatively with bad ass weapons in their hands.
   While I do not recommend that you attempt a cover your self, unless you have mad Photoshop skills, or your other job is a graphic designer, it is good to know what you are looking for. You need to have a template to get an idea of what you want to see on your book. This is the best way I know how to convey to the artist what you want. While a good cover artist will do a little research of their own, it's your book, and ultimately you have the last say.
   Creative Indie, (link at top right) has an awesome cover designer. This is the man that will be working with me on my own Photoshop fumble. Helping me to get my novel up to snuff and selling. Check out his portfolio and imagine what he can do for your book. His prices are affordable and his covers are beautiful.
   What ever your publishing woes know that you are not alone. There are literally thousands of us out there trying to make our names in the publishing world. Don't be afraid to reach out, here, in the forums of amazon or smashwords, or on face book. Sometimes having another author to share your frustrations with is worth more than gold.
   Until next time, much love,

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