So, I'm referencing this post here.
When I started writing, I really, really had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to write some books for kicks. Then I thought, Hell, figure out how to publish them and you'll be able to check 'author' off your Bucket List.
Once I had a couple of books under my belt, I figured it was time to actually learn about the business of publishing. Because it's a business if you want to be anything approaching successful.
By nature, I'm a collector of information. I like to know about things. How they work and how things all work together. A year after publishing my first book, I had some sales but nothing outside a small group of people. So, I buckled down to learn about marketing, Amazon ads, what makes a successful book, etc.
I got my ads going on Amazon had some small successes but not many. People were clicking to the books, but not buying. I dug into what makes a good Amazon ad and the answer was always, if you're getting clicks but no sales, it's a problem with your landing page. Meaning: cover, title, blurb, or some combination of those things.
After some soul searching, I realized I'd made some dreadful mistakes.
This was the hardest to come around to, but in the back of my mind, I knew it. The books' titles were wrong. All the titles are lines from the books, which I thought was nifty. But to keep with the theme, I had chosen poor titles that didn't tell readers anything. And they don't sound like fantasy novels. Ooof.
I wasn't married to the titles but I figured I couldn't change them.
Turns out, no, you totally can. I just go into my Kindle Publishing dashboard and change the title. Once someone has bought an e-book, Amazon won't let them buy it again. It feels weird to re-title something someone has read. I wonder if people will be upset or annoyed by it. I hope it doesn't bother anyone.
Because, the books are being retitled to better match the fantasy category. Bam.
An Oathbreaker's Vow
The Heretic's War
Fear and Bitter Thorns
The covers. I loved the image for A Gift Freely Given the moment I saw it. It was perfect. The hair, the pensive expression on the model's face. Here she is, dressed in something gorgeous, mask in hand, but she's not happy. Just like Leisha, she's not fulfilled. It was perfect.
And it turns out that is 100% the wrong way to pick a book cover image. Damn it.
I read several blogs by people who’ve found success in writing, and they all said the same thing. Covers are there to sell books, not tell the story. The style of covers that appeal to me aren't the sorts that sell books on Amazon. And again, my covers weren't telling readers what to expect from my books. That's a big no no.
I dug and dug and found an amazing cover artist willing to walk me through the process. The covers are done and, holy shit, I love them. They're dynamic and evocative. And, most importantly, they stand out on Amazon.
In a few days, I'll be releasing all three into the wild for everyone to ooh and aah over.
Blurbs are the worst but they're the out there in front of your book to pique someone's curiosity. If the blurb is bad or not interesting, you're going to lose people. The problem is, I'm introverted as hell and I really struggle to sell myself or my books. I'm shy. I don't want to be pushy. I'm embarrassed to hype my stuff. So, my blurbs are academic. They spell out exactly what the reader can expect - but I do it with cool precision.
That's no way to sell a book.
Back to the drawing board on that. It doesn't really affect anything. I tinker with my blurbs all the time, but now I'm really trying to dangle the carrot better, make the blurbs more exciting.