Saturday, February 7, 2009

Books for Sale?

Recently received my royalty check for December. Overall, I was pretty pleased with it. But I sure wish I knew why some books sell better than others. Is it the cover? The title? The subject matter? How often you go flog it on someone else's blog? What?

Or is it one big crap shoot?

It seems to me that someone with a leaning toward statistical analysis could make a bundle if he or she could accurately predict the points that made a book sell.

Naked bodies on the cover? Check.
A ménage/m/m/shifter/fantasy/series? Check. Oops... fantasy doesn't sell? Hmmm. Change that to sci-fi? Check.
Title? Toooo simple. Change from Magnolia to Hunky Unicorn and High Prince Rescue Faery Princess (Much Hot Sex Ensues). Check. Flog on every blog and forum possible. Check.

I had an early book that received excellent reviews. Every person that read it had only good things to say about it. But it didn't sell. To this day, I can't figure out what the problem was. I have a couple ideas about it, but there's no way to really tell why one book will sell and another one won't.

I don't write books that are this genre or that genre because those are popular. I write what's clawing to get out of my head. Most times when I finish them, I'm not even sure where they fall on the genre scale and I have to ask someone. So I wouldn't say that I'm writing to the market. Is that what I would have to do? Unfortunately, I don't seem able to pull that off. When I try that, my writing stops dead in the water. My characters head for the hills. And I sit twiddling my thumbs, waiting for something to happen.

So if anyone out there has answers, I'd be really interested in them. Speak up!



  1. Yep - I'd go with "it's a crap shoot." The cover for Penned Again was not at all naked yet it sold very well so that shoots all theories to hell....

  2. I can't figure it out either. My best selling book to date got only ONE review and I seldom posted excerpts or did promo for it. I don't KNOW why it sold so well because I did little to help it along. Other books that I've promoted like crazy have completely flopped.

    It's a huge mystery.

  3. dunno, but when you figure it out, please clue me in too.

  4. I barely promo'd the Katie books. They still sell a lot. I promo'd the heck out of Kirch for a while and they sold well but not as great as Katie. Same publisher but different goals. Who knows? Maybe it's associated with moon cycles.

  5. Hope you get it figured out. I'd love to know:)