So first another update on The Time-Traveling Outlaw. It’s holding relatively steady in the 30-40K ranking overall and in the 100-200 range in Time Travel Romance. Yesterday the book had over 1000 page reads and today I already have about 500 page reads, making my revenue from page reads significantly higher than sales revenue for the first time since I’ve been self-publishing. The revenue is still much lower than I’d like it to be, but this is my first full-length novel in romance, and I shouldn’t expect to hit it out of the park on the first swing. There are stories of others doing so, but I’m pretty sure that’s the exception and not the rule. Besides, I did a few things right, but I’m learning, and I expect to do much better with my next book. I’ve got a promo running tomorrow on The Time-Traveling Outlaw, so hopefully that will give it a nice bump. The reviews are very good. I just need some more visibility.
I’m active in a couple of indie author forums. I recently read a bunch of Chris Fox’s stuff, including Write to Market. I listen to both the SFF Marketing Podcast and the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast. I’ve done a good amount of research on my own, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the last 6-12 months. One aspect of success seems to be creating feedback loops. My impression is that success breeds more success. That is, if you get a book into a high ranking in one or more subcategories, that increased visibility generates even more sales/reads, which creates a feedback loop, pushing the book higher or helping to keep it high. I haven’t yet broken the top 100 in Time Travel Romance, and I’m really hoping that happens over the weekend with the new promo, because I’d like to see if that really holds true. But as I mentioned in a previous post, Time Travel Romance is crowded with kilts, so it’s possible the increased exposure wouldn’t do me all that much good if a Time Travel Western isn’t what many readers are looking for. Still, I think it can’t hurt. I’m not expecting to try to break the top 100 in Western Romance, since that seems to be much more competitive. Though the one reason I wrote a Time-Travel/Western crossover was because in my research those seemed to be two of the less competitive, but still popular, subcategories.
Anyway, one thing I did for this book was try to line up some ARC (advance reader copy) readers, to try to get some reviews the first few days. That worked okay, but I didn’t have a very good idea of how to go about getting reviewers, so I didn’t get that many. I was also a beta tester for a new ARC service, and that didn’t lead to too many new reviews, either. I think that might be because I chose a weird intersection of subcategories and faltered on the cover, which looks decent, but doesn’t communicate what a lot of romance readers want to read.
For my next book, Dragon Blue, I intend to focus on one subcategory, have a clear cover that communicates the content and steam level of the book, and up the spice level. I also intend to line up a lot more ARC readers. Speaking of which…if you or someone you know would be interested in receiving and advance copy of Dragon Blue for free (in whatever digital format you prefer) in exchange for an honest review, either leave a comment here or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.