After 15 months of disappointing sales, The Legend of Finndragon's Curse continues to flounder in the overcrowded sea of indie novels, ranked 170,000 in the UK and 720,000 in the US. I have built up a prescence on Twitter and Facebook, used Amazon's KDP select free promotional days and had articles in several newspapers. Although I haven't had huge amounts of reviews, several have been glowing from readers who don't know me. I have even had the offer of a publishing contract from a small press, which is as yet unsigned. So I know that I have written a book worthy of being read.
I write in UK English and realise that this may not suit my American readers. Scott-Robert Shenkman is someone that I have connected with on Goodreads and has become a friend. He has kindly agreed to 'translate' both books into US English and so I will have two versions of each book available.
So why doesn't anyone want to read my novel?
I have done a lot of soul searching and realise what many other indie authors have already discovered. Nobody knows that I exist and will never know unless I can make myself visible.
I've had enough of shouting on Twitter to followers who are trying to do likewise. I know that I won't sell books to people who are trying to sell theirs. Don't get me wrong, I have made some fantastic friends who have been very supportive. They have been forthcoming with some great, unsolicited advice. They are quick and eager to retweet my shouts, but I now know what a noisy place Twitter is.
So what am I going to do about it?
The first thing that I have to do is get a professional cover designed. Okay, that's something that I should have done before ever publishing, but like many other struggling writers I have a very small budget. I've had several already, but I realise that the cover is my shop window, no-one is going to look inside unless they like what they see. So I'm going to make sacrifices elsewhere and find the cash.
Second, I need to get the book in print. Lulu or Creatspace? that is the question.
The third is going to be a blog tour. A few months ago I didn't even know what that was, but now I am going to plan one. I can't afford to use any Blog Tour Services, so I am going to have to go it alone. But I am not going to plan any old tour. You may think that I'm being over ambitious, but I'm going to aim for something big. Something taking in as many stops as possible: 50, 75, 100 - who knows how many? And it's going to go on forever. Well maybe not that long, but certainly for quite some time.
My next book is almost ready for publication. Return to Finndragon's Den is the second and final book in the Tales of Finndragon series. Hopefully, I've learned from the experience of the last 15 months and can generate some interest before its release and for some time after.
My research into blog tours tells me that I have to have giveaways and prizes, that seems to be standard practice. But I don't just want to give away a few ebooks and a Kindle Fire or two, I'm thinking of something bigger. More details to follow.
I have started to make a list of book blogs, particularly but not exclusively Young Adult and Fantasy. I don't want to rule any out however small. I want to help start-up blogs and those with only a few subscribers and hope that we all mutually benefit.
If any book bloggers read this post and want to get involved, please contact me. I don't need a sales pitch, if you are kind enough to host a stop on the tour, I'd be delighted to drop by. All I ask is that your blog is suitable for young adult readers.
I'd also love to hear from indie authors who've been on blog tours. How did it work for you? Did it have a great impact on sales?
Also, if you are a cover designer and would be interested in creating two stunning covers, please get in touch. As I mentioned earlier, I really don't have much of a budget. There are many excellent designers out there and I'm looking for someone who is competitively priced. I'm even willing to negotiate on a share of the royalties.