Monday, September 22, 2014

How Many Books Do I Sell?

Okay, first of all, I'm not going to answer that question.  Second of all, you can find out for yourself.

The number of books I sell every month has been steadily growing over the past year or two and rapidly growing over the last few months, due in large part because of the great reviews and general lovely reception received by my latest erotic romance novella, Hard Luck Ranch.

But where have I been cyber-stalking myself, you may ask?  In case you don't already know about it, writers can keep track of their sales on Amazon (which handles a large percent of my e-book sales from my three publishers, Ellora's Cave, Crimson Romance and Totally Bound) through Novel Rank.  This site's Track Novel feature allows you to copy and paste in the link to your Amazon e-book and start keeping track of how many books you sell.  It also has cool tricks that let you see graphs of how many sales you've had in the past month or the last year and see how your book sales are trending.

By using Novel Rank, I've seen how much my sales of Hard Luck Ranch have outpaced my previous book launches and also how the success of it has spurred readers to pick up some of my similar titles like A Lady for Two and Country Hearts, pumping up the sales of my back list.

Let's face it, I like seeing my Amazon ranking climb -- my goal is to crack the triple digits one day -- but I also want to know what those numbers mean.  I don't know how scientific Novel Rank is but it seems to give me a good idea of how I'm doing and let's me anticipate how big a royalty check's coming my way!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bad Romance (Reviews)

I have to admit that the bad reviews get me down.  Most of them are tinged with back-handed compliments (good sex, okay story).  Others are just all out bad (although I take mean spirited pleasure in noting that these are the ones that also tend to be poorly spelled).

I enjoy a good review.  The meaning of a good review has changed in recent months.

When I read a book and provide a review on Goodreads, I tend to simplify the experience.  If I liked the book, I give it a four star review.  If I loved it, five stars.  Two or less stars means I really didn't care for it.  One star pretty much means I didn't finish it, which is exceedingly rare.

Perhaps I am a generous reviewer.  I don't mind.  I realized long ago that I can love an infinite number (and variety) of books.  My all time favourite books I tend to read and re-read regularly.  They're like old friends.  And you can't have enough friends.

So, back to my reviews.  I know now that not everyone shares my view on books.  Some reviewers never seem to hand out five stars.  Others have their grading curves hovering around three instead of four or five like me.  People are different.  My idea of being a book lover is being fairly uncritical.  If the book made me feel strongly, I usually love it.  Even if it makes me sad.  Especially if it makes me sad.  That's the power of a book.  They don't all have to evoke the same emotions or tell the same type of story.  Imagine if all books did.  What horror.

People like your writing or they don't.  Not exactly stunning wisdom but the truth.  Everyone reads, and reviews, in different ways.

I can write good sex scenes.  I'll take it.  I write erotic romance so giving good sex scenes is a crucial part of my craft.  But I also want to tell a good story so I do read the negative reviews and try to see where I can improve.

Do I give the bad reviews too much power?  Perhaps?  They get me down.  At least now they get me down for a few minutes when, in the beginning, I would worry about them for days.

The good reviews outweigh the bad ones, both in number and in effect.  I want people to read my stories and feel something.  Hopefully, something sexy.