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Can anyone help with my bullied kung-fu dwarf debut?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Trueblue4U, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Trueblue4U

    Trueblue4U New Member

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    Recently, I published SERGEI, a 240 page novel about a bullied dwarf from Russia who runs away to China and trains with a martial arts master. It's one of four books in a series called Legendary Masters about three fighters on their way to an otherworldly fighting tournament.

    A friend of mine (who's an agent) said there are 3 big reasons I'm not selling:

    #1: Cover - He said my cover was too graphic novel, and I needed a more 'High Fantasy' cover. But my book isn't high fantasy. It's more YA fantasy, so I thought my cover was great. Would a cover of a burned down house on a mountain (maybe a picture) work more?

    #2: Forums - He said I need to get on every forum and become part of the communities (like this one) so that I gain friendships, reviews and commiseration with like-minded people. Is that true?

    #3: Reviews - Apparently, I need at least 10 really strong Amazon reviews in order to get onto Bookbub and other sites that can generate more sales? Is that right? And how do I get these? I've asked friends and family, but most of their reviews don't show up on Amazon. Is this another "you have to blog and join communities and become a publicity master" in order to make this happen?

    Can anyone offer me some advice on how I can reach more readers? I would truly appreciate the help.

    Best,
    Josh
    A disheartened yet undeterred writer
     
  2. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Hi Josh....

    Have you attended writing groups to receive critique on your work? Have you attended any writing classes, workshops or looked into books on craft? All those things are helpful too.

    I looked up your book on Amazon to see how I could help you out...

    1) Cover. I agree with your friend. I'm not sure about who your book is targeted too, but based on the cover I would not say YA fantasy. It does look very graphic novel/ super hero to me, and the hand with the bloody rock is perhaps not something that screams "bullied dwarf in a historical fantasy"...

    2) forums... Well, what these forums are amazing for is meeting likeminded amateur writers who are more than willing to offer support, critiques, brainstorm, or what ever else you need. I had a quick read of your first two chapters and I think you would benefit from having some readers who are writers read your work and provide some comments. You many benefit from participating in conversations on writing craft, story planning, etc. If you'd like, and are open to critique I would suggest putting the few pages of your work in the Showcase for feedback. Or, asking for a crit partner.

    Also, for practice and a great learning experience you could participate in one of out Top Scribe Challenges. These are an excellent way to stretch your story telling muscles with short peices.

    3) Self publishing is a lot of work and takes a lot of networking. There are others on this site who have been doing it a long time and know more than me, so hopefully they will chime in and help you out... :)
     
    Trueblue4U likes this.
  3. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    You have to research blogger/reviewers that express interest in similar books and then craft a separate review query tailored for each individual. It is very similar to the process of querying agents.

    The process is long and tedious. Most bloggers burn out from the piles of requests they receive within a couple years. This makes it difficult to sift through those that have abandoned their goals but still blog.

    Many bloggers want a hard copy ARC to brag about on twitter. That's an expensive option for Indies. One novel can cost as much as $7.00 to print. 100 reviewers....you do the math.

    A digital file is sufficient for many reviewers, most prefer mobi files and an image of the cover art.

    For every ten queries you email, nine will be ignored, one will be a maybe.

    The recipe to marketing success changes frequently. Blogging and Forums are less effective ways than they were ten years ago.
    Use both only if you enjoy it.

    The best way to get noticed is to produce more work.

    Comic Conventions help if you can afford to rent a booth.
     
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