Very recently, I released a new novel–my BIGGEST novel to date–called ‘Love is a Beach’. My editor called it my best work. Early reviewers loved it. New release readers hugged it and wanted to be Nana when they grew up. But the rest of the world? Crickets. It didn’t matter what advertising or promotional angle I tried, I couldn’t get the book moving.
So, what’s an author to do when her newest baby won’t fly out of the nest? Give up and move on? No way. That’s never been my MO.
While I’m aware that some books just never find their audience, I wasn’t willing to put Love is a Beach in that category until I’d exhausted all options. *The following is a bit of business talk that may or may not bore you senseless. If you find your eyes glazing over, feel free to scroll to the bottom of the post where all is explained in summary* I was running ads. It’s something I’m good at, so I knew they were doing their job. They were finding readers and sending them to my Amazon sales page, but those readers weren’t one-clicking. Since I knew the problem wasn’t the actual book, it had to be the description or the cover.
First off, I tried a few different tag lines at the top of the blurb–something to grab the reader’s attention to get them to read on. I noticed a tiny bit of a shift there, but nothing significant. I tightened the actual blurb with the same result which let me to toy with the cover.
I tried out a different image that was more in line with popular rom-com books at the moment and things improved but only slightly. After switching the cover back, I wondered if perhaps changing the title would make the difference. Maybe readers thought the title ‘Love is a Beach’ was too sweet? Maybe they took it too literally instead of translating it to ‘Love is a Bitch’? I had no clue by that point, but my confidence was really shaken and I needed to do something bigger since the smaller changes weren’t helping.
Deciding to buck the man-chest trend, I went with an overjoyed looking woman and the title ‘Darcy Comes First for a Change’. I thought it was still tongue in cheek and fit the story well because Darcy is a mother who rarely puts herself first, plus her new man Leo ALWAYS makes her come first :insert winky face here:
To my absolute relief, the cover and title change worked. Within a few hours of it going live, my sales and borrows started moving upwards and this awesome story (if I do say so myself) is getting the audience it deserves. So we’re sticking with it. The puzzle has been solved and I’m able to put my creative focus into what comes next instead of agonising over why I can’t sell a book I poured my heart into and worked ridiculously hard on. Hallelujah!
For those of you who read my work the moment it released, I want to thank you for always trusting me to delivery the steam and the entertainment no matter what the subject. I’m always honoured to have you travelling this road with me. I hope you like the new title and cover, but if you prefer the original the paperback version still has it. I’ll leave it available so you can grab that for your shelves over the next couple of months.
And to those still waiting to read, here’s the link to get your copy. You won’t regret it. books2read.com/u/mZN8pp