Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is This Book Cursed? by Ashlyn Chase

You’ve written a winner—sometimes literally—but no one is buying. What do you do?
If you’re waiting for me to answer that, I’m not sure I can. I can only share my experience and let you draw your own conclusions.

One of my favorite stories of my 12 year career was loved and lauded by reviewers. Oh My God. Uh, that’s not just an expression of joy—that’s the name of my book! One called it “the funniest story this reviewer has ever read.” It was even nominated for the CAPA and Eppie awards in 2009. Yay, me! Sort of. It sold very poorly.

At first it was with a brand new epublisher (which went under in a year) and then with a British publisher for two years. I thought the small presses may have been the problem. What to do? I got my rights back and came up with a grand plan for a rerelease, giving readers a whole lot more content.

I recruited my wonderful writing partner Dalton Diaz to write a brand new related story. Her voice, style, and sense of humor are absolutely terrific! Then I expanded and rewrote my story to dovetail with hers. I knew we had a winner.

Then, just to be sure people would notice it (this time) we brought on board the fabulous USA Today bestseller Terry Spear! She had a story already written that went beautifully with our genre, so it was offered as a bonus. We got a fabulous cover, professional editing, and indie published it July 8th, charging only $2.99. Oh! And I should mention it’s erotic romance…A hugely popular genre. Let the dollars roll in!

Um…Not so much. Tracking it on Amazon seemed like the best place to see those big numbers. One sale on release day, two the next, maybe three later that week. (I bought a couple of copies myself to give away as prizes.) It didn’t take long to get discouraged.

We all had others things going on plus tight deadlines. Okay, so we didn’t hype the hell out of it…But we did facebook shares, tweets, added it to our Pinterest boards, and talked about it on a few blogs.

I sent the arc to 20 of my street team members and only saw 5 reviews posted. Of course they were awesome reviews, because these folks are my ‘super-fans’, but even that wasn’t enough. It’s cursed! It must be!    

If you can think there’s another explanation, I’d love to hear it! And if anyone can commiserate, that would be nice too. It’s always good to know you’re not alone.

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