So, this morning I checked my Amazon/Kindle stats for The Novice Master, and found that since introducing the book back in December, I have sold a grand total of…3 copies. Yes, you read that right: Three. I bought one of them, just to see how the book looked on my own Kindle, and I know who bought the other two. And even with two glowing five-star reviews…no appreciable sales in nearly a month. WTF? Okay, there’s the issue of all those people who said they were going to buy my book and didn’t…But, that’s not really the problem. The problem is that my book is still in the wrong damn category. In other words, it’s completely invisible. And I’m an idiot, when it comes to marketing my own work—which is why I hate doing it!
I would have thought, in theory, that “College and New Adult” would be the ideal category for my book. It’s not. It’s basically a sub-set of romance fiction, for readers who likely aren’t in college (no serious college student would be reading that crap). And apparently New Adult is just another term for light porn. So it was back to Pronoun, my publisher, for help in switching categories yet again. They are helpful over there, but only to a point. Basically, they threw the ball back in my court, saying that I was responsible for choosing the categories in the first place EVEN THOUGH you can’t really do that: You can’t input a category but have to choose from a drop-down menu that doesn’t necessarily give you the proper options. But it is actually all my fault for not having the balls to put my book squarely in the Literary Fiction category where it should have been in the first place. So I took the plunge and recategorized myself as a true literary novelist, and now I’m in competition with only about 17,000 other authors. Much better odds, actually. And then I tried to get the coming-of-age thing in, but the drop down menu would only allow: Literature and fiction > Genre fiction > Coming of Age. Apparently, according to Amazon and Pronoun, Coming of Age is not a valid category for Literary Fiction. Sorry, “Catcher in the Rye.” You can pick “Classics: Coming of Age” but I’m not so full of myself as to place The Novice Master there. So apparently I am both a literary and a genre novelist.
We’ll see if this new move nudges the sales and ratings back up on good old ‘Zon. I know I said I didn’t care about sales, but of course I do! A little… And I want readers I know will love the book to find it. Besides, what I really meant was that I don’t care about being an uber-rich runaway best seller. Luckily, no danger of that any time soon!