To most of my subscribers it must seem as though I’ve been missing in action by not commenting on any of the latest juicy gossip driven News events. But actually, I’ve been very busy learning my new craft of writing.
Take for example, my novel ‘Ruby Sanders’. When I first put it up for sale on Amazon.com/Books, I had it categorized as a Romance Novel.
The book had excellent sales, but it was slammed by Amazon’s readers. They knit-picked that book to pieces and rightfully so. And they especially hated the ending.
So, I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. And truth be told, I could have rewritten that book a thousand times and the readers would still have found fault with the book. Because there was something that I didn’t know then that I know now after having taken the time to study my craft.
And that is, I AM NOT A ROMANCE WRITER, and Ruby Sander is NOT A ROMANCE NOVEL. There are no heaving chests, and no one is looking longingly into someone’s eyes. But mostly, Ruby Sanders does not have a happy ending. An absolute must for a good romance novel. Girl gets rich guy – guy saves beautiful damsel. You know the drill.
What I, obviously, didn’t know is that there are definite rules for each Genre. As I wrote in the previous paragraph, a good romance novel is all about the two main characters and must have a happy ending. A good contemporary love story is all about the story, with interesting characters, and does not necessarily have a happy ending. So, therefore, Ruby Sanders is a love story and not a romance story.
That being learned, I then had to learn all about ‘Categories’ and in particular, Amazon.com/Books Categories. Click here
I also studied keywords and how to use them as opposed to search phrases. A tedious but necessary task. So necessary in fact, that after I re-categorized and built keywords into my book description for Ruby Sanders, its sales are on the rise again.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,792 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#121 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > African
#1318 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States
#2172 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Westerns
Note the change from Romance >Historical Fiction >Western
Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > African
And check out the keywords (in bold) built into the new book description.
Ruby Sanders is the coming of age story of a young slave girl and her relationship with two very different men, Jared Anderson, the son of a wealthy planter and Mingo Williams, the son of a planter and his slave mistress
The Civil War has ravished the plantations around Atlanta and then news comes from the North that President Lincoln has found a new general who’s willing and able to carry out his scorched earth policy towards the South.
Playmates since children, Jared has vowed to free Ruby and her family but he must also save his own. In order to do that, he has come up with a daring plan to move everyone, including Ruby, west to the newly opened Colorado Territories. But there’s a problem. Jared and his family are broke. He’s forced to marry the young impetuous daughter of Henry and Helen Wilkes in order to obtain enough money to carry out his plan.
When Mingo joins the group will his presence destroy Jared’s plans? Or will Jared and Ruby live happily ever after? WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL CONTENT.
Now, while I’ll share with you my categories and keywords, I’m keeping my search phrases a closely guarded secret.
I will tell you that I’ve had similar results with my other novel, Dancing With The Fat Woman which has gone from #1238 in the wrong category to #818 in the correct category.
As one famous writer wrote on his website, “you may have written the world’s best novel, but if no one can find it, no one will ever know.
So if you’re a new writer getting started in the Self Publishing business, my advice to you is to take time to study and to learn. My new favorite site is Novel Now. http://www.nownovel.com/
A Tiny Kitten With A Big Mouth
Eliza D. Ankum
STALKED! By Voices
Dancing With The Fat Woman
FREE SHANNON ANKUM