Many of you who follow me and my blog post, know I have complained about poor sales on my second book What Did I Do? I have it listed with Amazon’s KDP as an eBook and a paperback. Initially sales did well, but after three months, they have all but stopped. I tried for two weeks doing a promotional for $.99; I sold four. I have done the sponsored ads (e.g. pay per click). I’ve promoted it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Flipboard, etc.
In my opinion there are several elements involved for the lack of sales. The prime consideration is the lack of reviews. I have pleaded and begged readers to leave a review. I get the typical promise, but they don’t follow through. I further believe the subject (e.g. child abuses) hinders people’s desire to read it. Whatever the cause, I have decided to not fret and move on.
What has been consistently selling is my first book One Month, Twenty Days, and a Wake Up. Even when I published it with syntax and grammar errors, it sells. Over the last month, I used the editing software ProWritingAid to clean up those errors. I also decided I would republish the edited revision. Since the book is selling well (for a writer at my level). I would further offer it as a paperback.
Even when it was time-consuming and demanding, I found it exhilarating going back over my work. I’m sure other writers have experienced the same feeling. My story entranced me where I had captured suspense and reality. What was embarrassing it was out in the public with all the errors.
I toyed sending it to the editor that did my second book. As an experiment, I’m trying using ProWritingAid instead. If the book wasn’t already selling, I would use an editor. Future books will for sure use an editor before publishing. I was surprised with what ProWritingAid pointed out as needed corrections. There weren’t excessive corrections, rather it pointed out corrections I had never heard before.
I never knew about ‘sticky’ words. Perhaps others call them by a different name. I never gave a thought about repeated words and the terminology of ‘echo words’. Then there were vague words. Even when it pointed out I was mixing “curly quotes with straight quotes’; I did not understand what that meant. I’m still pondering how this happened. There is an optional setting in Microsoft Word to use ‘curly quotes’ or ‘straight quotes’. When I looked I had ‘curly quotes’ turned off, yet Word was putting them in. Now I know ‘curly quotes’ are the preferred, I turned them on.
If you have used ProWritingAid, you understand its ability to go into depth in writing perfection. My opinion, if we made all the corrections it suggested, we would end up with an unimaginative writing and we would soon bore the reader. I changed my writing where it was obvious the correction made a smoother sentences or paragraphs. I made changes where the syntax or grammar was wrong. I felt sometimes you needed that adverb or adjective to show and not tell. Sometimes rewriting the passive voice sentence didn’t read well and I left it as is. My conclusion, editing software is great, but don’t take it literal.
It took more time than I expected going through the book, but I completed my work. I’m waiting on the completed cover. I encourage you to watch for the launch of the revised edition of One Month, Twenty Days, and a Wake Up. I also invite any of you who haven’t read it, to invest your time and money.
The following is a revised book description:
One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up, follows a young man’s account of his four years serving in the Air Force. This novel follows him and his best friend as they volunteer to cross train into the elite career field of Pararescue. They spend fourteen months of grueling training where only the best and those with the desire to push themselves to the limit, become a PJ.
When he graduates and proudly wears the burgundy beret, he knows they will deploy him Vietnam. The book follows his thirteen months in Vietnam where he learns the horror of war and how he must adapt to not only keep his sanity, also return alive. His story has several of the rescue missions he and his PJ brothers completed where not all the rescued return alive. When he faces personal bereavement, he must reach deep to restore his integrity, and keep his oath, “These things I do, that others may live.”