For an independent author, marketing my work is challenging and often perplexing. In the early days of BookBub, if an author could snag a featured deal, the exposure would be enough to buoy him or her into the stratosphere for months or longer. These days, however, even the magic of BookBub can flag, and marketing books has become increasingly hit and miss.
Reader expectations are always on my mind when I’m writing a new book. I try not to stress about bad reviews, but I do often glean insight when readers say what they did or did not enjoy. My latest release, The Prettier Sister, seemed to satisfy readers who liked a certain measure of snappy repartee between the hero and heroine as well as a happy ending. The book has been well received and I’m glad.
Since I don’t like to get caught writing the same story over and over again, I will occasionally step outside my zone. I usually set my historical romance in England, but I have written two historical romances set entirely in America.
How did those books sell?
They fell flat.
I’m referring to Rumer Has It (set in Charleston, SC) and An American in Paris of the West (set in Virginia and San Francisco). Both books were liked by the readers who left reviews on Amazon (4.5 rating for RHI and 5.0 rating for AAIPOTW), but neither book performed to my expectations sales-wise.
So, what is an author to do?
Shall I stay in my lane or continue to try new things? Can an author ever tempt her readers into trying something different? Let me know what you think. ~ Suzanne