Some of the recent success of one of my novels and a novella have prompted other writers to ask me the question, “What did you do differently that other people didn’t?”
I sat and brainstormed this. I talked it over with my sister, my husband, and several writer friends. We couldn’t come to any conclusions except the following:
1. The novel and novella that are popular are good for what they are within their genre. (People consistently recommend them to their friends and write good reviews.)
2. The price is right in a bad economy.
Both of these factors seem to have spurred word-of-mouth recommendation for Training Amy (BDSM Erotica) and Weekend Captive (BDSM Erotica). Another of my friends suggested perhaps it was the cover art. Let’s face it, the cover art on both books is simple and very elegant rather than trashy or tawdry. I think some covers in the genre are in really poor taste, or they look like everything else out there. Gavin, my designer, does a really beautiful job on my covers. I specifically asked for no nude bodies on my covers. It’s passé in my opinion.
Now how *Amy* made it into the top 75 romance novels on Amazon is beyond me. I’m still reeling from that revelation. Evidently I have a talent for writing decent erotic romance. Who knew?
For what it’s worth – it could also be dumb luck. But we kind of struck that idea after we discovered numerous reviews on various sites where readers were sharing how much they enjoyed these books. The biggest complaint seems to be people think the novella is too short.
I think it’s a combination of factors that make a novel successful or not. First – is there a market for it? Second – is it well written and does it engage the reader (i.e. does it get good reviews)? Third – is it eye-catching or grabbing? Fourth – is the price affordable?
Advertising is a plus, but really — nothing beats word-of-mouth advertising. If your readers start a storm of chatter about your book and other readers pick up on it – it’s going to translate into book sales. I wish I had a sure-fire formula for success for you struggling writers out there, but I don’t. ::sad face::