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Pre-order blues for book 3 in my series (1 Viewer)

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
After putting my third installment up for pre-order on Amazon and a few other retailers, I sent it to various web traffic promotion sites. Despite getting several thousands of views, I had 0 sales. Not only is it extremely frustrating and disappointing, but it's also confusing.
I tested my title, blurb, and cover to a bunch of people before I submitted them to Amazon KDP and Draft2digital (which distributes the story to additional retailers) and got mostly positive feedback and reactions. I had to hire another illustrator for the front cover since I couldn't reach out to the one who did my previous book covers, nor could I access his website anymore. I also researched my keywords and picked the appropriate categories.
Because the book is on pre-order, there is no look-inside available. So, I don't understand why no one is pre-ordering it.
The only possibilities I can think of are:

The holidays and maybe fewer people wanting to shop the day before, during, or after Christmas
The pandemic (although this shouldn't interfere, especially since a price of 1.99 for a third installment should be reasonable)
Being an unknown author
The vast majority of those viewers not being in my target audience (and then I wouldn't understand why they'd click the page links to begin with)
Web traffic services not being the best options for writers, even if they target specific niches
Later installments being harder to market to the public, especially if you're not a big name

I have three sites that I submitted to the web traffic services, and there is one where I am considering deleting the page. That one got more than 4000 views in a few days, but no sales or email list sign-ups. I already deleted a tweet with a link to that site since no one was taking action.
You can go to the book's Amazon page or my website if you want. On my website in the "news" section, I offer bonuses to those who will forward their receipts to me as proof of pre-ordering the book. And I think the bonuses are pretty fair. The web pages should also be easy for people to navigate and take action.
I also didn't publish a paperback for a couple of reasons:

1: Amazon doesn't allow pre-orders for paperbacks.
2: It takes time to create a full cover that fits the number of pages in the book as well as a lot of experimenting.

I could reduce the price to 99 cents, although I would have to wait until after a few eBook promotion sites market it this coming week since I already submitted the book to them. I was also considering waiting until the last 2 weeks of pre-orders to drop the price. I never publish books just to make money, anyway.
I could also update the bonuses to something more desirable, although I had a lot of trouble with this since the internet didn't give good bonus ideas. The ones they listed are more for non-fiction writers or highly successful or bestselling authors.
What could be wrong?
 

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
Update***

I just realized that maybe my book not being out for 3 months might turn readers away, especially as an unknown author. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I also reached out to a best-selling author's agent and asked if I could give away free digital copies of that book as part of my bonuses for the people who pre-order my book. Of course, I will wait to see what they say.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
You have to have a readership before you're going to get pre-orders and a lot of people will simply not buy a series that is not completed from an unknown author. Why get invested in a story when there is no guarantee that it will ever be completed? You need to prove yourself first before a lot of people are going to give you money for a product sight-unseen.
 

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
The story is actually completed now. I do have an email list of around 193 people. But to be honest, except for those who reviewed or reacted to my books, there isn't much of a readership. I've done as much marketing for the past few years of the first 2 books.
However, I did join some sites, such as story origin and learned some unique tricks to getting more readers.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I also didn't publish a paperback for a couple of reasons:

1: Amazon doesn't allow pre-orders for paperbacks.
2: It takes time to create a full cover that fits the number of pages in the book as well as a lot of experimenting.

I bought two books for my grandson for Christmas but they were paperback. He is nearly ten. He does not have a Kindle. How many of your previous sales were Kindle and how many paperback?

I have never pre ordered a book.
 

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
Yes, it's only an ebook. I have to work on the paperback.
I could use IngramSpark, although they charge money for it. I also tried using them for my first book after the Amazon KDP paperback was published. But they published another version of the paperback and excluding just Amazon wasn't an option.
I could go back to IngramSpark and publish additional copies of books 1 and 2 as well as set up a pre-order for book 3. Maybe I could find cheaper services to get my own ISBN's since IngramSpark charges a lot for them.
Most of my sales were kindle, although my paperback sales did increase recently.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
Why is pre-order so important to you? Why not wait until the paperback is available? Ebooks are hardly going to go out of stock so why preorder? Apologoies I am playing devil's advocate here.

Have you conducted a study to see if parents prefer books to ebooks? I know all my grandkids prefer their children to have proper books to ebooks. Kids already have too much screentime.

Maybe do some research.
 
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