Monday, April 25, 2016 | By: Angela Brown

Something to Ask...

Some of you that visit my blog are strictly readers. Others, like me, love to read and write.

I've been publishing stories under my name and as Rayven Godchild for a few years now. It's been a see-saw adventure being happy for my writing comrades who find a livable financial success with their stories and wondering what I'm doing wrong to be so far from such a level four years into my publishing endeavors.

Four years may not be so long compared to others who've been at this longer and are struggling just as much as me, so let me say I don't write this post as a pity party. I'm interested in honest feedback.

In the comments, please share your thoughts:
Are you drawn to an author's novel or the author?
Have you ever purchased one of the novels by me as Angela Brown or Rayven Godchild?
If so, which one did you get and was there a reason behind the preference?

Like I mentioned above, honest answers is what I'd like to read. This isn't about stroking egos, but about me learning, even if I have to take a bruising to gain the knowledge.

Enjoy a bit of virtual fruit and chocolate cheesecake as my thanks for you taking the time to share your thoughts.



Natalie Aguirre said...

I'll be honest. I haven't purchased your book or many of my blogger friends. Why? Because I was on a reading schedule for my own blog that totally dictated my own writing. Now since all my heartaches the last two years, I've had a reading crisis where it's been hard to read and I'm finding I must read adult fiction--mostly mysteries--to enjoy reading again.

I think you're being too hard on yourself as an author. Most authors do not support themselves with their writing. And even if they make money, they must take taxes out and pay things like health insurance unless their spouse has a job with this benefit. I'm a contract writer now and sort of support myself with my writing. But it does not pay all my bills. It's okay for this phase of life, but would not have been when I was raising my daughter like you are. I think most of us need another stable full-time job. If you keep working at it, I know your sales and readership will grow with time.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've purchased the books under your name. Obviously I am drawn to an author's name, especially when I know that person, such as all of my author blogger buddies. When it's someone I don't know, usually the cover draws me in first.
Your time is coming, Angela!

Christine Rains said...

I don't know any authors that support themselves with writing except the big names. It's my dream to do so too. You are a fantastic writer, and I've bought books by you under both names. It's tough to see low sales and feel like we can't do anything more. We must just keep pushing on.

Nicola said...

Firstly I'm drawn to the author's name but then the book. Don't get disheartened Angela. Look into different marketing strategies which may help. You have your great product - it's just finding that 'way in'. Take good care and keep laughing.

Catherine Stine said...

I've bought Angela Brown books. I'm drawn to certain genres, and dark fantasy with suspense is one I like. Keep at it, you have real talent.

Maria Zannini said...

I'd have to look through my catalog, but I think I've bought one book under your name and the very first book under Godchild.

But...I bought them as a friend because erotica and young adult aren't the genres I typically read. For the last couple of years, I've even stopped reading romance in favor of historical.

So the question becomes how do you find your real audience?

If it were me, I'd concentrate on one genre and put every bit of energy participating in groups that read that genre.

For example, if you chose YA, talk to the teachers in Chipmunk's school and see if they'd be willing to include your Summons book as a homework assignment and do a book review.

If you did this, you'd have to have a sequel ready for hungry readers who enjoyed the first one.

Talk to your local librarian and see if they can host you as a speaker. Be sure to get 'D' to invite all her friends to fill up the room. This will thrill the library and assure you a return visit! Hand out postcards or bookmarks with a list of your other YA books.

Do character cards, where you use a picture of each of the main characters with information about each on the back. (Like baseball cards) You can do this digitally at first (for your web site), and print them later to hand out at events.

This comment is probably overly long, but I want you to think outside the box. My guess is you've been doing things the same way hoping to get different results. Time to shake it up.

Don't do what everyone else is doing. Try to get to the source, your true audience.

Maria and her two pence. :o)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I think you have been doing everything right to generate interest in your writing. The money part is the hardest because you can never predict when lightning strikes with the grand pay pay. But as a big reader I'll give you some advice from my stand point.

1. I think that since you have branched out through YA, NA, Erotica and now MG. You need a specialized website for your books. Take Julie Kagawa's site for example which not only leads you to her works but separates them in almost competitive way. There's the Iron Fey image which leads to that series info and characters, Blood of Eden - vampire series and Talon - dragon series. I'm a Talon series girl and love clicking on that image to see the latest info and updates. Also while I've never been into fey, since I enjoy Talon books so much I have since bought two books from the Iron Fey series and plan to buy the rest before I start reading that one. Having your different books almost vie for top attention creates a fun lively atmosphere that will pull in readers.

2. It's great that you have a website for your erotic writings as Rayven Godchild but.....

(a) I tried to get to your site through your link on the blog but couldn't. Found it on your Facebook but most readers will not go searching. Please correct website link on your Rayven tab.

(b) Maybe find a back ground that isn't white. No matter how much we want to deny it white is best at establishing two things. Innocence or boredom/plain. If these are not what your erotic stories' about, change that background.

(c) Um why does your lovely bio rest beside a male model with man bitch/angry jerk eyes. Sorry but I felt like I did him something the whole time. It was uncomfortable. Maybe get a picture similar your Secret Lilies cover to emphasize passion not angry sexy which is not for everyone. Count me. Or maybe the intensity hit me the wrong way.

d) When I reached the website at first I saw nothing but white and a nice script of your header. While it looks nice the blankness and having to move down further on the homepage to see more seems not be best idea. Viewers at your website should be hit right away with what it's about. I got no clue this was a website for erotica.

3) Find out where your fans hang out online and use it to your advantage.

4)Find something you can do personally to help push your book even further without fans or non fans buying the book. I know that sounds confusing but Julie Kagawa makes miniature dragons that draws in buyers so fast it sells out of her etsy store in minutes. Since she makes them it brings in a really good profit and even her publisher recently hosted an Easter giveaway distributing a few. Which is sure in turn to help with her next sale.

5. Keep in contact with your biggest fans. I am a huge fan of Danielle Paige and she not only keeps us informed on Twitter but also responds when she can. I did a PPG girl thing for her through their website and she loved it.

Hope these tips help you get more out there. Last year I bought over 100 paperback books and definitely over 50 kindle books. So when it comes to attracting readers I hope my tips help.

Mike Keyton said...

Hi Angela, I have little to add other than express admiration for the comments above. All of them first class, positive and helpful. I fall into the category Natalie and Maria. I have a mountain of books to read because so much of my time is researching or writing, and I'm not really into YA or romance. But yes, burrow deep into your niche market. Most things come with persistence and time.

Mike Keyton said...

Hi Angela, I have little to add other than express admiration for the comments above. All of them first class, positive and helpful. I fall into the category Natalie and Maria. I have a mountain of books to read because so much of my time is researching or writing, and I'm not really into YA or romance. But yes, burrow deep into your niche market. Most things come with persistence and time.

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