Today I’m on Mina Khan’s blog with “Strategies for Replenishing Your Writing Self” where I share what I do when I’m burnt out, discouraged, or hit a setback. What do YOU do?
All posts in category Writing
Posted by Angela Quarles on January 29, 2013
Two Wednesdays ago, I wrote a blog post where I shared my limited experience with running ads on Facebook and Goodreads, Writer Wednesday: Goodreads vs Facebook Ads – an Experiment, and got a lot of great comments!
My ad has now been running for over three weeks on Facebook and two and a half on Goodreads, and still, hands-down, Goodreads has been the better option. I still haven’t garnered a single click on my Facebook ads. And only 1231 views since Jan 3! I’ve now spent $4.10 on Goodreads and my ad has had over 63,000 views, and 41 clicks!
I also wanted to share some of the helpful tips left in the comments, including a clarification from a Goodreads representative.
Peter Salomon shared a great tip, which I’ve now seen for myself – add a great review blurb!
He said that when he got a great succinct quote from a reputable reviewer, he changed his ad and the clicks and adds skyrocketed. I went ahead and changed mine, and yep, it out performs my book blurb ad by more than half, in both clicks and adds.
To be fair, I changed my Facebook campaign to have this quote too, and still zip… The consensus from the comments in my first post seemed to be that we’ve now been trained over the last several years to ignore those ads because they’re now non-relevant to our daily lives. This is a shame, because I remember in the early days that this wasn’t the case. Oh, well.
Within Goodreads, author targeted vs. genre targeted
This is interesting. My views are abysmal for author targeted (probably because I’m only paying .10/click) BUT when it does get seen, it outperforms the new ad with the quote by almost double! I need to add an author-targeted one with a quote and see what that double whammy produces! And maybe bump up my cost per click a tad for just that ad.
So, Goodreads is the place to advertise
Based on my limited experience, and from the comments the post garnered. Makes sense, given that it’s a place for readers to congregate and learn about books, so they do NOT mind seeing relevant book ads. One commenter pointed out that this could all change if Goodreads begins showing non-book ads and we again, like on Facebook, become trained to ignore that side of the page.
Clarification on who sees the GR ad
Margo from Goodreads stopped by several days later and left a very helpful comment clarifying who sees the ad. She says:
When you target genres or authors you are targeting users who have those genres/authors on their shelves. So if one of our users has one of your genres or authors on their shelf they will see your ad throughout the site. However it is a good idea to only target authors OR genres otherwise your user has to have both on their shelf and it becomes too limiting.
She also left this link to a Best Practices document! Thanks Margo!
Thanks for everyone who commented. Did I leave out anything? Have you started your ad on GR because of my earlier post, and has it done anything for you?
Posted by Angela Quarles on January 23, 2013
Are you a romance writer? Then you’ve heard this said, I’m sure. Romance is a formula, it’s easy to write or It’s easier to get published in Romance.
Sometimes I just want to give the big eff you to those who maintain this. It chaps me to no end, because I’ve been working my tail off for years to hone my craft. I must be an idiot then and doing something wrong. Most of the time I’ve only seen this attitude online; I’m lucky that I have a very supportive circle of family and friends who know how hard I’ve worked, so typically the only time I’ve run across this is when I’m introduced to someone new, or occasionally on a non-romance forum.
Like this email I got after I signed with my agent back in October. She congratulated me, but then went on to remind me that it’s just a first step to getting published (yeah, I didn’t know that, thanks) and then she said this:
I know nothing about Romance writing, but I have heard (perhaps it’s just an urban myth) you can get into publication a lot faster. Since most people wait years to see a book in print, I think inking a deal where your book could be out in 12-18 months is pretty amazing sounding. I can understand why so many people go self publishing, (one of my only romance writing pals went that route) at some point you’re just hungry to get stuff out there.
Is it just me, or does this come across weird? I don’t think she meant to come across backhanded. Given that the forum was all about landing an agent, it felt like it was also saying in a way that I’d gotten one easier than her and the others because I’m writing Romance (I was one of very few on that site). This could just be me. But anyway, I thought I’d explore this a little and then open it up to discussion.
Why is Romance judged by the worst in its genre and not its best?
I work in a bookstore and see this attitude, though I’ve also experienced it elsewhere. Horror is judged by its greats like Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Science Fiction by the likes of Asimov, Bradbury, Herbert, P.K. Dick, and Heinlein. But romance? Actually it’s not judged by its greats, typically, because usually the ones making fun of it have never even read a single book in the genre. Yes, there’s bad romance, but there’s also bad horror and bad science fiction, bad fantasy. I’m sorry, but there is. And while there are some who make fun of sf/fantasy (and judged it by its worst by folks who’ve never read it also) , it doesn’t seem to be as pervasive. I see people proudly walking up to that section of the store. It’s also not denigrated by the owners and they stock it well. The Romance section? It’s gotten better since I started, but it’s still the red-headed step child and stocked with just whatever they happen to find marked romance. Patrons also approach it less boldly.
It’s a formula. The endings are the same.
Yes, romances have to end with a Happily Ever After or a Happily For Now, but Mysteries have to end with the murder solved by the protagonist, Suspense/Thrillers with the good guy overcoming the bad guy, etc. And I’ll maintain that it’s hard writing a novel where the end is already known and still make the reader suspend their disbelief and think that maybe, just this once, it won’t happen, or make them wonder how it could possibly happen.
Since it’s got the biggest market share, it’s easier to get published
As Romance Writer’s of Australia points out in this post: “It’s harder than most people think. Even Mills and Boon, that urban myth claims is so easy to ‘crack’, receive something like 20,000 unsolicited manuscripts each year from all over the world. They contract perhaps 30 new writers. They’re just one of the publishers.”
Because it’s such a large share, there’s more writers, so I’m thinking the percentage of those that get traditionally published is still small.
And I know some very talented romance writers who’ve not yet landed an agent. I don’t have statistics handy, but I know that agents who represent romance only accept a handful of new clients a year. Just take a look at these stats by agent Kristin Nelson, whose agency is one of the heavy hitters in our genre– out of 32,000+ queries they signed 16 new clients. (And they represent more than just Romance).
More non-traditional avenues
This is true. Romance leads the way in indie publishing, and many small publishers have come into existence to help feed the demand for books in this genre. There are more of these than there are if you write science fiction or horror, and if you write literary fiction? Tiny. But remember, there’s also more of us writing this genre, so we’re still competing against others to get those e-publishing contracts. I’ll come out and admit that BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS was rejected by some of these, so it’s not a case of if you write a romance it’ll automatically get published by an e-publisher, which I think nay-sayers believe.
And on a final note, writing convincing emotion is extremely difficult, at least for me it is. It’s necessary to have it in this genre, but oh so hard to pull off without delving into schlocky-land or over-the-top land.
So for those scoffers–> you try to write a good one and get back to me
But, I know this sounds like this bothers me a lot. It really doesn’t. I just shrug it off and keep working hard. I mainly wanted to write this to put this out there and start a discussion.
What are some of the attitudes you’ve heard that have made you a little twitchy?
Posted by Angela Quarles on January 16, 2013
Today I’m honored to be the first guest poster on fellow Beta reader Kate Meader’s blog! I talk about using chilly stuff in love scenes and I share a couple of snippets using cold beer bottles, plus an original recipe!
What are some of your fave love scenes using ‘cold play’?
Posted by Angela Quarles on January 14, 2013
Okay, so I got a little over eager and scheduled a ton of stops on various blogs to promote my newly-released erotic geek romantic comedy BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS. I hope I haven’t made everyone sick of me! I promise that next week, I’ve ratcheted it down to only three guest spots instead of five So here’s where I’ve been this week since my last BEER update:
- Wednesday, fellow Six Sentence Sunday writer, SJ Maylee interviewed me and I reveal what’s on my bucket list, plus writerly questions.
- Thursday, another Six Sunday writer, Evelyn Jules lived up to her quirky blog byline and asked me some unusual questions and we had a lot of fun. Find out why she now calls me Phalanges.
- Today I’m on Sherry Gloag’s blog being interviewed, plus an excerpt from the opening scene of BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS. Who would I have play Riley?
Posted by Angela Quarles on January 11, 2013
Continuing with the promotion of the release of my erotic romantic comedy, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, here’s the latest reviews and interviews:
- Penelope’s Romance Reviews posted a review today, complete with a beer pairing! Can I tell you how much that tickled me??
- Today, author Sam Crescent is hosting me with an interview, with questions about my writing journey. Stop by and say howdy!
- Yesterday, Cheryl hosted me on her blog, The Poisoned Rose, with an interview asking if any parts of BEER are based on real life experiences, and which superpower I’d choose.
Thank you for your support!
In looking at my Amazon ranking, I think sales are good. I won’t know until I get a report from the publisher mid-month. But if you bought a copy, thank you! Your support means so much to me! I can’t tell you how overwhelming your support has been to me, I really appreciate it!
Spare some likes and tags?
Due to the way Amazon ranking works when doing searches, if you have a spare moment, I could totally use some Likes & Tags. What does that mean? ‘Likes’ are a small button right under the title page. Tags are located near the bottom of the page and you are allowed to agree with up to 15 tags that are there (or add your own). Believe it or not, when readers search based on tags, it’s not the sales ranking that puts a book to the top, but the number of people who’ve tagged it for that category!! So in one of mine, there’s a book with 1 review (3 stars) and a lower sales rank, but because they have way more tags, they are higher than mine in the category. Doing this is completely anonymous!
Customer reviews on Goodreads and Amazon are going well. If you’ve read it, rating it on Goodreads will help its visibility–you don’t have to leave a review there to do so. Thanks!!
Do you have a release out now? What things have you found help your visibility?
Posted by Angela Quarles on January 8, 2013
Busy week for me! I wanted to send an update with all the latest in one handy spot since my last post.
BEER AND GROPING now available on the following third party sites!
If you have a preferred third party site not listed, please let me know! And if you’ve already purchased it, thank you!!! Also I’d love any tags, likes, etc on Amazon and B&N that you feel up to throwing my way
Latest guest posts
- EP Beaumont – Great Interview last Friday
- Layna Pimentel – Blurb and excerpt last Saturday
- Jenna Jaxon – Blurb and excerpt today
Heard back from the last two contests MUST LOVE BREECHES finaled in, and it won second place in the paranormal category of the Valley of the Sun’s Hot Prospects contest, and won first place in the fantasy/futuristic category of SpacecoasT Authors of Romance’s Launching A Star contest! And I’d like to give a shout out to the winner in the Valley of the Sun contest, because it was none other than my Beta buddy and RWA roomie Jami Gold! In fact, she was also the grand prize winner!!! Congrats Jami!
Posted by Angela Quarles on December 27, 2012
And word is, it will be available on Monday, Dec 24 on Amazon!
Posted by Angela Quarles on December 21, 2012
Today I’m guest blogging over at Jillian Chantal’s blog on The Case for an Awesome Title: Why It’s Important and How to Come Up With One, stop on by and say hi!
Posted by Angela Quarles on December 20, 2012