Sunday, January 29, 2012

How do people find books?

One thing that baffles me is how people find my books. If I had the answer, it would make marketing a whole lot easier. 

If had a big name like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, I could understand it. An appearance on Dr. Phil with his endorsement would be a sure way to the top of the best seller list. A multi-million dollar media blitz would bring in the readers. But I don’t have any of those things working for me.

 Listing a book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble creates a needle in a haystack. One way to get noticed is keywords.  Someone searches Tween Mystery and PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE pops up. But if that were the case I’d have sold right off the bat. Instead my sales took off sluggishly. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the dam broke.  My sales for December exceeded what I had sold for the rest of the year, and I didn’t run any 99 cent specials during that time.

I attribute part of the sales boom to the holiday. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I’ve found that kids don’t buy books, parents do. My books are children books and they were given as gifts. But now after the holiday season is over, sales still trickle in.

Going into the new year and preparing to publish a new book, I wonder how to get the most bang for my buck. Blog tour? Social media blitz? More giveaways?  Rubbing my lucky rabbits foot (which wasn’t very lucky for the poor bunny)? I’ve been watching some writers who have put out video trailers, but I think that creates the same dilemma, another need in a haystack somewhere else.

I would love to know: how do people find books?

Ron D. Voigts is the author of Penelope And The Birthday Curse and Penelope And The Ghost’s Treasure, both available at Amazon.


  1. I find books on either amazon or goodreads. I also read entertainment weekly.
    I look for high number reviewed (over 100 reviews) and at least a 4.5 star rating.
    Then I read the free sample before I buy.
    I also find people on twitter who are engaging and interesting, I search out their writing and read the novels available.
    It's hit or miss.

  2. I find books randomly. Someone mentions one in a blog, i friend an author and check their stuff out etc. etc. Mainly I buy books and store them on my kindle to read someday :p if I ever take a real vacation I am set!

    I don't pay attention to reviews etc. In fact, I've bought some just because they had bad reviews (one was compared to an egg salad sandwich - I thought it was at least ham and enjoyed it for what it was). Since I am also a tightwad and won't pay more than a couple of bucks for ebooks, I just download randomly, I admit it. It's the same way I buy music.

    I am going to do some giveaways with book 4's release and see how that works out. I have also joined a blog hop, though I don't think the fourth book will be out by then (it's in march).

    as for trailers, I don't think they make much difference past they are kind of handy to post in a pinch. I make them because I think it's fun, but I wouldn't pay for one to be made. I just haven't seen any evidence that it boosts sales enough to be worth the investment.