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 Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?

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melissa.clason



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2013-08-06
Age : 25
Location : NC

PostSubject: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:40 pm

So I've published my poetry book, Into Night, on amazon.com, but I've only sold one copy. I've sent out a press release and put an ad in the newspaper, created a Facebook page for it and made ads for the amazon listing on Facebook, and created an author website. The Facebook ads aren't doing so well. I've only got a .794% click-through rate, and nobody has actually bought the book other than my parents. This may be because Facebook doesn't let you type very much in your description, or maybe my cover is not attractive enough. I'm kind of wondering about the amazon.com page, though, because everything else links to it. Maybe the description is turning people off? Maybe they don't like the book cover? Maybe it's the topic they don't like? I'm not really sure what it is, but could someone check it out and give me advice on how to improve it? I can't post links yet because I am new but search Into Night by Melissa Clason if you would like to look at it. Thank you for your help.
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dkchristi
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Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

PostSubject: Re: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:04 pm

Why should anyone buy your poetry book as opposed to the thousands of others?  Are you famous?  Are your poems winners of awards?  Are you an award-winning author? 

Poetry is a hard sell for starters.  If you want to sell poetry, you need to have book signings and read it so that the audience is mesmerized and must have a whole book.  Few people will simply buy a poetry book because of its cover, it's title, or the content unless it is very unusually striking.

You are in league with many new authors who sell mostly to friends and relatives and sell very few of their first books to strangers.  It's not your marketing - it's reality.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:08 pm

I didn't mean to sound harsh - and it reads harsh to me so let me try again.  You will need to be an expert at promotion and marketing to sell even a few poetry books.  It is very difficult.  That does not mean your poetry isn't wonderful or your marketing and book cover are not great.  There's just a lot of great poetry and people are more apt to buy a non-fiction or fiction book that a book of poetry.

There is a marketing thread on this forum with lots of info that you might find useful.  Congratulations on publication of your book and best of luck finding your audience.
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melissa.clason



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2013-08-06
Age : 25
Location : NC

PostSubject: Re: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:37 pm

The idea of book signings and readings sounds like a good idea. I should try to see if any bookstores around town would be willing. I understand that it will be hard to sell this book, especially for an unknown author, and I don't expect it to sell all that much. I just would like to find an audience for my book and see if anyone out there is interested in reading it. I will go check out the marketing thread for tips, though.
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Shelagh
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Registration date : 2008-01-11
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PostSubject: Re: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:38 pm

The booker prize winning author, Margaret Atwood, writes poetry, which she uploads to Wattpad.

Wattpad is used by millions of teenagers. Your poetry would appeal to them in a way that it might not appeal to an older audience. Maybe you could gain a readership on Wattpad that would be interested in buying your book.

Margaret Atwood's Thriller Suite is a collection of poems on Wattpad:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/1563997-thriller-suite-new-poems

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melissa.clason



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2013-08-06
Age : 25
Location : NC

PostSubject: Re: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:56 pm

Wattpad sounds interesting. Thank you, I will check it out.
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Abe F. March
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Age : 78
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PostSubject: Re: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:49 pm

I think any marketing must be to a target market. 
Personally, I am not into poetry.  There are always exceptions.  For instance, I read Victor's poems and liked them very much.  If I didn't know Victor, I would not have read them.  That doesn't mean I've become a poetry lover, but a fan of Victor.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: Should I be doing something different with my amazon page?   Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:18 am

Abe,

Six months too late, but I just opened this post while doing some leisurely browsing and read your very kind comment. Thank you! My little book of poems is to poetry what a withered tiny leaf in a single tree is to the rain forest. But I am very pleased that you liked it and grateful for your willingness to review it more kindly than it deserves in your Amazon review. I appreciate it all the more because I know you mean what you say and though the praise may be (objectively speaking) undeserved it is very meaningful to me. Thank you!

Melissa,

Given the lateness of this reply, I doubt you will read it, but I still wanted to comment. Don't be discouraged by the slow/slow sales of your book. Poetry in general--even for well known, living poets, does not sell. There are far more people writing poetry than reading it--even on sites devoted to poetry. That is not a new phenomenon. Most poets--including university professors who teach the subject--use vanity presses (POD these days) and sell their books to their students/friends/anyone they can. The same is true for most university professors who teach creative writing. Whether it is because their poetry/fiction is simply not very good (credentials and pretensions to the contrary notwithstanding) or because it is above the heads of the unwashed masses (as many no doubt tell themselves and anyone who will listen after a drink or two or a hit of the old bong) is open to debate. Nevertheless, generally speaking even the best short fiction and poetry do not sell well--especially for lesser known authors. It is not an issue of quality. Bad poetry does not sell, but neither does good poetry generally--except in anthologies for study in university classes. It is a very small market, and winning prizes/awards and being named Poet Laureate don't much change that, in no small part because being named poet laureate these days is all about politics, not art, and poetry prizes are plentiful. (I've won a few myself not worth the paper they were printed on.) And most readers don't know the difference between the real prizes and the ones given to fatuous poets in hopes of getting them to buy "anthologies" with their work featured in them or attend poetry conferences/retreats/workshops in faroff places where they can (for a price) receive a plaque with their name on it and read their poem to an audience of like-minded-winners in a form of intellectual auto stimulation of the kind that most people do not consciously engage in public. (No, I have never bought a book with my poems or attended any such ridiculous affairs, but have been repeatedly invited to do so in the days when I used to submit my poetry for publication in places other than college literary magazines.)

Don't waste your money promoting your poetry. Newspaper advertisements, pay-per-click ads, and online ads of all sorts are unlikely to sell books but can, eventually, lead to bankruptcy. Lottery tickets are a better investment.

I've sold small handfuls of my poetry book in Kindle and print versions (none in person or through solicitations to friends, students, neighbors or colleagues. And I have no time or desire for a poetry readings at the few local independent bookstores that would not laugh me out of the store for asking). I've had hundreds of downloads of both my poetry and short story collections and Kindle short stories when I've made them available for free download. And I've had no negative reviews (other than one three star review for one of my short stories that complained about typos and strange symbols that were, in fact, introduced in a dozen places when a stylized A and a variety of symbols were randomly used instead of quotation marks in porting one of my short stories from the Word file to the Kindle format--something I missed or did not show up in the preview but I immediately fixed after seeing the amazon review)

Bottom line: You will not make money on your poetry (nor will I). If you give it away, people will read it. If you charge even less than a dollar very few will buy it. It is what it is. It is not a reflection on you or on your marketing plan. Now if you write pornographic poems involving zombies and vampires, then maybe, just maybe, you will sell dozens and dozens of them every week (or, at least the NEA will likely give you a grant--especially if you illustrate them and farm animals are involved).

In the words of my favorite philosopher, Charlie Brown, "*SIGH*"
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