Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Sales

I am shocked that my blog gets so many hits. I average between 700 and 800 hits per week, and all I do is write what’s in my head and heart. You would think that some of those hits would translate into book sales, but that simply is not the case, despite the fact that my top three blog posts are “Swiss Chocolate Continues to be Painful” and “On Writing Swiss Chocolate,” which happens to be the very first post I ever made.

Recently my agent sent me some references for some reputable book PR firms in New York. One would not take me because she did not work with unknown fiction writers. She specialized in non-fiction, but took on some established fiction writers as well. She looked at my blog and had no idea how to turn all those hits into book sales either, and told me to give her a call if I figured it out. Of course I was discouraged, but I had a few more agencies to contact.

Last week I contacted another well-know PR firm, and she really liked my blog, the fact that there was such a strong emotional connection between my reason for writing the book, and the bipolar angle. She asked me for a copy of my manuscript, which I sent her, and then she went up to Amazon and read all seven of my glowing 5-star reviews. She is very interested in working with me on a six-week intensive PR blitz, getting my name in front of as many people as she possibly can.

Now, even though there is a link to my author page from the top of my blog menu, I average between five and six hits per day on Go figure. My blog gets hundreds of hits per day and my author site gets almost nothing. And I use GoDaddy’s Web Site Visibility package, which I put a lot of work into setting up. I also have Web Site Analytics, which can track visitors all the way down to their zip codes. I think it’s time to update my Web Site Visibility settings because my site has changed recently. This surpises the hell out of me because aside from a book sample from Swiss Chocolate, you will find samples of some of my best writing. There are synopses of two of my best unpublished novels and book samples to go along with them. One of my short stories, Harmony House, recently won first place in a nationwide short story contest sponsored by my publisher. That has to be of interest to some, no?

Also my bounce rate is about 60%, meaning people look at my home page and leave right away. The most popular exit link? My blog, of course! Fascinating. People would rather read my blog than go to Amazon and buy my book. How in God’s name do I change that? Public Relations, book events, patience and persistence. My publisher told me sales are steady, and to not give up.

I will keep plugging away, and hopefully I will build a name for myself. Getting reviewed is difficult, especially since I don’t have any author copies. Long story, and quite sad. I am thankful to those who come and read my musings. I put my heart into everything I write, and I laud any writer who can get traditionally published. It’s an honor few people get, and I am damn lucky to be one of them, considering there are more than a million manuscripts floating around looking for agents and publishers. And all told, last year there were 700,000 books published. That’s a hell of a lot of competition. I urge you to go up Amazon, take a look at my reviews, and buy a copy of Swiss Chocolate. It’s a great story, and has an interesting history. If you have an eReader, you can buy an eBook in any format you want from

Love to all!

James M. Weil

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