My Protagonist Doesn’t Have a Ripped Abdomen

Of all the tricky and painstakingly difficult tasks that indie authors must contend with, I will admit that marketing is the trickiest and the most painful. I’ve pretty much tried it all at this point, and perhaps at a later time I’ll highlight what I have learned and what I still have failed to learn. But this is not that post. This post is about ripped abs. The kind of abs my protagonist doesn’t have.

Let me break this down. For my new novel releasing soon, it approximately falls into these genres: historical fiction, sports fiction, historical fiction romance, magical realism. These four generally sum it up.

As I loaded the details of the book into my Amazon KDP account, I had to boil it all down to two categories for marketing purposes. I decided to choose the following: fiction/sports and fiction/romance/historical. I thought it sounded logical.

But here’s what happened. Once the book was setup for preorder and it populated it’s page on Amazon, suggested titles related to my book started being listed underneath it. This is normal. What should be showing up there would ideally have a clear relationship to the type of book I’ve written. If so, then I know I’m marketing and directing my novel to the right readers.

But have I mentioned that I’m terrible at stuff like this? Task me writing a hundred thousand word novel. That’s easy. Task me with choosing a proper category for a book, and I’ll end up staring at ripped abs.

Every single suggested title related to my new book have gaudy displays of ripped young males ready to seduce or reproduce or do whatever they do. These books literally have nothing to do with my book. My protagonist is a young robber baron in 1920 who sells his shares in the railroad so he can build a baseball stadium for the woman he loves. He does not have ripped abs. If he did, he wouldn’t share them with the world. He does not work out. He does not seduce women. He is not the type to be on the cover of a book with his head not showing. Could the category be any more wrong?

I’m guessing I shouldn’t have chosen ROMANCE as the main category heading. My story is a romance. But it’s a romance with clothes on. A historical romance, but I guess it’s just not a Romance/Historical.

Sigh. Okay, so now I’ve made a change. Here are my two categories now: Fiction/Historical & Fiction/Sports.

I guess within a few days I’ll find out if the Amazon algorithm can decipher what I really mean.

Please just let me write.

If you want a great historical romance with no ripped abs, check out the links below. If you want ripped abs, check out the books below my book at the link. (At least for the next few days)

Look. No abs. But he has a cool fedora.

Indie Authors: Don’t Forget about Your Earlier Releases

It’s easy for an author to forget about those first couple of books they published while caught up in the frenzy of doing everything possible to promote the newest release. But it would be a mistake to most completely past your former works without trying to make them work for you.

One of the best reasons to use your earlier works in your book promotion plans is that they already have the biggest exposure which may help sway promotion sites to pick it up. My debut novel has by far the most number of reviews on Amazon out of all of my other books. Such a large number of favorable reviews is certainly something that promotional sites will seriously consider – especially if you haven’t promoted that book on their site in a while.

Another excellent reason to try your earlier books again is that readership is not a constant. I have mistakenly thought at times that it would be a waste of time to try to promote the same book on the same old sites again. However, what I was missing from my equation was all of those new e-readers that people have received at Christmas and during their birthdays. Think of all the tablets being sold and all the reading apps constantly being downloaded on a daily basis. Your novel may not have reached them a year ago, but times have changed. They may be opening up their new Kindle app looking for a good book to read – regardless of when it was written.

Many people have written about how publishing more books help to cross-promote all of your books. But from my experience, one can’t be lax in how they approach it. Push your new releases hard, for sure, but remember to go back and promote those titles which were well received a couple of years ago. You just never know how one little promotion may lead to something big.

Just keep at it!