Experiment with “Cupid’s Armorer”

Cupid's Armorer

Elements of cover art © Pkripper503, © Gbradic, © Ctakik.
Obtained from http://stockfreeimages.com/

This post is pretty much just for the writers out there, as they’re always interested in statistics and what works and what doesn’t.  Please bear in mind that this post isn’t to whine about sales, but rather to share with other authors what approaches I’m trying in order to get a title to sell.  It’s not like “Cupid’s Armorer” has hurt me; on my free promo days I’ve managed to give away over 150 copies, and that’s sparked sales of my other books in countries where I’ve never sold anything before. But I literally haven’t sold one copy of this title over the 19 days it’s been listed, so it’s time to find out why.

The most likely reasons I can imagine for why it doesn’t sell are:

  • Perhaps it isn’t very good.  It’s undeniable that something in the gestalt of its cover art, the preview, the subject matter, or other things, it’s just not engaging people.  It is story-driven for quite a while, but I personally think the actual erotica is at the same level as the rest of my writing (which has sold and continues to sell well).  So, I’m not too worried about the story side of it.
  • Maybe everyone who would want a copy, already has a free one.  I did give away over 150 copies via KDP Select, and maybe some of them would have bought it if it weren’t free.  But hey, I don’t particularly care too much.  This book was put out there as an experiment, and I’m collecting data.
  • Maybe having made it available for free means people figure it’ll be free again.  Always possible, but I kind of doubt that ALL Amazon readers do a net search before puchases to find out if the book they’re looking at has ever had a free promo.
  • It’s different from all my other published works: No pregnancy or birth..  I think this is probably the big thing.  I’m Ken Haramiru, and if there were a pregnant angel on the cover at risk of going into labor mid-flight, I’d probably sell a few copies.  I may already have typecast myself as an author of breeding-fetish books, and for some heuristic reason known only to Amazon’s recommendation system, the folks who like angel erotica may never see this.
  • The original cover only showed a female angel.  I think this is a distinct possibility for what was ‘wrong’ with Cupid’s Armorer.  The bulk of erotica readers are women, and they probably don’t get that excited at the sight of a cute girl holding an HK rifle.  So, I’ve tried an experiment: I’ve uploaded a different version of the cover image, which features Clint (the Armorer) looking at Bethany as she holds her custom rifle he built for her.  The model for Clint is a pretty good looking dude in my opinion, with the right length of hair for military service, and enough stubble to give him character and appear that he hasn’t bothered shaving since his death.
  • The cover is in black and white.  I think this could perhaps be one reason it’s not standing out.  If what I’m doing right now doesn’t draw more interest, I’m going to find out what happens if I redo the image with color.

Since the last one, the cover image, is something I can actually change, I actually went through the annoyances of re-uploading the new image, making the requisite changes to the credits on the cover image, and re-uploaded the book itself.  The results of this experiment will be posted on this blog in a week or two.

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