In April, I published my book
“How to Write a Poem: A Beginner’s Guide.” I released it with a price of $2.99 for
the ebook version and it began to sell steadily – by steadily I mean about one
or two copies a day (occasionally three, sometimes none). The average was
probably about one a day. Although fairly modest, this was pretty good news for
me, especially considering that I did no advertising at all other than blogging
about it and then posting a link to my blog on Facebook. Out of that $2.99 I
get about $2 every time I make a sale.
So I decided to do an
experiment in order to find out what the most lucrative price for the book
would be. I double the price to $5.99. The first day, things continued as
normal and I got one sale at the new price. The next day, same thing. One sale.
Then for about a week or more there was absolutely nothing. No one, it seemed
was willing to fork out six bucks for a copy of the book. After waiting and
waiting, I decided to adjust the price again down to $3.99. Hey presto, it began
to sell again at pretty much the same rate as before.
One of the things that I am
sure helped sales was the fact that one kind purchaser gave the book a 5-star
review on Amazon (see above). There are a few other books on the Amazon website with very
similar titles to mine, but they are more expensive, some of them are aimed at
kids and not all of them have star ratings anyway. I’m sure people must be swayed
by that star rating in some way. I know I would be. The main factor, though, is
that if you type in “How to Write a Poem” in the Amazon search bar, mine is the
first book on the resultant list.
The next thing I will
probably do is to advertise the book by posting on my Facebook page and also
posting on a number of Facebook groups where you can promote your book. So far
all my sales of that book have been random, serendipitous events. It will be
interesting to see if there is a spike in the sales figures after some
marketing activity on my part.
Anyway, it got me thinking
about what kind of people are, in fact, interested in buying a book about how
to write poetry. The blurb for my book runs as follows:
is a practical book. By the time you finish reading it, you will have all the
tools you need to write convincing, compelling, and beautiful poetry. Whether
someone has asked you to come up with a poem for a special occasion, or you
have suddenly been struck by an intense emotion and are looking for a way to
articulate it, or you want to express love to your sweetheart on Valentine’s
day, “How to Write a Poem: A Beginner’s Guide" provides all the necessary
techniques to enable your poem to be a success.
I think there must be a lot
of people who like reading poetry either because they remember poems they
learned in school or because it can express certain experiences better than the
reader can themselves. There are also people who like writing poetry because it
is a means of self-expression that prose can’t quite match. This idea of poetry
expressing emotion is not new, of course, but quite often, I think, somebody
can get the idea that the stronger the emotion the better the poem will be. My
own view is that writing good poetry requires training of some sort. It is only
after having mastered the tools of the trade, as it were, that someone is ready
to express themselves adequately in poetic form. Without adequate practice, poetry
– even strongly felt poetry – can fall flat on its face.
That’s one of the issues
covered in the book. But, to the same extent, the book isn’t some diatribe on
highly-intellectual, abstruse or academic issues. It’s meant to be a fun book
to read. It’s also meant to be a practical introduction to how you actually go
about writing a poem. Hence the title.
Labels: How to Write a Poem, marketing, poetry, price, sales