I only started to advertise my books about three weeks ago. I’m still trying to figure it out, but it sure makes a big difference compared to when I didn’t advertise, which was the previous three years. I have some ads that are profitable and some ads that aren’t profitable, but overall it has been a win. If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely a poker player, and most poker players aren’t really into the horror short story thing, but I have to write for those fans as well sometimes. This is one of those times, but not entirely.
This is a much larger market than poker, and that means a lot more readers. This, in turn, also means a lot more opinions. Some Twisted Sick readers are blown away and love the book. This is simply because they think like me and can relate to the book.
When I wrote Twisted Sick, I was really down and out. I don’t just mean financially. I was borderline depressed (okay, probably depressed) for a long time. That pain transferred to the writing. It might be horror, but it’s really escapism. So, readers looking for an escape are more likely to enjoy it. This is just like poker players with The Dark Side of the Felt. If they have played in underground poker games, then they can relate to the story and are more likely to enjoy it. Note: I’m currently working on the sequel for The Dark Side of the Felt.
Other Twisted Sick readers are ho-hum or disappointed. The ho-hum readers are probably the majority because it’s very difficult to impress when you’re in a market where your competitors include Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Edward Lee.
The disappointed readers either don’t think like me or they were looking for short stories that are much longer. The majority of the stories in Twisted Sick are more like flash fiction than short stories.
If you haven’t read Twisted Sick yet, I don’t know if you will enjoy it or not, but there is an underlying message. After three years of that book being available, not one reader has figured out that message. To get it, you must look at the book as a whole, not as individual stories. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture to figure out a puzzle. I look at poker the same way, but only some readers understand.
Happy or Upset
I’m not sure if I should be happy or upset about recent results for Twisted Sick. One, it has been selling a lot, but there have been no recent reviews. This might be a bad sign because most people won’t review if they don’t like a book. Then again, this could relate to my paranoia. Two, this is one of the few advertising campaigns where I have spent more than I have earned. I have to now determine if it’s worth the increased exposure.
At the moment, Twisted Sick is #14 in the Horror Short Stories category, ahead of several Stephen King short story books: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/7588837011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_5_last.
I will likely let it run a little longer to see if sales increase. Otherwise, I have to cut costs on that ad and use that capital for books that have been performing better.
As a side note, if you have read Twisted Sick and enjoyed it, then I would highly recommend reading Mindful of Tricks. Twisted Sick is darker and has more shock value, but Mindful of Tricks has more heart. Mindful of Tricks doesn’t have the flashiest cover, which hurts sales potential, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
I’m currently a somewhat confused writer because I’m playing in two different markets. However, while Twisted Sick is outselling my poker books, that has a lot to do with the advertising. My poker-themed books are capable of selling without any advertising. Therefore, I might lean more in that direction going forward. A lot will depend on the response to A Darker Side of the Felt, which is the sequel to A Dark Side of the Felt. I’m almost done with the first draft. I hope to have it published by September 1, 2017.