Every so often we come to a realization that something we've been doing hasn't been working as well as we'd hoped. Admitting you didn't do something right the first time is not a sign of weakness, it actually shows growth. Learning from your mistakes is just as important as getting things right the first time.
Recently, during a book release party (for someone else) a mutual friend who is a librarian started talking to me about the Para-Earths series. She's watched trends and keeps a close eye on what's popular in the industry and she pointed out to me that the Para-Earths might actually do better aimed at a Young Adult (YA) audience. This would still make the books quite available to the adult crowd of course, while opening the series to more readers.
I gave this a lot of thought, especially after several others readily agreed with her. So I spent the next week or doing some serious research into YA books. To my surprise, what I found there really made me rethink my marketing strategy when it came to part of our Para-Earth Series.
In "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", two seventeen-year old girls who played a very big part in the story. Now the entire story is told in the same style as Bram Stoker's "Dracula" where various characters tell part of the story, allowing the author to use the first person perspective, while giving multiple points of view at the same time.
However, the fact that we had two young characters did not necessarily qualify the book itself to be considered YA, did it? Well, when I went back over the book and carefully looked over the number of entries by each character I found that those two young ladies made up a large majority of the entries. Plus their experiences carried most of the story as well. I then checked with several other readers who loved the book who confirmed that they felt the story was mostly centered around Lisa and Marisa (the young ladies in question).
This left me with a lot more thinking to do. Despite receiving 4 and 5 star reviews, both "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" and its companion anthology "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time", have not performed as well as "The Bridge" and "The Ship" in overall sales. So the question for me now became "Have I been marketing these incorrectly the whole time?" The answer seems to be a resounding YES!
So what to do about this? Was it too late to try and re-market the books as YA instead of simply a mature audience?
TO BE CONTINUED...