Its genre, historical fiction, is moderately popular. Historical romance is vastly more popular. However, even though romance is a component of Rebels on the Mountain, it is more of an action and adventure story. There are some who would dispute that it is technically historical fiction because its milieu in the late 1950s doesn't qualify as history. I argue that the period is historical inasmuch as its theme, the rise of Castro in Cuba, is historically significant. It was, after all, the prelude to a conflict that almost triggered global nuclear war.
Thus, I am tempted to lay fault for the poor sales of Rebels on the Mountain at the feet of its marketing. How do I define poor? How about only two dozen copies in nine months?
So, what have I done to market Rebels on the Mountain? I have a website with a weblog. Of course, you already know that, don't you? That's where you're browsing right now. The purpose of this website is to promote myself as an author and help establish my credentials as a historian. Most of my blog postings deal with historical incidents. Its ultimate purpose is to promote sales of my books.
I use FaceBook and Twitter as well as Triberr, PinIt, and StumbleUpon to drive traffic to my website/weblog. You and about 30,000 others stop by every month. In retail terms, that's a lot of foot traffic. Granted, most visitors are only browsing or window shopping. They stop by for a few seconds and pass on.
However (and here is the interesting part) the most popular page on this website is the one that specifically promotes Rebels on the Mountain. Every other page is designed to direct traffic there. Visitors to the Rebels on the Mountain webpage linger for an average of three minutes. That would indicate that many are viewing the book's video trailer (3 minutes and 38 seconds) or at least reading the synopsis. Nearly half who visit this webpage move on to another to read the excerpt from the novel, another popular webpage. Unfortunately, neither the server logs nor Google Analytics tell me how many click on the links to booksellers that I have embedded on these webpages. Even more critical, I have no way of knowing how many have downloaded free samples of the book. There could be thousands of potential readers hoarding it. It would be nice to know.
What do you think? Does my experience prove that blogging doesn't sell books or simply that my blogging hasn't sold my book? Probably the latter. It would be nice if other authors commented below and shared their experiences.