A Book Birthday and Subtitles

A Book Birthday and Subtitles
Terry Odell

In the CrosshairsI hope you’ll indulge a detour for a moment and help me celebrate the my 32nd (give or take) Book Birthday. In the Crosshairs drops today. This book is the fourth in my Triple-D Ranch series. I got my first paperback author copies, and there’s nothing more exciting than holding that baby in your hands. Hands that have been overworked pounding the keyboard. The keyboard’s not too happy, either. More details, including buy links, are here.

To offer a bit of “writerliness” and not turn this post into total BSP, I’ll talk about subtitles. Being discoverable amidst the other million-plus books in the digital e-stores is critical if you want to move away from your tried-and-true readers. If you’re barely (if at all) a midlist author, your circle of auto-buyers is small. Advice is to add a subtitle to the book’s metadata that will show potential readers what’ they’re getting. The thing not to do is turn that subtitle into a tagline. I wish Amazon would simple do away with allowing subtitles like these which I found doing a very basic genre search at Amazon.

A Nail Biting Romantic Suspense Take It Off Standalone Novel
A Sexy, Thrilling Romantic Suspense
An absolutely gripping cozy mystery
A totally gripping and heart-pounding crime thriller
Sci Fi Fantasy and Action Adventure of the Rebel Princess named Lilla

My contrary nature immediately reacts with “Oh yeah? Sez Who?”

What’s the better approach? Show potential readers the genre, or, more importantly, the sub-genre. Odds are they’re already searching by the main genre, such as mystery, romance, science fiction, etc. Show that it’s a cozy mystery, a romantic suspense, a military science fiction.

I went back and added genre-related ones to my books. I didn’t change the cover art, only the metadata where there were fields for subtitles, which saved time and money.

My Triple-D Ranch books are subtitled “A Contemporary Western Romantic Suspense.”
My Mapleton Mystery books now have the added “A Police Procedural Cozy Blend.”
My Blackthornes are tagged “A Covert Ops Romantic Suspense.”
My Pine Hills books are subtitled “A Small Town Police Romantic Suspense”

Does that move help sales? I don’t know? How can anyone know what triggered that “buy now” click? But at least there’s less of a chance of readers returning the book because it wasn’t what they were looking for, or leaving scathing, negative reviews.

Between the  pandemic and being an indie, 95%+ digital author, I’m not holding a physical launch party. Instead, the Hubster and I will get takeout from our favorite sushi restaurant and celebrate at home. Unless it’s snowing, which is the prediction, in which case I’ll be cooking.

In the Crosshairs by Terry OdellAvailable Now. In the Crosshairs, Book 4 in my Triple-D Romantic Suspense series.

Changing Your Life Won’t Make Things Easier
There’s more to ranch life than minding cattle. After his stint as an army Ranger, Frank Wembly loves the peaceful life as a cowboy. Financial advisor Kiera O’Leary sets off to pursue her dream of being a photographer until a car-meets-cow incident forces a shift in plans. Instead, she finds herself in the middle of a mystery, one with potentially deadly consequences.

Terry Odell is an award-winning author of Mystery and Romantic Suspense, although she prefers to think of them all as “Mysteries with Relationships.” Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.