Anonymous left a comment to my last post and suggested some reasons for the low sales. It's always good to get feedback - thanks!
It's great that he liked Love and Braces as a "braces fan" and I guess I am beginning to wonder whether the appeal of the books maybe really doesn't reach beyond fetishist readers. But I still find that hard to believe. With millions of kids going through having braces I would think that there's a broad continuum of different reactions to having them, from forgetting about them completely as soon as the treatment is over to, I guess, becoming obsessed with them. And I thought my books would fit in one big part somewhere in the middle of that continuum, but maybe they really are much closer to one of the smaller extreme parts of it.
Anonymous points out some of the parts of L&B that are apparently fetishist. I guess some of that, like especially the exaggerated braces, makes sense, but some was just necessary or natural for the story. Colleen's braces (she's the one who doesn't really need them) are obviously unrealistic, but I needed an adult with braces as a friend for Sylvia and I thought it would be good to have a contrast - better than if Colleen were going through the same thing Sylvia is, even if it meant inventing an unrealistic reason for her to have them. And the kiss between the female characters seemed appropriate in those circumstances (just like the different kisses between Sylvia and some of the male characters).
I almost regret not having more of the "hot" stuff in L&B, but I find it hard to try to imagine what would work. There's only so often I can describe the glistening silvery metal and all that sort of thing....
Anonymous also mentions the lack of information and lack of juicy excerpts. I'll have to try and think how to improve that, but it's hard to figure out what to post on the website. There aren't that many passages that are self-contained, which I think is the best kind to post, and I also don't want to give away some of the good parts. But obviously I have to do a better job at getting readers interested, so I'll try and see if I can come up with better or more descriptions of the stories, and maybe some different or additional excerpts.