No Sure Thing
For instance, the book I’ve had the hardest time finding the market for is Cracks in the Ice. This teen Christian fiction entered the literary world with great promise. The publisher had strong feedback from her editorial staff: “This is the best one you’ve ever published!” and “You must take this one.” It received the Seal of Approval of the Catholic Writers Guild immediately and was a Selah Book Award finalist. It has nice reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and a stunning cover. Why am I not selling a trunkful? All those things have worked for my other books. I can’t find the teen niche.
I tried to sell it to skate shops at rinks across the U.S. Expensive colored post cards mailed at great expense, were all returned. They apparently get their mail in post boxes, not at their physical addresses! That was my costliest failure ever. I introduced the book to organizations that work with teen alcohol problems, a theme in the book. This month the National Figure Skating Championships are being held in Greensboro, NC. I wrote to all the hotels in Greensboro last fall suggesting a special signing of the book in their lobbies for skating fans during that week. I wrote book stores in Greensboro ....
Some authors have turned completely from face to face marketing because of these tedious frustrations, and write and sell only ebooks. They give their books away free or 99 cents hoping for ranking so readers will buy their “ranked” books. They can turn out ebooks quickly, with minimal rewrites. That’s definitely working well for some authors at present. They are making money and ebook readers love them.
But there are still some authors and readers, like me, who don’t give books away, who don’t read ebooks, and want their books to be in libraries, schools and bookstores. We’re in it for the long haul, rather than the instant money. I put great value on books. When other authors ask me to read their books, I buy their book at an indie book store, rather than get the 99 cent or freebie. If I like the book, I’ll advertise it. I respect the writer and the craft. I don’t want nor expect free books.
I know I’m selling the old-fashioned way, the hard way. I also know I’m having a lot of fun traveling to interesting places meeting fascinating readers. And I’m happy to share with other authors what I learn about the marketing. I hope you’ll enjoy the travel with me. I’ll be happy for your company. Leave me a comment now and then if you want, and follow my books on facebook, so I’ll know you’re out there reading in 2015. Happy trails to us readers and writers! We’ll be making our first trip of the new year January 17 to Fort Fisher in Wilmington, North Carolina.