Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Tale Of Two Writers (Minus One Plus One)

Now we have 2 writers both who have been dumped by their publishers. I feel sorry for them.

I've done my fair share of complaining, even on this blog.  I've been mistreated.  I'm often angry about it.  But when I saw there was real viability for ebooks, I sprang into action.  Critical acclaim?  Who am I writing for?  Readers.  I sell 1 copy of Bad Apple and I cheer.  I literally thank God.

Anyone here think Amanda Hocking is put out over having no critical acclaim after selling like 20,000 books so far this month?

If your book isn't selling it's because 1) it stinks or 2) it hasn't found its audience.

When I started this process in April, or actually last October when I put Impossible Charlie up at Smashwords, the market for middle reader books was negligible.  Charlie/The So Impossible Horse/Dream Horse still isn't selling well but Summer Horse continues to rise in the rankings.  Last time I looked it was in the 800's. Pretty great for a middle reader book that's over 30 years old.  Those girls in that book are now old enough to be Amanda Hocking's mother!

With each reader sold, the reading audience changes.  Today maybe no one gets Blue Raja.  In 6 months maybe they will.

Either write a different, more marketable book, hold your course with the books you have or keep wishing for the world that's gone by to return.

Years ago when I was in college, I'm so embarrassed to say, I wrote a story about a romance author.  It's impossible to say from this distance what I was actually thinking when I wrote it.  What was the point?  What was I trying to say?  Now, without a copy in existence, the business and tastes had passed her by but what choice did she have but to keep going.  I think it was about a woman who felt lost.  I think those two writers are like that romance writer.  They feel lost and scared and want the world they know (and that's been relatively good to them) to persist.  It's not.  I think the world we knew was largely an illusion but I'll put that aside for now and maybe forever.

That 20 year old me was stupid, especially in the specifics, because romances always sell.  They sell as well if not better than then.  I can name any number of women who have been writing romances for 40 or even 50 years and are still going.  Mary Higgins Clark tops the list.  Phyllis Whitney until she passed.  There is a good strong market for romances in ebooks.  Once retirement communities realize that the size of the font can be changed  in readers, the seasoned citizens will be thrilled to be able to read books without the hassle they experience now.

A number of years ago I took advantage of the local cable outlet and their local origination program.  You learned to use all the television equipment and you were free to make programs.  I was going to do a 1/2 hour playlet.  The script is at Smashwords for free.  Explosive Expose.  Go read it if you're so inclined.  Hundreds of people have downloaded it.  There was a nice man working at this cable place and we talked about the way entertainment was changing.  He was very convinced that the future was niche markets.  You don't have to sell zillions of copies, you sell to your fan base and you'll get a greater percentage of the $.  He was a visionary because ebooks didn't exist.  Youtube didn't exist.  I'm not sure Google existed at that point.  I don't think Amazon existed then.  We had just gotten out of Gopher at that point, I think.  If the www existed, there was almost nothing there.  Your own website?  Huh????

Times change.  Technologies change.  Tastes change.  Readers change.  What doesn't change is that everyone wants a good story.  Provide that and you'll achieve success.


Nicole MacDonald said...

You have to write because you love it I believe and why else would we spend so long trying to get it right (in the midst of editing right now ;p). And until I can viably sell them for a living its a pretty awesome hobby :)

BirthRight The Arrival, on Amazon 1.1.2011

The Hostess with the Mostest said...

Best of luck to you, Nicole. Why don't you post the first couple pages here when you're ready?