The tapes in my head say I’m an awful writer, no one likes my books. People who have read them say they are great, but how does this translate into success if my books aren’t selling? There are several things I’ve come to realize that might be the reasons for my disappointing sales.
First of all, I’m terrible at marketing. I’ll own it. The business side of writing eludes me. I have friends that are masters at trends, they check their sales, and do magical things to boost their numbers. This leaves me overwhelmed at the thought of delving into the marketing jungle.
Second, who is my target customer? It’s not young adults—that ship sailed for me years ago, along with ‘groovy’, ‘right on’, and flashing the peace symbol. Who wants to read my books? I’ve changed the ages on my characters in one series, per the publisher, to entice a younger readership. It didn’t work. The story I’m currently writing is the end of the series and it’s taking its own sweet time to gel. One of my good friends, and my editor, told me that my books should be more of the sitting on the beach kind of thing. This might be women’s fiction or a quirky romance.
Third is writing something that doesn’t thrill me. I’m determined to dig into a couple of my stories that are on the back burner. They make my heart pound when I write and it isn’t a slog to sit down at the computer. I need to find my joy again.
So I guess the takeaway on this is, don’t sweat it, write the story that gives you goosebumps, and yes, learn to deal with the marketing aspects of the business one step at a time. It’s a necessary evil, but like taking a spoonful of cough syrup. The benefits outweigh the nastiness.