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Friday, April 11, 2014

Why New Authors Shouldn’t Give Up

 You heard it here first—marketing does not always net results. In the past, I joined many blog tours and appeared as a guest on other blogs. I even blog on this site on the 11th of every month. At one time, I spent so much time blogging and being a guest that I could not find time to write. All that effort resulted in flat sales and mild disappointment; therefore, I cut back on blogging, believing people don't have much time to read/follow blogs. Besides, the economy is terrible and buying books is probably the last thing on the mind of individuals trying to scrape enough money together to buy dinner.

I have not given up, but I also have not found the "golden path" to sales. Here is what I know: when I do personal appearances, I sell books--people will buy books when you engage them one-on-one. I've never sold huge numbers, but I can always sell a few here and there. The rest is all chance.

I once read the best way to become known as an author is to write your next book. I follow that advice. I also change genres a lot. I started with a Sci-Fi trilogy. Those books were published but went nowhere. Like most first novels, they need a lot more work. As a result, I requested the rights back last year and will attempt to republish them after a serious re-write. Next, I wrote a couple of adventure novels. Eternal Press has those (Kill Zone and Aftermath Horizon.) Aftermath Horizon borders on being a YA romance novel and, from a content perspective, it might be my best novel. I look forward to seeing how it performs when it is released. I also wrote four paranormal comedy novels (Solstice Publishing). Those are my best sellers, but even with them sales aren't great. I did sign a movie options contract for the first two ("The Substitute" and "Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!"), but all of the options have not yet been exercised. Now, I'm writing a WWII true story, a huge genre change. I have no idea how the book-buying public will react to another WWII book but, if one novel catches on, then the others might follow. Who knows? Lightning could strike.

In addition to my next novel, I try to get my name and books in front of the general public each day. To that end, I put out a "joke a day" on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JamesLHatch) and on a few Facebook pages established for advertising books. I can't say I get a lot of sales from the jokes, but I know many people read them because I always get a few likes. Another thing I do in attempt to get noticed is review books written by other authors. I post the reviews on my web site (http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/) and also on Amazon. Like the jokes, I don't know if the reviews net any sales, but they often get attention.


So, why do I continue to beat my head against the wall? There are only two reasons: I like to write and I like to read. It's that simple. Even if I never become a well-known author, I am enjoying writing the stories; learning more about proper writing, editing, and grammar; and seeing how other authors have developed their style. Reviewing other authors, especially successful authors, can be a great learning experience.


So, my advice to new authors is this: enjoy writing and be glad you have the talent for it. Not everyone does. Very few of us will ever make it to the top of the heap, so you just have to be content with what you can do. Keep working at it. Make your writing as good as it can be and then learn from your editors how to make it better. Read, read, read … and enjoy.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. Please “LIKE” my Facebook page if you have not done so already.


9 comments:

Nikita Stewart said...

It's hard wearing several hats. First I write the book then I have to become a marketing genius and sell it to the world. Oftentimes the best work gets the lest attention. So I definitely appreciate your words. .Nikita stewart 101 Orgasms available on Kindle and http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/427265 for all e readers. Use promo code LR88F for 20 % off

Nikita Stewart said...

It's hard wearing several hats. First I write the book then I have to become a marketing genius and sell it to the world. Oftentimes the best work gets the lest attention. So I definitely appreciate your words. .Nikita stewart 101 Orgasms available on Kindle and http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/427265 for all e readers. Use promo code LR88F for 20 % off

Tina Donahue said...

Good advice, James. Congrats on your newest release. :)

Lizzie said...

Definitely keep writing!

James L. Hatch said...

Hi Nikita:
Yes, the marketing is the hard part, while the writing is the fun part. I wish I knew the answer but, alas, I don't. I will just keep on trucking because I enjoy doing it. I'm just thankful to be retired. This would be impossibly hard for people who also have to work. Thank you for leaving a comment.

James L. Hatch said...

Thank you, Tina. I hope "The Trophy Wife" does well. It certainly is the funniest of the four novels. As always, I appreciate your support.

James L. Hatch said...

Hi Lizzie:
I will definitely keep writing. I need to get this WWII book finished soon. Only two of the people in the story are still alive ... and their memories are failing. Thank you for leaving a comment.

Denysé Bridger said...

Very well said, James. Everything in this business is an experiment, and you just never know when the timing will be perfect for success.

James L. Hatch said...

You are so right, Denyse. We keep trying, but we also love what we do. You are an inspiration to all of us.