Friday, April 24, 2015

New York Times

Best-selling author – what does that mean in today’s market?

“In this #1 New York Times bestselling e-book …”
“The sensational New York Times bestseller …”
“A USA Today bestselling author …”
“From a USA Today bestselling author …”
“From an award-winning author comes …”
 “From a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author …”
 “From the bestselling author of …”
“A New York Times bestselling romance from an award-winning author …” 
 “gorgeous novel from a New York Times bestselling author who writes with “tender heart” 

Here’s the thing.

My books haven’t hit the New York Times or USA Today lists—yet.

My books haven’t won any awards, but then I haven’t entered them in any contests.

So, not being able to use the glowing headlines listed above, how do I entice readers to give my novels a try?

And here’s the more important question. Do I even want to use phrases like those above?

As soon as I see the word “bestseller,” I stop reading the book description. There was a time when “New York times bestseller” meant what it said. Millions of people had bought the book and read it. The author had a right to be proud and pour money into his or her bank account.

Now, the status can be bought. Gather your friends and acquaintances and convince them all to buy your book on a specific day and, voila!

How then to entice readers without resorting to contrived means? That’s the question every author asks themselves. We’re finding that there are no magic answers. We tweet, create Facebook pages, blog, set up websites, visit book bloggers’ sites, and search the web for inspiration. We join author groups, list our books on various websites and in on-line book stores. We’re told that building our brand, establishing a solid platform is what it’s all about.

Does this frenzy of activity lead to mega-sales? Not in my experience. So why bother?

Well, I’ve always been determined and this novel writing/selling business is no different. Fortunately, books don’t go rotten like apples. It may take a while, but I’m convinced there are readers out there who will find, buy, and enjoy my books.  

Meanwhile, I’m reaping the side benefits. I’m widening my circle of friends and acquaintances, meeting fellow authors and learning from them. I know my writing is improving as a result. And I’m enjoying many wonderful stories written by fellow indie authors.

So no, I’m not quitting. The first draft of my next novel is done. I’m into the rewrites and I’m having the time of my life creating and publishing my novels.  

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