The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What If You Wrote a Book That Nobody Wanted? (#IWSG)


  And again it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.   This #IWSG event is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.   You can follow the link to his blog for more information and the list of bloggers who are members of the group.  


          Just when I think I've found that really cool thing that will knock everyone's socks off, I get put in my place by those who think I've got weird tastes.   Well, maybe some of those people just aren't wearing socks or they are wearing those pajama things with the built in feet, but at least I try to metaphorically knock people off their feet on occasion.  But it doesn't always happen like that does it?

         Primarily I'm thinking about my Battle of the Bands (BOTB) posts which has been a big fixation for me over the past year or so.  If you haven't visited and voted on my most recent one you can find that post at Bye Bye Love.  I'll be tallying my votes tomorrow (Thursday) for my Friday announcement of the winner.   

         As you might surmise or know, the BOTB concept is a popularity contest of sorts.   It's an expression of preference.  The concept of preference is a topic that has popped up now and then on Tossing It Out because I find this topic of what we like and dislike to be infinitely interesting.  And it's not just me.  I ran into the same line of speculation at a recent post of my blogging friend Rob Z Tobor.   Rob asks The Big Question of "Why do people like different stuff?".

         Why indeed?   And more importantly from a marketing perspective, what is going to interest the widest ranging audience?  It's a question that authors might want to ask if they are looking for more readers.  It's what I try to explore to get more readers of my blog posts.  What about you?  Are you trying for the big audience or the niche audience?  

           I look toward a big niche.  When my book finally gets published I hope that a lot of people would be interested.  Then I think about what many people see as my weird, or perhaps I should say unique, tastes.   I'm not alone in what I like, but I do wish more people would experience what I like and see or hear it to be as great as I think it is.

          Maybe Ricky Nelson had it right when he famously sang, "You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself."  Then again how distressing would it be if you hosted a party and nobody showed up because they knew you had out of the norm tastes.   Or more specifically, what if you wrote a book and nobody wanted to read it?


And now for an author who is confident about his book Junior Inquisitor.  Lincoln Farish is an author with whom I made recent contact and he's excited about his upcoming release.  You're invited to his party!  He's counting on a good turnout so don't be left out.



                    Coming Soon!



Brother Sebastian is halfway up a mountain in Vermont, hell-bent on interrogating an old woman in a shack, when he gets the order to abandon his quest for personal vengeance. He has to find a missing Inquisitor, or, more likely, his remains. He’s reluctant, to say the least. Not only will he have to stop chasing the best potential lead he’s had in years, this job—his first solo mission—will mean setting foot in the grubby black hole of Providence, Rhode Island. And, somehow, it only gets worse…
If he’d known he would end up ass deep in witches, werewolves, and ogres, and that this mission would jeopardize not only his sanity but also his immortal soul, he never would have answered the damn phone.

Available now for pre-order:
 



Barnes and Noble Nook coming soon!






Author:  Lincoln Farish

Called an adventurer and quite possibly insane, Lincoln has traveled to many continents and countries on his own and at his country’s behest to determine from whence the darkness comes. Despite persistent rumors, Lincoln maintains that he had nothing to do with the tiger, was not involved in illicit wiener dog races, and has never used his knowledge of genetics to create a better life form. He lives in Virginia with a very patient wife, a Godzilla level engine of destruction named Veronica, and a helper dog named Calvin.

You can find Lincoln at:

Twitter: @LincolnFarish
Email: lincolnfarish@gmail.com


Visit these sites and follow Lincoln Farish to keep up with his author adventures and more news about his upcoming books.  Mr. Farish is available for interviews, guest spots, or blog book tour stops on your blog.  Be sure to contact him if you'd like to host him.

**********

Be sure to stop by Tossing It Out this coming Friday for a special announcement (in addition to my BOTB winners announcement)!



...


81 comments:

  1. That's everyone's fear - writing a book no one wants to read.
    We have to aim for our niche and hope we hit a broader audience.

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  2. Sometimes the best sellers seem like odd books that I wouldn't have thought with resonate so much with the public. Taste can be might peculiar at times, but then sometimes it's just trending that has no logic.

    Lee

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  3. Yeah, Lincoln Farish's book doesn't fit the category 'nobody wants'. It's more like "I can't put this down, but I really need to because it's scaring me to death. And still you keep reading."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Maybe movie material later? I wish Lincoln Farish well.

      Lee

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  4. I knew that's where all the witches, werewolves, and ogres hung out! LOL j/k all my RI friend. I love witches, werewolves, and ogres.

    As yes, Arlee I think you've hit on the author's worst nightmare.

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    1. It's the nightmare of anyone who has a service or product to market.

      Hope the people in Providence have a good sense of humor.

      Lee

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  5. I certainly fear writing a book no one wants to read, because I love sharing my stories. In the end, I try to write for me, though, because I love it and don't want writing to turn into a job.

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    1. I'm with you. If I don't enjoy what I'm doing then it's drudgery.

      Lee

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  6. I think weird might have a wider appeal than you expect.

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    1. Yeah, the world is a weird place. Weird might just fit in.

      Lee

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  7. I guess writing a book that no one wants to read is the fear of a lot of authors. We have to write what's in our hearts, though, even if others think it's unique or weird. Great post.

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    1. If our heart is not in what we do it will probably be obvious to the readers.

      Lee

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  8. It happens. Or at least we often write books that don't sell as well as we'd like. Keep writing and keep loving what you do. Remember publishers have flops and successes. The author is going to too.

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    1. Probably more "flops" than successes when looked at from a business perspective.

      Lee

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  9. I worry about that with every book. Then again when sales suck (so currently.) I do my best not to worry though. I'm writing what I enjoy and wanted to read myself.

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    1. No point in fretting over something over which you have no control. The energy of fretting can be better applied to marketing or moving on.

      Lee

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  10. I produced an album nobody wanted and still have several boxes of CD's stashed away in the garage. As for a book I know it would be niche audience much as the blog is. But at the end of the day we all have our own style and tastes and I dont think anyone could write a brilliant book if it was outside of their comfort zone, I maybe wrong.

    Many thanks for the mention it is indeed an interesting subject.

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    1. I think you're probably right. Unless the writer was extremely brilliant or maybe a talented hack.

      Lee

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  11. I'm weird. I like weird.

    I had critique partner dislike a chapter because a minor character had a super conservative view and harassed another less-minor character. And then she called one of my male POVs sexist, which no one else did. In fact, a lot of people liked that character. I figured my characters were probably just not her thing. Ah well. Can't please everyone.

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    1. It's a big world with a lot of different view points. If all our characters are the same then that's not very realistic. Just the way it is.

      Lee

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  12. Lee I did write a book that hardly anyone wanted,
    Great post, have signed for A to Z provided I have a new home by then, my internet at the moment is still in the name of that man who have ruined my life, he has given notice to the suppliers which is due to be disconnected next week.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I hope you have a new home with a new internet soon. A to Z would not be the same without you.

      As for your book, poetry books are in a tough niche to break into successfully. I'm sure there is a market for your books, but finding it can take time. You are undoubtedly in the company of many great poets throughout history.

      Lee

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  13. All I know is that if you spend your time trying to please everyone else, in the end, no one is going to be happy.

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    1. Simply put and very true. There is no magic solution that will make everyone love you and if you find it then you've probably written schlock anyway.

      Lee

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  14. I'm definitely afraid that I'm writing a book that no one wants to read. But I think that's better than thinking that you're writing a book everyone will want to read, because then you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.

    February IWSG Co-host

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    1. That's kind of my philosophy: Dream big, but expect little.

      Kind of results in a happy medium in most cases.

      Lee

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  15. I guess it's a good thing that we don't all like the same thing. My husband and I like different TV but we like the same music.

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    1. Viva le difference! I wish my wife liked more of the foods that I liked.

      Lee

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  16. I'm not a writer like you guys but I face those same insecurities with craft shows. What if I make NO sales? What if people think my stuff is crap? How will I face my friends, husband and family and say, 'I didn't even make my table fee back?' It's why I don't participate in many of them; the fear of rejection is that crushing.

    Know what you mean about thinking something is great and wanting people to think so to. That's how I feel about the Grateful Dead and I don't understand how everyone doesn't just love them as much as I do. Their music is far and away the best of any rock bands, esp. jam bands, in the history of the world. IMHO anyway.

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    1. I think it's a universal problem. We all seek acceptance.

      Someday I'll have to use a Grateful Dead song on my BOTB post.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Yes, we all fear no one will like our books or want to read them. Although not everyone will like what we write, it's a wonderful thing that everyone has their own likes and dislikes. What one person may think is weird, another will find amazing.

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    1. If everybody liked the same things and thought the same way there'd be little reason to talk to each other let alone to write anything.

      Lee

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  18. I love BOTB. It's different and I get to hear some really good music. I also am asked to weigh in on which version pleases or appeals to me most. I think those are three important factors in reaching others and engaging them enough to lure them back.

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    1. It's a time for expressing opinions for sure, but sometimes it's just people saying what they don't like. I'm not sure about the validity of an opinion that says which thing is least likable.

      Lee

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  19. My book is geared toward a specific audience - I just don't know which one yet. ;p

    Be well,

    Elsie

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    1. Finding ones niche is important before the marketing starts.

      Lee

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  20. I think I've already done that, now the goal is to write one they all want to read - any suggestions! :)

    I was thinking of a coffee table book of asses - something for everyone!

    Other insane authors are my favorite!

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  21. I would be content with a loyal, niche following.

    There are many books out there featuring non-conventional topics that have gone on to do very well.

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    1. Very true. Once you've got that loyal audience base and keep giving them what they want you're in pretty good shape. First you have to find them and then cultivate them.

      Lee

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  22. When you asked the question about a book no one wants to read my first thought was, "I'm a poet, that's almost all I do!". There is no huge audience for poetry. Heck, even a fair amount of other poets don't read modern poetry and then you have divisions of "language" poets and "narrative" and a busload of division that cuts the small world of poetics up into even smaller slivers.

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    1. That's part of what I was saying to Yvonne. A poet has got to win some kind of prize or manage a might marketing coup in order to sell a few books, otherwise they can expect to see hardly any. It's a hazard of that genre of writing. I guess that's why a lot of poets also teach or something like that. It's not a likely way to make a living.

      Lee

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  23. I write and hope someone looks at it but if they don't, I'm a little bummed but I keep on groovin. I love weird because I am proud to say i am of that lot. It would be a bummer if no one read something I put all my effort into but I think one writes or creates for oneself first because we feel we just must do it or burst and if someone likes it or reads it...frosting on the cake

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    1. The worst part is when we put out the blood, sweat, and tears and no one appreciates what we've done. But if we are compelled to write then we must keep on.

      Lee

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  24. You know this probably sounds incredibly dumb, but I never thought about writing a book that nobody wanted to read. I figured that if I could get published, someone, somewhere, knew something and someone, somewhere would want to read it. Now, I have another thing to worry about. Sheesh!

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    1. As long as people know about it I think your view is correct. The real issue comes with marketing and finding your audience. But I don't think it sounds dumb. Otherwise we probably wouldn't take the time to write. Hope drives us.

      Lee

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  25. I think there's always someone out there who will enjoy what you have to say. I didn't really see your tastes as being weird. Junior Inquisitor sounds freaky and interesting.

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    1. I've always maintained that if there is something I like there will be someone somewhere who likes the same thing. I don't think my tastes are that weird, but a lot of people have indicated that they thought I had weird tastes.

      Lee

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  26. I LOVE that people have such varied tastes and that the world is full of all this interesting complexity, but it really DOES make it challenging to "find our people". I have an author who is one of my favorites, Tom Robbins. He is a total oddball and whenever I meet another fan, I feel this kindred thing... We just need to keep the faith that eventually we too will be cult leaders... or something...

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    1. Ah, yes! My very own cult with followers who will obey my every command: "Buy my book! Buy my book!"

      Lee

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  27. I think it's impossible to predict what people will want so you might as well do what you want and that way you've pleased someone. At least---that's how I try to remind myself how to feel ALL the time.

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  28. I'll never write a book, so I don't have to worry about whether people will look it or read it, but when I started blogging years ago I wondered if anyone would ever read my words. Years later I'm still amazed people actually do.

    betty

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    1. When I started blogging I figured readers would flock to my blog in droves to read what I had to say. They didn't. Then I discovered the magic of social networking and now I manage to get a few readers now and then. but it's nowhere like I dreamed when I first started and it's a lot of work!

      Lee

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  29. That's a really good question, Arlee. It's that balance of writing something you like and having it be something that the people want. I'm not sure what the answer is. There have be countless times when I've read books where I thought they were either great or bleh and the masses ended up doing the opposite. Who knows what the secret is. Sometimes I think it just the luck of the timing but it's probably more that that.

    Congrats to Lincoln! Cool concept. :)

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    1. It's a combination of many things I'm sure, but a lot of times it's just that matter of luck.

      Lee

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  30. Hi Lee. I'm not a writer like you guys. My love is painting...watercolor and acrylics. I'm thinking to try pastels. Still I am enjoying the information shared here.

    By the way - I loved Ricky Nelson. I remember his terrible reviews on Madison Square Gardens... how sad... I thought the newer music was great and an evolution of his ongoing life.

    Lincoln's book sounds scary... I might like that!

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    1. I preferred Nelson's latter music to his earlier stuff. His example is one that shows that once we've locked ourselves into a particular image that a fan base likes, it can be hard to grow as an artist because of the expectations of those fans. Ultimately we must be true to ourselves and the respect from others will follow even though some fans might be lost.

      Lee

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  31. Just as I'm sure I don't have truly original ideas since someone must have thought of it first (my research team disagreed - who on earth would think that...) I am sure someone will like my book apart form me. Whether they find it or not is a different matter!

    So don't worry, Lee, someone will like your book!

    My insecurity is tempered somewhat when I see you got the acronym wrong this month, as I did :)

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    1. Yikes! Well now I've fixed the acronym. I guess no one else paid any attention.

      Lee

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  32. Oftentimes when I'm working on my book I'll say to myself, "Who's going to want to read this?" and I start tailoring my writing to a specific niche...But then, I start tailoring so much that I lose my voice and my writing then becomes not as authentic. So I have to realize that the questioning is a mask for insecurity and I have to remove that mask. I'm learning that as long as I write from the heart, I start to believe that SOMEBODY out there will want to read my work and maybe even like it. In the end, I have to be true to myself because when one does that, there is no loss, only success, period. Good timing on this post Lee, because the questioning had started to creep in again.

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    1. Good writing that compels the reader to believe is important. Style is probably equal to actual content.

      Lee

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  33. Great post. It's hard to say who will like what. I've hated books that were best sellers, but loved ones that nobody is interested in. I'd love for a lot of readers to like my books too, but I'm in a little niche at the moment.

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    1. I'm the same way. Sometimes I think a lot of people who buy the best sellers don't even really read them. People have a tendency to jump on a bandwagon and just do what they think they're supposed to be doing because everyone else is. If everyone was required to give an honest book report/review on the books they purchased, I wonder what the Amazon review section would look like.

      Lee

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  34. What if we wrote a book no one wanted to read? Well, my friend, that's been asked and answered. Look at all of the books languishing away on Amazon. I don't know if it's because the book isn't good or the author doesn't know how to market. Or the publisher chooses not to invest the dollars in that book. But, it happens.

    I think we should write within a genre, certainly, but hope that our book will be broad enough in appeal that we don't purposely exclude anyone. For instance, it would be silly to say that Flannery O'Conner will only appeal to the southern reader. Or that Mark Twain's Huck Finn is strictly for kids (YA genre), so adults... don't bother.

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    1. I think most books are "lost" to the public for lack of marketing dollars. If no one knows the books are there it doesn't matter how good they are, they are not going to sell other than to the few who happen to find them.

      Lee

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  35. The book that no one wants? Hey! You're talking about my book!

    When Harper Lee wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, she was not expecting many, if any, readers.

    You're right: often it seems the odd book is the one that gets struck by lightning. Obviously, mine is not odd enough!

    But I think it is a unique set-up or crucible that draws the attention, while it is the ease with which the reader can slip on the persona of the main character and vicariously live out a fascinating scenario.

    Perhaps that is part of the allure of THE WALKING DEAD? Great post as usual, :-)

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    1. Wonder what it took for Harper Lee's book to reach the public? Without a lot of marketing money or strong influence in the literary community that spreads the word about the worthiness of a book it's very difficult to get the sales. After that it's an issue of word of mouth and one book sale at a time and that process could take years to move a minor number of books. The set-up, the content, and the author style are important, but first someone has to know about those things for the book to generate interest with the public. You still have a chance to be struck by that lightning. You have social media for one thing which authors in the past did not have.

      Of course, with some of the luck you've had in the past, you could literally get struck by lightning so maybe it would be better to use a different metaphor :)

      Lee

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  36. I've done it...more than once. I'm not sure the book I'm writing now will do any better. I admit freely to being a poor marketer, so I will get help on that with the next book. But I've read a number of "popular" books I don't like at all.

    I write to explore what interests me. Yes, it would be nice if others came along for the ride. I will continue to write because I'm a happier person when I do, and I will continue to study my craft to get better at it. Hopefully one day I'll find an audience.

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    1. Marketing makes the difference in sales, but will people read and like what we've written? And even if a first book sells will people continue to be interested? Many authors have stayed on top while the majority never make it past a few sales. To keep writing while striving for good quality and pleasing oneself in the process can lead to some moderate success if not the eventual big time. Very few of the books ever published top the best seller list.

      Lee

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  37. Cosign everything Michele said. It's almost impossible to predict what people will like, so you have to write what you like in hopes that others will like it as well. But it's hard to turn the marketing part of your brain off! I wonder about this all the time but I figure I just have to write characters that intrigue me. Besides, if I wanted to write something popular, I'd just write romance. And I suck at writing romance, so that's not an option.

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    1. I for one am not thrilled with romance literature for the most part. It's still a niche albeit a popular one.

      Maybe turning the marketing part of our brain off is not a good idea, but instead keeping it attuned to finding ways of marketing that which may on the surface seem potentially unpopular.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
  38. Stephen King famously said, write for one person. Have that person in your mind (not you, someone else) and imagine how they will respond to your work. Then let them read it when you're done. For me, that person is my sister Sandra. I write the best, most satisfying books when I write with her in mind. :)

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    1. I've heard similar advice given to stage performers and public speakers. I guess narrowing down an audience takes away a lot of pressure.

      Lee

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  39. I suspect most of us have written at least one book no one wants to read....or maybe we're just not telling the right readers? That's positive thinking, right?

    From Lincoln's bio, I'd say he has a very good sense of humor. Thanks for the introduction, Lee.

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    1. Lincoln sounds like a man of mystery.

      Lee

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  40. Too often I have purchased a book because it was written by a blogger who writing I enjoyed. Book is self-published, full of simple errors, and impossible to read. What to do?

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    1. Yeah, that's a fear to consider. I don't want to be that blogger/author. So far I can't think of a book like this that I've run across though I have read a few where I just didn't care for the story.

      Lee

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  41. Thankfully there have been people who enjoy all my books, but I know all writers must have that fear that no one will like their book. It's really all about finding the people that enjoy what you write. That's what makes it all worthwhile.

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    1. It comes down to proper marketing that helps you identify your audience. Sell to the wrong people and they are likely not to like your book--but then again they could surprise you and themselves.

      Lee

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  42. I've even written a couple of books I didn't want to write. You are so right. Marketing is everything. Some days it's peanuts, and some days it's shells.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee