It’s 5:00 a.m. I’m up, wide awake, and #amwriting. I tossed and turned in bed for an hour and my mind was churning with dreams at least an hour or two before that. This is a common occurrence most mornings the past couple years. Usually, I don’t get up and eventually fall back to sleep, but not this morning. I am an author and I have something to write about. Most of the time when this happens, I decide the stuff which pops into my head is noteworthy, but not really worth putting on paper. This time, however, I chose to write it down.
One of the toughest things for me as an author is determining my target audience. I don’t know who that audience is. I’m not #amwriting for children; that’s certain. Other than this, I really don’t know. I guess I #amwriting for people who will read my stories, then smile, laugh, frown, or even get the shivers and feel compelled to give me a five-star review. But who are these people? I’m clueless.
I have hit some of my target readers with Into Autumn. Four- and five-star reviews tell me I have done this 85% of the time. But I want all five-star reviews, but this will never happen. The world today is so fast paced and people I assume are #amreading at such an accelerated pace, many do not get all the story I am trying to tell. I #amwriting at a much slower pace than many people are #amreading.
My life is much different than most people. I have a country life and though I have a lot on my plate to do, I take the time to smell the roses along the way. A few blue-wing teal ducks are swimming in a rain filled low area near the house the other day and I take time to watch them for a while. Last night the frogs in my swamp are extra loud and I stop to listen for a few minutes. The night is especially clear and I notice how bright the stars are. It’s a good night for star gazing and I recognized a few constellations.
Taking a little extra time to notice my surroundings is not an isolated event for me. This is how I live my life. When I #amwriting, I also add a lot of detail about the surroundings into my character’s lives. I add subtle nuances as well to my stories, but I fear many people do not catch them. They’re #amreading too fast to notice.
I want to sell a lot of books and at this point I am not doing this. But I think I know why. People may see my works, but for the two or three seconds they take to choose, I do not catch their attention. But when someone does take the time, they generally like what they see. As an example, I did a guest blog post the other day. Someone stopped to smell the roses and I caught their attention and she wrote a comment. Her post is as follows: “All I can say is “WOW” when I first clicked onto your “Into Autumn” book trailer. It really grabs you. Larry I also enjoyed reading your blog. I couldn’t stop so you must be doing something right. Congratulations!! Getting to know you a little more is so much fun.” Into Autumn trailer
I have always claimed to be one of the happiest people on this planet. The reason for this is that I do live at a much slower pace than the majority of people. I am not the only person who is truly enjoying life, but I don’t believe the majority of people are. Financial problems, marital problems, work problems, kid problems, and the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder that most people don’t have the time to enjoy life a little. These people are candidates for my second book, How to be a Smart SOB Like Me I think, but will they slow down long enough to find and read the book? Maybe one here and there, but for the most part, probably not. That’s too bad. Life doesn’t have to be as stressful as it most certainly is for too many people. SOB book trailer
Anyway, I #amwriting at my pace though I did speed up my third book, Into Spring, a little. Into Spring trailer I do listen to readers and Into Spring was also professionally edited though that didn’t turn out quite like I expected. Very expensive too, but all my future books will be edited much better than my first two. The problem with this is that hundreds or even thousands of books must be sold, depending on the format, to recover the initial expense.
So, how do I at least break even? Good reviews help, but if I don’t get them, I don’t think it’s all my fault. I write good stories which I think most people will enjoy. The statistics thus far say that 85% at least will love my books, but how do I slow people down enough to pick up a copy and read it? I guess that’s the 64,000-dollar question!