Truly bad books seldom become bestsellers (although we can all name a few stinkers that have done so), but truly good books sometimes just face the luck of the draw. One of John Irving's teachers, a writer named Vance Bourjaily, once wrote me that he and Irving were both confused over the huge success of "The World According to Garp." He said Irving would be the first to admit that it wasn't his best work at that point, and it wasn't particularly better than the books of several of the other young novelists who had been in the same workshop where he wrote big chunks of Garp. Bourjaily said that he and Irving had agreed that Irving had just "stepped up to the slot machine when it was loaded and ready to pay off." Irving had to have his coin--a reasonably good book--but the person with the same thing ahead of him and behind him probably wouldn't hit three cherries like Garp did. Luck does play a part.
Fiction - but I think it has more to do with my books, as opposed to the genre.
Where the Road Ends, is basically a book of local history, and not something with wide public appeal, IMO. Yet, it still sells and considering what some mid-list writers claim to make with traditional published books, I can't really complain. Currently, it is only available in paperback. I am considering republishing for eBook, yet I want to go through a re-edit first.
Havasu Palms, A Hostile Takeover was a followup to that book, and while I considered it of local interest, I may be wrong. I've been told by two different people who read the story - and didn't know me or Havasu, found the story "disturbing" which is not a bad thing to hear, as a writer.
As for my other non-fiction books, I don't think they are the type of non-fiction readers are looking for their ebook readers, especially those in B&W. Although, my craft one sells pretty well over on the iTune store, probably because the customer can view it on a color platform.
My money makers...fiction. Ironically, I considered giving up fiction writing about ten years ago and stick to non-fiction. I enjoy writing about local history and genealogy.
I don't have a money maker! LOL However, my science fiction book does better than my other books. I'm writing something a little different this time around. I still have a little science thrown in there, but the book is really about a post-apocalyptic situation that brings humanity to a halt. I probably should worry about numbers, but I don't. I have The Reversal of Time, and The Alien Recruitment 2 coming out this year. I think, I've learned to take more time when it comes to publishing my work.
I love dialogue. Some people feel that I have too much dialogue, but I like to see the story through the characters. Therefore, I like telling it that way. However, I'm trying to scale back just a bit because I don't want to offend the group that believe in showing, rather than telling. It would be nice to find a good mixture. Maybe I will master that soon.
I do not remember that thread. I doubt seriously that I actually directly posted that your work was crap. If you went from way over 7,000 a month to 3,000 and it happened at exactly the same time the freebies started, you might have a dislike for the freebie promos too. I will say the same thing about freebies I used to say to customers who told me that some competitor offered his services or products for less. “He knows what he is worth better than I do, and I know what I am worth better than he does. If he wants to work for less, that’s his business.” There were no competitors charging zero back then, though.
If you got the idea I was calling your work crap, I apologize. Writing is not my life’s work. I have never claimed to be an artist at this. My nonfiction has been taking off lately, and perhaps that is my forte, if I [I]have[/I] one in writing. Since you are a writing instructor, you could do a lot more to help people here than I ever could.
I have never said those books are mine. I got my username out of a book while reading about Native Americans and just liked the word. After checking on it, I believe those books are written by someone who is using his real name. I have read two of the books in question and like his work.
My anger was over the motivation, not to mention the "outing" of Sarge for the same reasons. What made it worse was the fact few others spoke out against it. I have pen names and would not like for them to be associated with each other. Worse, is the fact my nonfiction books are incendiary to some, and I do not want freaks to know my real name. The fact he was wrong for singling out this person's books [I]and[/I] the fact he was looking into my private life is what I felt and still do feel is wrong. If he had any decency, he would delete those posts. He has had his chance to spam his book.
I don't think I could tackle sci fi. I'm afraid I would get reviews calling my work fantasy, not sci fi, yet I have NO clue what that all means! LOL
I have a theory - yet I might be wrong.
I think an author might have a better chance developing specific genres under a specific pen name - and not have a pen name with a dozen books, all different genre.
Now, I think Nick is a bit of an exception, because he built his non-fiction fan base, and that probably helped with the success of his fiction.
But for most of us, I think a more focused marketing plan, where we have consistent covers - consistent genre - where a reader knows what he or she is getting when purchasing one of our books.
I tend to be VERY eclectic, and jump all over the place. I love to write most genre - and unless I become a very famous author some day, I think merging all those books under one name, would make me look more like a flake.
I've been writing about 25 years in non-fiction but am new to the ebook format. I used to have "regular" jobs for newspapers and online publications back in the day when they paid writers My most recent (last year) was a weekly column for Huffington Post/AOL.
I've always been one to read non-fiction books. My hubby thinks I'm a workaholic because I tell him I want to learn something when I read, not get lost in a fictional story. I know people love fiction and I have nothing against it, but I guess I just have my heart in non-fiction.
There's twice as much competition in the non-fiction field too. The last time I looked I think non-fiction outnumbered fiction 3 to 1 in kindle books on amazon.
I had someone mention in a review that they thought I needed to decide what I wanted to write. Honestly, I like Sci-fi, but I also like post-apocalypse. I've made a decision. I'm dropping my three fantasy books after they come out of KDP Select Plan. They are for a younger audience and they aren't doing well at all. I plan to stay in the Sci-FI, Supernatural, Post-Apocalypse range for now on.
I read this article that talked about writing bestsellers. I know it sounds cheesy, but I used a lot of the tips on my newest book. I'm not sure if it'll pay off yet. The book is still in the editing phase.
When you say drop them....are you unpublishing, or leaving them but walking away and writing under another pen name?
I had a non-fiction book I pulled - it was an eBook, yet I didn't have it here. It was on self-publishing (yes Traci!, LOL) - yet not geared to eBooks, and was written after I taught a class on self-publishing at our local college, back around 2008.
The info was simply dated, considering all the changes, and the rise of eBooks. I considered revamping the book, yet may simply let it die.