For the last three weeks, I’ve been writing up a storm. One thing you don’t know is that I am back from a vacation in the sun, mild warm temperatures, and dips in the pool. It sure is nice to get away from the brutal snow and frigid temperatures.
I wrote while enjoying the blue skies in my shorts and t-shirt. Writing up a storm, I got a lot done. I’m working in the third book in the Consortium Series. I only have a few more chapters to write to finish the draft. It’s time to build up to the exciting climax, and of course the hook to bring you back for the next installment.
I write for myself, and I’m all the happier for it. Writing gives me a sense of joy as I dream up the scenes my characters must navigate. Over the years, many have asked me how I can write such horrific stories where brutality rules. Honestly, I don’t know, except that I tend to get bored with stories that gloss over the human condition and only deal with those seeking to resolve the event.
Yes, I write for myself, and it makes me happy. The other day I stumbled upon the following quote. Instantly, just like one of my characters, I was captivated.
“If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” – Kingsley Amis
I love this quote. Why? I feel in tune with the sentiment. Anyone who has read my books knows that I don’t usually write feel-good stories and there is always a twist to them. They are not for everyone. Nor can I envision ever writing stories that appeal to everyone.
I learned a long time ago that you can’t please everyone. You’re lucky to please most people, which I define as 51% of the population. Fifty-one percent is usually just enough to get a bill passed by our legislature and signed into law. Even then, I don’t believe that most people are happy with the result but are resigned to accept it as it probably better than the alternatives.
So, I don’t write to please everyone. I write to please me, all the while knowing that many will not. Hopefully, others will like what I write, especially if lots of people like my stories.
So, the question begs, since I write for myself, how can I know whether someone likes my stories or not?
Sales help a lot. I sell lots on a regular basis. Do I foresee one of my books making the New York Times best seller list? How about some producer picking up the option to turn one of my books into a movie? Not anytime soon, I grant you. However, I am hopeful. In fact, I feel that at least one of my books might make the cut and get optioned. Of course, I’m probably wrong. I just need to get the story noticed by at least one producer.
How does that happen? Usually, it’s word of mouth. That and also an agent. I don’t have an agent. I don’t even know how to get one. I’ll work on that one day. In the meantime, it’s word of mouth, which I do use via various means, including advertising.
Besides sales, reviews and email are what I use to determine the direction of my writing. While I post all of my reviews, comments, and direct messages weight more heavily in my decisions on whether to continue a series or write something else.
Case in point, my ‘Her Client’ and ‘Consortium’ series.
‘Her Client Trilogy’ sells well, despite the horrific circumstances of the main character and protagonist. Jolene suffers terribly at the hands of her attackers and turns the tables in the end. Yet many of the comments sent to me by my readers ask the question, “What will Jolene do next?” or they just ask me to continue her story. I seriously considered extending her story, but at this time, I’m not going to. I have too many other stories in my head waiting to get out.
In the ‘Consortium,’ I originally wrote it as a stand-alone novel, not intending to write further books about Avril. Well, my audience has spoken in both sales and comments sent to me. There is an overwhelming interest to read more of Avril saga and what she can do to overcome her situation. My readers will be pleased when I release the sequel to ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I am well into writing the follow-up book, hoping to release it by spring 2018. Knock on wood. (Ouch)
I Write for Myself
Whether you like my stories or not, I write for myself first and my audience second. I suspect that with this mindset, I may not make my millions but I don’t care. I know many authors who write based on their audience. That may be the path to financial success.
I’ve considered changing my style, and I finally have an idea for a feel-good story, one the general public probably buy and enjoy. But first, I need to finish the ‘Consortium’ series. I have two more books outlined, and I’m too into Avril’s story to bow out. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
Stay tuned and find out how it goes.
This is Richard Verry, signing off for now, needing to get back to work. Have a great day and the happiest of new years.
I discovered something fascinating the other day, discoveries that shocked me, and made me very happy. It has to do with sales of my books, specifically, my printed versions.
Amazon had sent me an email regarding the royalties for my sales for the past month. Usually, I just delete them as they do not contain any specific information that I am interested in, other than a payout is coming. However, the format of one of those emails was different than the rest. I was intrigued.
Upon opening it, I realized that it was different than the standard fare, and denoted sales from an unfamiliar source. Digging deeper, I logged into my Amazon account and checked. Nothing. Huh?
After following sales channel after sales channel, I was stymied. I couldn’t figure out who generated these sales. Amazon is good at identifying transactions. They just don’t offer the seller information on who the buyer is, that is without paying for it. They know how to make money.
After investigating all of the sales channels my books are available through, I checked one last source. A source where I don’t expect many sales, as it prices my books reasonably high, considering the costs of producing the book.
I realized that this email had to do with sales of my paperback versions. WhooHoo!
People are buying the hard copies of my books. What’s more, I dug deeper, finding that I had a spike in paperback sales back last January. I missed that.
What an honor. Sure, it’s easy to purchase and download an eBook and read it on your favorite eReader. But holding a book in your hand, smelling the paper and ink, and feeling its weight as you turn the pages, well that is entirely something else altogether. I know many a reader who prefers holding a real book as opposed to the electronic version.
Most sales were people buying the book ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I suspected that. However, I noticed that someone bought every one of my books on the same day. I’m astounded, pleased, no, happy. This one person is not the only one. I noticed several sales of all of my books over the course of the month. To be honest, I’m shocked but very pleased.
Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read my books, including ‘The Taste of Honey,’‘Broken Steele,’ and ‘Her Client Trilogy.’ You don’t know how much that means to me. What can I say? You, my fans, are fantastic.
And, oh, by the way, thank you Amazon.com. None of this would be possible without you.
Hello, everyone. I’ve been meaning to write and have gotten bogged down in posting an entry in my blog. Damn, it’s been, what two weeks, since I updated it. Sorry folks.
To catch you up, my regular full-time job that pays the bills interfered with attending to my website, writing, and of course updating my blog. Unlike most careers I’ve worked, the month of August is one of the toughest, most demanding months in the entire calendar. What I actually want to be doing is sitting on a beach, soaking in the sun, drinking a cocktail, read a good book, take a swim in whatever ocean I’m sitting in front of, and of course, writing my next great novel.
Not going to happen.
What is going on is that I leave work, spend an hour or more at the gym, and barely have enough energy to eat dinner and spend a little time with my girlfriend, only to fall asleep in the chair in the living room. I’m ready for bed by 8? WTF? Multiply this by 14, and you know what I mean.
On weekends, I’ve been able to recover somewhat through rest, but it takes the entire weekend to do it. However, I try to fit in a couple of hours either with formulating and writing several notes for my next novel or by working on my new website design.
I happy to say, I like the new design, and it’s probably ready for real-time. However, I can’t check the security cert yet, which means I can’t check the online purchase modules. Hopefully, I can work with my hosting provider and work out those details this week. If I can, I’ll be promoting the new site this coming weekend. Look for it.
I’ve also been checking sales, and pages read of my books. I’m pleased to see what’s happening. Thank you to each and every one of you who either purchased outright or read my stuff via Kindle Unlimited. The book release of ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ has jump started the lagging sales of my other books. Even the free copy of ‘Her Client’ didn’t do that, as I had hoped. Sales of my other books have also jumped back on the charts.
Thank you, everyone. You are making the months of July and August a happy time for me. One that I seriously need.
As I wrote the last couple of sentences, I couldn’t help but think of Snoopy (from the Peanuts® cartoon) jumping up and down in joy. You put smiles on my face over these past several stressful days when I needed them the most.
Next on the agenda, seriously begin writing the next great novel. Hopefully, I can get it ready for the winter holidays. Until next time, have a great day and a better tomorrow.