Find a Niche, and Expand It

In today’s fiction market, you either need a sizable backlist, a ready-to-go fan base, or a traditional publishing deal to come out of the gate bursting with sales. Your Twitter following of 800 other authors doesn’t count as a launching pad, either. The most common problem for new authors, is the search for readership. Unless you’re writing to fill your own bookshelf, you share the same dilemma. I know…we all have an incredibly interesting, unique novel, ready to unleash upon the unsuspecting world…but so does every other writer reading this essay. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! The key term here, is “unsuspecting world.” I’m fairly confident the world will push onward in blissful ignorance of your book, if you don’t find a way to start a small fire. You need to find a niche, and expand it. I’ll be blunt with my story. I published The Jakarta Pandemic in October of 2010, and had no clue what to do with it. I was just glad to have finished it. Three years of disorganized part time writing, and now what? I had no marketing plan…or concept. I had started research into the traditional publishing world, but quickly

If you don’t have anything nice to say…

Then don’t slam me with an ill constructed review on Amazon. Post it to your blog. If you get as many blog visits per day as I do…I’m pretty sure that your review will live forever in obscurity. However, if you have something nice to say, I’d like to help you get the word out to the masses. I found this unsolicited review of my book while conducting one of my daily vanity searches on Google. http://nicksteckel.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-review-jakarta-pandemic.html What a nice thing to find. Someone who took the time to write an extensive, meaningful, well constructed review of my novel. I actually felt guilty about some of the short reviews I have written recently. Here is someone that invested a considerable amount of positive, mental energy on my book…beyond just reading it. I ask you to take the time to read Nick’s review. I couldn’t have written a more poignant review of the book myself. He really captured the essence of my intention for the story, and for his efforts, I think his blog deserves some attention. Many thanks, Nick. One last note: I added a word count for my next novel to top right corner of my blog. I’ll post

Eagerly awaiting my 40th…

book review. I turned 40 at the end of February, and the event was anti-climactic. I didn’t feel the decay of old bones, or slight degradation in my eyesight. One more candle, and a wonderful family birthday party. I was spared the surprise, “this is your life” event that I’ve seen unfold for other quadragenarians. My book turned 30 last week, which kicked off an exciting flurry of review activity. I had high hopes for the 30th review…looking for a reason to celebrate. The title of the review? “Wow…this book.” And not in a good way. A one-star 30th birthday review for The Jakarta Pandemic. The review was quite lengthy for Amazon, and had nothing good to say. The only positive? I could tell that the reviewer hadn’t read the entire book, probably not more than 30 pages. Needless to say, I was a little irritated. I wrote a nice response and let it go. Not everyone is going to like this book…or any book. Little did I realize that this would be the first of nine reviews written in four days. Thick skin? I would have felt better suited up in Kevlar. Every time I checked Amazon, I cringed.

You Tube review of The Jakarta Pandemic

As all of you hopefully know, I encourage readers to contact me with questions or suggestions regarding my book, and I actually hear from some of them. Most of them are surprised to hear back from me, which I can’t believe. Hearing from readers is one of the most rewarding aspects of writing a book. It’s proof that someone actually read it, and didn’t just need to spend the remaining three dollars on their Amazon gift card. I suppose some of you will remind me of this post, when I hit the big time author circuit, and get swamped with fan mail. Back to reality Steve. So the other day, I started a conversation with a reader from my home state of Indiana. After exchanging a few emails, he said he would do a review of my book on his You Tube channel. What? I thought people just posted videos that featured laughing babies on You Tube. I didn’t realize that some people actually used it for constructive purposes. I was wrong.  Below is the link to my first “live” review. The only thing that upsets me about this, is that I didn’t think of this first. Thanks, Hooser9mm for