I’m not about being inside the box. As amatter of fact when my second last book was released I took a look inside the box where the seals and sharks danced in a red pool of what is termed ‘market share and competition” and pushed the box as far back as it would go. I looked up and said “You want me to dive in there? Are you nuts?”
However most of us that write and most of us that has been published and now carry the title of author think that in order to win as an author would mean sitting on the shelf of the large bookstores like Barnes and Noble, Chapters and Indigo.
They think that to have really made it would mean that the spine of the book created by their pain, laughter, tears, frustration and hard work would be finally sitting beside….oh, I don’t know, let’s say– another 80 thousand titles.
An average best seller sells about 6,000 copies in a three year term. (National Post, August 2006) My second novel sold one hundred thousand copies in fourteen days and not one of them was on a traditional book shelf. Not only did the books sell but the name of “Tilly Rivers” is recognized as one of the best writers in erotica. World Wide! And that was just the beginning.
Not one book signing was at Barnes and Noble, not one book sold through Chapters. I created my own market demand; I refused to have my book collect dust on a shelf with thousands upon thousands of its cousins, until people knew who I was, until I had a profile and a fan base, being In a bookstore would have been career suicide.
Now, you could say to yourself, sure, that might work for an erotica genre, but I write a different style of prose. Okay- let’s put it to the test, I will challenge that thinking process, how many erotica novels are there? Lets just say that compared to fiction writers, romance writers, children’s books and so on, the ‘other’ categories have fifty times the competition, fifty times more sharks in ‘market-share pond” for you the new- kid on the block-to try and swim through to make 6,000 sells- that’s your dream right? Not just to be an ‘author’ but to be a best-selling author. Do you know that on average, only 99 books from any giving author sell? 99- that’s not a lot! Those same bookstore chains order about 50 to 100 books, per store.
As a new author two things happen (1) your books are returned, and or (2) it is put on the clearance shelf—and that’s IF and a VERY BIG if- they are brought into the store in the first place.
I continue to encourage authors to think outside of the box. Some will listen, and some will get caught in the web of what the sharks feed them: “You need to jump in the box.”
Once you get your name out there, once people know who you are, you can put your book into the bookstore chains, as a matter of fact, when the day comes- they will ask you- not the other way around, but until then, think of ways to get known, get your book read and how you can make sells, like in independent book stores, and on-line. Think e-books, and don’t let any traditional publisher’s rejection letter get you down- if you KNOW your book is good- get out there and publish it yourself!
Before you know it, people will be asking for your book, they will say- hey do you have any books by Tilly Rivers? Know what just happened? You just created ‘market demand” way… way better than swimming with the sharks for “market share.”
You know, my mom always said I never learned to share…and I Never, ever play by the rules….