I feel like hitting my head against the wall. Success is relevant, and I know that. I sell more books than most and a whole lot less than the big names. But there are times when I read something that another author has posted and something inside of me snaps. That happened today.
Someone had asked how do we get a book noticed?
That’s the million dollar question. If we knew, we’d all be doing it. But one author’s reply was to write a really great book. True. But then she went on to say how many books she was selling. The implication was that she writes really great books. Really? The author world is rather small, but I don’t know everyone, so I checked out several of her books. She had a free one, so I downloaded it. I’ll skim it. If it looks good, I might read it. But based on her ranking on the books I checked, I don’t believe her when she said how many she sold per month.
But she does write really steamy-hot books sent in Europe, with aristocrats and princes as the heroes. I dare anyone to name more than ten princes in all of Europe and if you can’t remember their names, can you remember the country? But marrying a prince is still some sort of romantic dream from those books that were read to us as children. And her princes apparently can up the temperature in a pool to almost boiling. And according to the reviews, the sex scenes are worth reading.
Does that mean writing a good book has little to do with sales? Well, writing hot sex scenes apparently has a whole lot to do with sales. But we all know that sex sells!
So there’s my problem. Many of my books don’t even contain an actual sex scene. A few fail to close the bedroom door. We know what they are doing, but it’s not blatant. Several others tip the scale to a moderately sexy scene where nothing is hidden and the reader knows exactly what is happening.
Writing a great book has very little to do with sales. Some of the top sellers are so poorly written they should have never gotten off the ground, but most of them contain some type of kinky or perverted sex act or fantasy. Gore also sells. As people, we haven’t progressed much from the Romans who went to the Coliseum to watch the criminals fight the lions. So if you add them together, you get a sexy romantic suspense? Apparently. And don’t forget to add in a dash of humor. Maybe I should cash in my chips now, because I can’t imagine ever writing such stuff.
Maybe I don’t write for the masses, and maybe that’s why I don’t sell more than I do. One of my pre-publication readers recently made a comment to me that my books require intelligence to read. No, no, no, not me! I don’t use fifty dollars words when the nickel one works just fine and you don’t have to know the obscure meaning of some noun to understand what I write. My reader agreed but went on to say that my writing was different and that I assume my readers have a certain amount of innate intelligence. And if I want to write a super seller, I’d better start assuming my readers are stupid.
That’s not going to happen. I’ll toss in towel before I do that. There are plenty of people out there who will enjoy my stories and if they happen to be innately intelligent, good for them!