Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Reality - Sometimes Things Just Don't Sell

We all wish we had that great crystal ball that would tell us whether or not a project will do well or not, but we don't. There will be times, whether we like it or not, when a project simply isn't going to sell to an editor or to an agent. Along the same lines, there will be numerous times when a project does hit the book shelves and it doesn't sell.

The first instinct will likely be to start placing blame, and yes, in some cases, we can find the reason why the book didn't sell - the cover, the title, the marketing, the publicity department, the distribution, the editor, the agent... the list goes on and on. But again, the reality is that there will also be far too many times when it is simply a matter of fate and timing. Despite all good intentions, the book just doesn't sell.

When this happens, what do we do?

First off, we definitely do need to look at all of the variables with the project. Let's see if there was something that could have been done differently and then make the changes to that project or upcoming projects.

Secondly, put it behind us and move on. This is a business with a lot of peaks and valleys so we need to deal with it. One book will surely not ruin your career (unless you put out something that is truly garbage).

The final thing to do, and I think is one of the smartest things go consider, is to not go out and do something rash. We have seen far too many authors do stupid things due to book sales - they quit, the change what they want to do about their careers by shifting to a different mode of publishing, they shift genres... Stop and think.

Although we might write fiction, we have to remember that the business is very much non-fiction. This is reality.

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