Maybe some of us should and can expand our thinking. Instead of just think about the book, maybe think about its primary subject and purpose, and how you can maybe be a spokesperson about that. That way you and the subject are the story and the book rides your coattails in the media. Has anyone done this?
Yes and I have talked with authors who have also cone this. Carmen Leal is one who sold many books after being a primary care giver for her husband with huntingdon's disease. She then spoke to many about this and sold many books.
The difficulty I had selling Infertility's Anguish is people did not want to admit they are infertile. It would be like selling a book on sexuality in the 1940's when people did not talk about that issue, much less have someone seeing them buy a copy of a book on this topic. It took the 1970's to open doors for these kinds of books to take off like lightning and they did.
I'm sure that it's not the same for everyone or applies to all topics, but your post rings true for me, Jan. My books are on topics similar to yours where people want to put their heads in the sand ..... my book Sweet Poison exposed the dangers of the diet sweeteners, but most people don't want to hear it because they don't want to give up their diet cola. It's "creating the niche" that's tough. But what an important thing to do.
Todd, you nailed it. Once "new" topics hit the niche market (which being that spokesperson helps) they become popular, and they work. I REALLY agree with what you said about expanding - or how about creating- under represented genres. But they are tough, tough, tough to get started.
Janet - the good news is there is a huge market for your book and speaking with the holistic crowd. I am one of those who supports your thinking. My mom came to live with us after my father passed. She always put the pink stuff in her coffee. Well I suggested she get off of all artificial sweeteners. That, coupled with light exercise and eating clean food (no preservatives/antibiotics/pesticides/herbicides) and her diabetes went from almost unmanageable to where she did not need drugs to control it anymore.
When I use the artificial sweeteners they cause brain memory loss. It is quite scary!!! I have not used them for more than 20 years and counting!!!
Yep, the lack of mainstream education on this issue of diet sweeteners (controlled by the companies who own these sweeteners) has been a huge disservice to the consumer. Sweet Poison came out in 1997, and Monsanto has been on my tail ever since trying to keep the info out of mainstream. Thanks to the Internet, we've had a platform to keep on keeping on, and help one person at a time, if need be. It's been quite the ride. When people learn the truth behind the artificial sweeteners, most stop using them and their plethora of health symptoms typically disappear. For a diabetic, controlling carbs is as important as focusing on sugars and the "overuse" of sugar substitutes. Typically, returning to a whole foods diet, cutting out ALL chemicals and refined flours and sugars returns the blood sugar swings to normal. There are many healthy diabetics out there who avoid all diet sweeteners and simple carbs.
One of my friends insists that if you find a legitimate market, and become the "voice" of that niche, you can find a lot of success. His example is a guy that started a music share site -- for a portion of an artist's sales, he'd host the music of up-and-coming or independent artists. He had numerous successful artists on the site, but his favorite example was a woman that wrote sailing songs. She'd go out on her boat for a few days, write her songs, come back and record them then upload them to the site. She hit a niche market, and is now wildly successful, all because she focused on a particular niche of music that was under represented in the music market.
So maybe we shouldn't focus on writing the "best" of our genres, but expanding on under represented genres?
I always had that method in mind. In fact, while working on a proposal for what I hope to be my two debut books, I'm expanding my journey from an educator to an educational speaker with a cause.
I have a passion for both topics and have combined them in a presentation that has bookings starting next month. It goes with my favorite author's motto,
Follow your bliss. Find where it is, don't be afraid to follow it, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. Joseph Campbell
My bliss is in giving a voice to and standing up for those in need, wolves and other victims of bullying, especially kids. Yes, my plate is full, but doing what you love is never work.
This is a great topic. Right now I'm in the process of embarking something similar. In my debut mystery fiction novel, Desperate Measures, I utilized my scientific and executive experience in the suspenseful plot but don't overwhelm the reader with too many acronyms or scientific jargon. I have been asked to write a segment for a blog about switching gears from scientific, technical, and research papers to fiction mystery. I compare and contrast. There are some similarities and quite a few differences.
Yes, it's a good strategy provided what one is being spokesperson for is an important enough topic to warrant a spokesperson.
Agreed that a person can be a spokesperson for just about anything. But I personally have a bias toward spokespersons who speak on behalf of things that are really important. Corsets wouldn't interest me as a worthy cause, LOL! Hmmmmm....though....those cool grey ties in 50 Shades of Grey might be an exception...imagine...being a spokesperson for elegant ties that can double as suit ties and used in sexy bondage....such endless possibilities!
lol.. there are a lot of cross-dressers out there who need good representation. Btw... did you know there are 50 Shades tie bondage classes?
I'm very tempted to jump on that bandwagon, but with would my friends and family think? It's bad enough I write about such naughty things in fiction, but teaching a class will just ruin my nice girl image. But damn, they're getting $50 and up per student/class! hum, I might be able to live the shame.
Great new discussion, Jeff. I have done this (actually I do, do this) because my books require that I do. I write non-fiction about topics that are cutting edge, and most people need to be educated about them. I guess you might call them exposes, which requires some background explaining and "educating" mainstream. I am a professor, so my job is to "expand" one's thinking anyway, but I usually have to explain why the topics of my books are important, and hopefully, that stimulates an awareness that brings success. In essence, I'm trying to ceate a "new fad" of thought.
This is really motivational speaking, education, and salesmanship. To make my books "real", it takes all three.