Before You Write a Single Word

There is such an appeal for people—especially retired people—to write a book.

You’ve had an idea in your head for years and now you finally have time to put pen to paper.

However, after you publish, your sales aren’t what you’d like—or expect—them to be.

What went wrong?

Dozens of things could have been the reason for poor sales, but usually the reason can be traced back to the beginning.

Before you wrote a single word.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell. You have written the story you wanted to write, with little or no regard to your audience.

In other words, you didn’t consider what readers like to read… what is popular in today’s market.

I was guilty of the same thing. That doesn’t mean we cannot write what has been on our heart for decades, but we do have to understand that it may not translate into sales.

We have talked about romance being popular. And there are so many variations of romance:  teens, tweens, cowboy (That’s right. It’s still popular) and so on; and cozy mysteries (which also often include a romantic aspect). These include a lot of inheritance themes. Young ladies inheriting bed and breakfasts, hotels, bakeries, seaside cottages, just to name a few.

So, I guess the bottomline is this. If you want to sell books, write about what people like. If your goal is to fulfill a lifelong dream, then sales take second place.

But whatever it is you write, do it well. Given time, readers may find you and come to appreciate your passion. 

To me, that’s the best of both worlds.