Well, here we are, looking 2019 in the face—it’s just a skip and a hop past Christmas. I’d like to take this time in December, the slowest sales month of the year so far, and talk about a brand new year of achievement for us to hit head on. 2018 has been the kind of year one dreams of in many ways. We’ve had Western action on all fronts—book releases from some of the great authors of the genre, great sellers, award-winners, new and interesting projects and so forth. Truly exciting stuff. Phew.
But let’s not forget that this is a time of year for reflection on things that are to come—and I can’t wait to meet whoever I am set to meet in 2019. A brand new year for new hitmakers. I had a dream several years ago. I wanted to spend my life in one place doing something useful, and I was directed to help authors sell books. Western authors. Back then, the genre was poorly promoted. Most Westerns had a hard time getting any kind of sales recognition, and the readership was said to be dead. That readership, lo and behold, was found to be very much alive and kicking. Once new authors—a new wave—were placed in front of those readers, they became voracious, wanting more and more stories from their newfound favorites.
And here’s the point—you—yes, you the author who released a Western this year and have few sales—yes, YOU—next year could be your year, just as 2018 was the year for many of the current crop of hitmakers. If you have a Western story, and even if you haven’t had a single sale yet, don’t lose your head. The readers are out there, and they are waiting for your story. They may not know it yet, but they are.
That’s the wonderful thing about our genre and industry. There’s always room for more writers, more hitmakers and more Western stories. It doesn’t matter if on Monday your book hasn’t been read by anyone… By Friday it could be top of the charts. Just ask those wild sellers like Paul L. Thompson, Scott Harris, Dave Sebeslav, D.L. Bittick, C. Wayne Winkle, David Watts, Cherokee Parks, Robert Hanlon, and the rest. Once upon a time, their books weren’t selling, and now they are. Maybe in the future your books will be at the top of the Western bestseller chart!
Now, take some time and look at your book and figure out why your book isn’t selling. Is it due to the cover? Keywords? Title? Does it need advertising? Does it need a good old push? What is the problem? Then take a look at the THREE Cs.
The first C is Consistency. This is something all authors have to practice. Consistency in book promotion is the only way a book will move. You have to consistently promote your book. You have to always be doing something, always looking to get more attention for your book, always running little ads, or trying to get more reviews. You have to be consistent on your journey towards success.
The second C is Commitment. We all have commitments in our lives, and those commitments sometimes seem like a problem. But in reality, a commitment is just achievement in process. As an author, you have to commit to your book and commit to its success. If you don’t commit to your book, you won’t be able to be consistent (the first C), and you will find it harder to be successful. Commitment gives you the grit needed to get the job done. I ask all my clients to be committed to the promotion of their book. I ask them to answer interviewers, to write blog articles, to be involved, because unless you love your own baby—how can you expect anyone else to?
The third C is a very special one. One that a very, very talented author mentioned to me. This C stands for “cool,” and it’s true—you have to be cool to be successful. You have to keep a level head and not become depressed when your book isn’t discovered on day one. You have to be cool when you are interviewed, and cool when you are reading a bad review. You have to keep cool, and… be committed… and be consistent.
So, to everyone who is reading this, what a fabulous year 2018 was—but 2019 will be better than all the rest! Just holler over if you have any questions, but keep in mind that this is a time for celebrating, so you may have to wait a few minutes before I reply.