January 9, 2019
I hope all of you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season -- and I wish you all the best in 2019.
I thought I'd share a few quick updates with you. First, Plague in Paradise is still doing very well, and I'm quite happy about that. Book sales in today's market can really be mystery at times. The reasons why book sales jump one day -- and go flat the next day -- aren't always easy to determine. A couple of years ago the sales of Shell Games went through the roof one week, and I had absolutely no clue why it happened. Then, at the end of that week, I found out a dear friend of mine (another author) had talked about the book at an international convention -- and that was all it took to have sales skyrocket. There are other times when "sales spikes" happen, and I never find out why.
Another side of this same discussion has to do with why some book readings/events are well attended (and why many books are sold there) -- and why others have just a few people show up (causing low sales). I, literally, wrote the book about ways to do book readings and events (I'm Published! Now What?), and I've done over three hundred book events worldwide. However, this area is still one of great mystery of the publishing world. Here is a classic example of this. I recently attended a book reading done by an author the week her new book jumped on the Best Seller list. The venue had done all manner of publicity for the event -- everything from Facebook (and other social media) to spots on all traditional media outlets in the area. Special letters of invitation were also sent out to hundreds of people in the area. That evening, six people showed up to an auditorium that could have seated five hundred. Six people. Six. To her credit, the author did her regular reading for the six souls who came out to hear her. I once did a book event for well over a thousand people -- and I've also done a reading when two people showed up -- and everything in between these numbers. Getting a crowd to a book reading/event these days is tough. Really tough. For all you aspiring writers out there, start asking veteran writers what they do to build audiences for events -- and start putting your ideas together/making a master plan for the time when you will be doing your own events. Believe me -- it isn't too early to start thinking about this now.
I also visited right before the holidays with an incredibly talented painter, Lowell Davis. May of you may know the wonderful figurines that have been made based on his paintings. If you don't know Mr. Davis's work, all you have to do is type his name into a search engine on the Internet -- and you will see quite a range of his accomplishments. He currently lives in Carthage, Missouri, where he grew up. Funds earned through sales of his art allowed him to build a village around his home - literally! He moved in an old church, gas station, diner, and so forth. If you are ever in the area, you should definitely consider stopping by Red Oak II to see his village. It is quite a sight to behold. I would go so far as to say his village is "living art" on many levels.
Finally, I'm just about finished with the research for my next book -- and will start writing soon. I expect to have the book completed by the middle of summer. I'll talk more about the subject of the book in an upcoming post -- so stay tuned. It is going to be another "medical" thriller -- and will be loaded with adventure and plot twists.
*The picture I'm posting here is of Lowell Davis, taken when I met up with him right before the holidays.