There are millions of books. I mean, everyone knows this, but I'm not sure they really understand it. My first book, Star Axe, is ranked like 7,500,00 on Amazon, which probably shouldn't be a surprise considering it's been out of print for 35 years.
Anyway, it always comes home to me when I order off the "discount" sites. What always amazes me is how good these books look. It isn't like I look at them and go, "Oh, I can see that was going to flop."
No, these look pretty nice. In the categories that I read, I could see myself buying half of them, given the right mood on the right day.
There are definitely trends. Tons of young adult books that look similar, paranormal that looks even more similar, zombie books, and so on...
So how does this fit what I'm doing?
Well, I wrote a vampire trilogy at the tale end of the vampire craze. But not because there was a vampire craze but in spite of it.
Since then I've written historical westerns based on werewolves and Bigfoot. Not really that trendy, but not out of the trend either.
My nature-gone-wild books, Tuskers I and II, were a little out of the normal, but you can see a trend in that direction, or maybe an outlier that is always hanging around.
Next book was about a Golem, then a Succubus, and then a Gargoyle. None of them exactly trends, but books are being written.
I tend to believe that I don't so much tap into trends as that I'm a reader and the same things that inspire me to write probably inspire others around the same time. Certainly, I don't chase trends.
Meanwhile, at the store, I sell a couple of my own books everytime I work. I do this by showing them to just about every new customer who walks in the door. (And probably customers who have already been approached -- I see my regulars rolling their eyes at my pitch.)
Anyway, it may be that these are "guilt" buys -- though I try very hard not to apply pressure.
I get a whole lot of non-responses, some lukewarm responses, responses that are enthusiastic but don't turn into a sale, and then the a couple of people every time I work come through. It does make me wonder what would happen if I worked the normal 5 days a week. I mean, 10 to 15 books a week in my store would add up after a few years.
Oh, well. Can't do both. Either can write or I can be store clerk, but not both.
3 days ago