It’s not like I thought I’d sell a million copies of my first book….well, actually, it’s exactly like that. I thought Butterfly Warrior (my first novel) would sell and sell and that I’d be able to write from my new yacht that I’d buy from all the royalties. Plus, once I sold movie options, well then, I’d finally be able to afford the Maserati I had my eye on…But, alas, Butterfly Warrior hardly sold at all. Turns out, publishers don’t really do much to promote books. Authors are expected to hit the road and sell books by any means necessary and if it they lose money, oh well, publishers just move on to whatever writer is in the wings.
I’ve since written and published two (2) other books: 1) my memoir about my own Depression struggles; and, 2) a “self-education” book about addiction (since I’m an addiction treatment provider, I thought I should get something out there). My memoir, Journey to Aztlan, hasn’t really sold much. Not sure why; it’s a good book and has value for anyone struggling with Depression. Maybe I haven’t done enough to market it; I’m certain I haven’t done enough in terms of readings. In retrospect, perhaps it takes a lot more from me to get a book like Journey to Aztlan into people’s hands.
My book on treating addiction (49 Tips and Insights for Understanding Addiction), however, confuses the heck out of me. With so much being made of the “heroin epidemic,” and with the high prevalence of Addiction, I figured it’d jump off the shelves. Yet again, it appears that I have to do far more to get it where it’s needed. And believe me, it’s needed. Addiction is a disease that ruptures families and tears apart people’s souls; I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single person who ISN’T affected in some way by Addiction’s shackles. I KNOW that if people read the book and at least do SOME of the exercises, they really will feel better about their relationship with Addiction. It’s just that, as is the case with all books, I have to hit the streets.
So, for any writers who, like me, dream of being on the New York times bestsellers list, I offer the following (and unsolicited advice): Make sure you have a strong marketing plan that you can actually execute and then EXECUTE it. NO ONE is responsible for your book’s success BUT YOU. If you don’t hit the proverbial road to sell it, then regardless of how well-written it is, it’ll stagnate and die an irrelevant death.