Thursday, November 2, 2017

Market saturation? Nonsense...Build your own tribe separate from Facebook

The writing studio in Florence where I'm currently eating, drinking, writing...
One of my best writing buddies posted on Facebook this morning about his having to burn through two years to get the rights back to one of his novels from a rather prominent publisher. Said publisher wasn't doing dick to promote the book so my bud figured (wisely) he could do a much better job of it on his own.

Go figure.

Someone in the comments mentioned the terrible saturation situation that has afflicted the fiction market (and non-fiction market, I suppose). I guess something like 1.5 million books are being published per year, indie and traditional books combined. Is that possible? Or did I dream that stat?

Whatever the case, I don't consider myself competing against 1.5 million books or a million other authors both dead and alive or those about to be born. I write, for the most part in a specific genre that sees far fewer than 1.5 mil books being published each year. I'm talking noir, hard-boiled mystery, and psychological suspense. I'm also publishing erotic noir/suspense these days (Don't tell my mother). Being that publishing isn't a zero sum game, I consider my true competition to be myself. Sort of like a marathon runner who is always trying to best the completion time of his last race.

Here's how I'm bettering myself every year and improving my chances of success.
1. I'm writing more books per year than ever (and in turn writing less journalism)
2. I've hired a professional marketing team to set up ads and provide Book Bub like promos once every couple of months (right now this "growth" program is costing me a lot of money but in the long's a marathon remember...this will pay off)
3. I'm building up my subscriber list to the tune of 10-15 new readers per day (in general, every time I send out a newsletter, I lose about 10 of these subscribers, leaving me with an excellent positive net return). No longer do I rely on asking my 9K friends and fans on FB to "Buy my shit!"
4. I've hired a brand new literary agent who has a killer reputation and who will most definitely land me more traditional deals, foreign deals, and multi media deals to compliment my indie publishing.
5. I'm also toying with the idea of taking on a small number of writing students who wish to be coached on both manuscript quality and publishing direction (more on this in 2018)
 6. I've rented a new writing studio/apartment and will no longer be writing "out of the house." I've seen lulls in my career happen before (they happen to all of us), and at least two of those times can be attributed to my working "at home."

This list is by no means comprehensive or complete. In fact, it's a fluid work-in-progress. But in the end, I wouldn't be worried about how many books are being published per year. In fact, bring them on, because one, most of them are pure shit. And two, most of the authors who produce those 1.5 mil books will never ever write another book again when they realize just how difficult it is to sell even a single copy.

Now get to work...


Get THE REMAINS for just $1.99 for a limited time


  1. Swell spoke and scribed, Vince. Hemingway too rented outside digs to runaway with characters and ante up wordcount.

    Though I'm more a Fitzgerald dame, I can still lower your promotional-marketing aim to fame bill. Have your people call mine, Bub. And best to your Firenze zest.

    I kinda think you nail your genre. Proud to see you soar. Ciao.

    ~ Kate Pilarcik,
    suspense-author | intrigue-promoter

  2. In my humble experience some books sell. Others don't. And while I don't think ads are a waste of money, putting all one's eggs in any one basket isn't smart business. "Buy my shit" has never worked well. Glad to see you diversifying. If anything is certain in this biz it's uncertainty and the need to adapt to constant change. Best of luck, man!