I am a relatively unknown author. I have five books — two novellas, two essays and a short story — on Kindle, and ordinarily there’s no reader interest unless the books are promoted.
There are different types of promotions, and I won’t elaborate on the options. However, I will say that during the past week I spent four afternoons focusing on one title and distributing more than two hundred and fifty business cards in San Francisco, without results. Some of those people who accepted the cards expressed a real interest, but I was too honest and told them about the free preview on Kindle’s site.
Maybe some of them looked at the preview of George Michael: An Appreciation and decided against it. The book does have some problems with broken text, and it shows in the preview. I don’t know how to make corrections because, as far as I know, the uploaded manuscript was typed perfectly.
Maybe some people looked at the preview and thought it was a dull book. When researching and writing it, I tried to emphasize details which most people weren’t likely to think of. Maybe that was a turnoff. Sadly, some people who enjoy popular music like to keep everything predictable. Some of them might enjoy scandal, but that wasn’t the type of unpredictability I was looking for during the research. Besides, scandal has become predictable.
Oh, well. None of my books are written for money. They aren’t popular successes, and I often spend as much as I can afford on promotions. The books each cost the reader ninety-nine cents (USD).
In spite of low expectations I had for sales from the first day of being published, I’m a tad disappointed. There’s an emotional neediness that screams Read My Books. In the case of the George Michael essay, there’s also a strong urge to bring to people’s attention that his work had more depth than many admirers recognized during his lifetime.
I think I know the main factor that sank the commercial appeal of the essay. Beginning at the time of Mr. Michael’s death, I spent a year researching the topic — for a four thousand word piece — and by the time it was published the fan interest which increases after an artist’s passing was less intense. George Michael was a genius whose work will likely be proven timeless. However, when marketing anything, timing is essential. I took as much time as necessary to put together a responsible essay which would do justice to GM’s work and moral character, and that cut into sales.
Even if you’re not interested in reading this essay, if you respect George Michael please consider donating to one of his favorite charities:
After posting those two links, the book seems less important now. Still, here’s a listing for the essay if you’re interested: