Selling books - imagine!

So far as I know imagination is something very mysterious which we share with absolutely no other species of life on earth. All we humans are of course born with imagination to a greater or lesser extent. (Although too great a dose of it can, as we all know, run right past genius and on into mental illness). Imagination is a prerequisite for the reader of fiction and it's the writing and promoting of fiction that's occupying my time whilst the Pictures and Poems and B&B micro businesses are sleeping. Have a look into my new website to get the flavour of it.

I said there's a mystery here, and it's exemplified by the fact that some people can 'lose themselves' in a well written novel whereas others of equal, or lesser, or greater intelligence simply cannot, and so find no value whatsoever even in trying.

That's one of the main reasons why selling a work of fiction is so much more difficult than selling motor cars or cans of beans or, for that matter, works of non-fiction. i.e. whereas 'the market' for a car or a can of beans or a book on beekeeping can easily be identified, a work of fiction by a new writer does not exist and cannot be created other than by one on one individual recommendation. Putting a giant billboard up in Paddington station or ahead of the ITV News at Ten saying 'Read Bryan Islip's Fantastic New Novel, Going with Gabriel' would merely evoke one of two reactions, equally negative. The habitual novel reader - perhaps one in eight observors: 'Why should I spend my nine pounds and a couple of weeks of my valuable leisure time on that when I can buy Stephen King's latest that I know I shall enjoy?' The other seven in eight observers would have no interest and would no more buy my novel than Stephen King's latest or indeed purchase any pig in any poke.  

That's why the first handful of readers of a novel by a new writer are so absolutely critical to its sales success. These pioneer ladies and gentlemen must, firstly, find the book 'first rate' and secondly must say so, and why, to as many fellow readers as possible.This takes time. Even Harry Potter took plenty of time to achieve top selling status. In an age of instant gratification that's not good. Having said that, I would rather have one reader in year 2025 than 2025 readers this year! (although the former would probably not be a possibility without the latter.) 


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