Will my book sell? What are the odds?

Less than twenty-four hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced to a stunned world that he would resign, bookies were already taking bets on who the next Pontiff would be. If someone had made a wager that this Pope would be resigning prior to his announcement, I’m quite certain that the odds would have been unprecidented against such a move, since it hadn’t happened in 717 years.

Yet, many writers spend months and even years writing books without even asking anyone ’Will my book sell?’ The novel upon which the 2012 hit movie, The Help, was based, was turned down by 60 literary agents before someone finally decided to give Kathryn Stockett a shot. Last year, a stuggling writer whom I know had a literary agent who had agreed to read his book and represent him. However, when time came to publish it, she told him that she would rather spend the money required to play the lottery. Why is this so tough?

Well, that’s simple. Just as in the entertainment industry, today the competition is more fierce than ever. Millions travel great distances simply to audition for TV competitions like American Idol and The X Factor.

FIrst, no book sells unless it is promoted. Secondly, it needs to have an audience, be worthy of purchase, readily available, and on a subject matter that is in constant demand. Poetry and novels are the hardest to work with. They have to be especially appealing to the desired audience. Unique self-help, how-to-do, reference, and historical works are appealing. Unique being the operative word. Will my book sell? you ask. Examine it in these frames, then make sure it is promoted. St. Clair Publications can help. Email me at stan@stclair.net .