Once again, as I’m traveling down my winding writing road, my book club happenings have started me thinking on several fronts. And as before, I’m posting my thoughts here in the hope they will help readers understand what goes into an author’s mind in getting a book out there, and maybe a few other writers might be having similar thoughts of their own? And I’m also publically airing a tad of self-pity (smile.)
Why do I read a book? These days, mainly because my book club tells me to! This month’s selection was a book I would not have thought of as a reading selection on my own, but that’s one of the great parts about book club—to read outside our own readings “ruts.” My rut, of course is mysteries. Well this month, our book was How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming, by Mike Brown. Not a book that would have crossed my reading horizon by itself—and I loved it! Even ended up doing Google research and further reading. The topic, the writer, the style, the information—all were wonderful!
From there my mind went to other sources of reading suggestions, like author reader/author posts (Of course Writers in Residence suggestions are the best!), recommendations from friends and relatives, bookstore promotions, social media platforms like Facebook, and in the far past, even grocery store checkout displays.
All of this is leading to the big questions in my post here—why would anyone want to read my books, or said a different way, what would entice a reader to want to read my book? My past answer to these questions has often been—Location – Such as, what is the Pacific Northwest like? What is the Mojave Desert like? Why are these characters living there? And why does “what and why” matter to me right now? Well, besides being an interesting writing knowledge topic in itself—which always interest me, my book sales are very low and I want to fix that. If I can(smile)
But there’s more, and not about me. It’s partly about the concept of reading is a wonderful “thing” in itself, and also that there is a “twinkling something” in a reader and writer’s mental world. That “something” that causes us to recommend a book to a friend. Brings a smile to our faces.
Is it the title? What I’m working on now is tentatively titled Mojave Gateau. A chocolate gateau certainly gets me salivating…but is it enough to buy a book? I’m thinking not.
So what and where are my meanderings leading me to so far? Well, as I have tended to think in the past about location, the desert does still tickle the fancy, but it’s not enough. I’m also still clinging to the concepts that characters and scenery are the keys to good writers. And that might still be true, for me at least. But, what’s the good of a great story that no one reads? Is it enough I’ve written the darn thing and my editor, even a publisher or two think it was worth the effort? Hmmm???…
Maybe there is no magic bullet. Just a lot of good hits on multiple fronts? Paid publicity, titles, word of mouth, cover, implied adventure, puzzle solving???…All thoughts are welcome!
Happy Writing Trails