I made a poor marketing decision today.
One of the most consistent pieces of marketing advice you hear, especially as an author just getting started, is to pick one genre and stick with it. Build yourself an audience that knows what they can expect from you, and that way each book stacks success instead of alienating people who were just starting to get into your stuff. If I was going to follow that advice, I’d be focusing all my attention on the sequel to The Marian.
Instead, I’ve published a Christian devotional.
I didn’t even publish it under a different name. You can go to my author page on Amazon right now, and you’ll see a book about a robotic soldier who falls in love with his mechanic, a book about pirates who steal water…and a book with a month’s worth of daily meditations on Scripture.
I’m not doing this because I’m super-spiritual and God has called me to interrupt my publishing schedule with nuggets of my wisdom. I mean, I feel like I have something to say, and I feel like God would like me to say it, but there are tons of other ways to go about publishing this devotional while still maintaining a consistent brand.
Honestly, I’m doing things this way because that’s how I felt like doing them.
I’ve made a few decisions based on this logic lately, and I’m sure plenty of them were bad marketing decisions. And I really don’t care.
I’ve seen tweets and blogs and interviews from all kinds of authors who are just waiting for their big break. Some of them are self-published, looking for that one marketing trick to put them over the top. Others are going the traditional route, shopping their manuscript around to agents and wondering when Harper Collins is going to discover their genius. Whatever the route they take, they seem to have one goal in mind: quit the day job and write full-time.
I’m so thankful that my story is different. I’m in another camp of authors: the camp that’s content to remain a hobbyist. Obviously, it would be great to rake in thousands of dollars a month from book sales, but I happen to have a day job that I love. A fat royalty check isn’t going to change how I feel about Christian radio. I want to keep writing, but I’m not writing because I want to escape something. I’m writing because I like to write.
And I think that’s been making me a better writer.
I’ve been getting less focused on reaching some level of external success and more focused on saying what I want to say. I’m enjoying the process instead of looking ahead to my big break, which means it’s not such a burden to spend more time with all the nitty gritty details. It’s freeing, it’s fun, and it means that occasionally, I’m going to end up making a poor marketing decision.
So if you’re interested in buying my poor marketing decision, it’s available in most major online retailers, both digitally and as a paperback. You can read more about it here.
Also, if you’re just waiting for me to make the good marketing decision and finish up the sequel to The Marian…I haven’t stopped working on that. It’s going to be called The Hunted, and I’m just over the halfway mark on my rough draft. This new story is going in some really cool directions. I can’t wait to share it.