Tuesday, 17 January 2012


This is a lesson that I learned after years of failure. People read what they're interested in, not what they ought to read. How did I learn this? I wrote two memoirs. The sales of these paperbacks aptly demonstrate the value of knowing your readership.

In 2006, I wrote When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies). Because I knew of six-hundred folks who lived with house rabbits, I was able to sell approximately two-hundred-and-fifty copies. Blitzprint, the publisher, also sold some copies through their website. I have forty or so for sale at present.

My second memoir, Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) was literally a different story. Due to a misunderstanding with my publisher, I ended up with a hundred-and-fifty copies. Sales of this paperback have been poor since its publication in 2007. No matter how I promoted it to groups dealing with social or historical issues, the copies gathered dust on my shelves.

Only one group of people expressed interest in the book. A considerable number of blind and visually-impaired readers wrote to me, asking if the book was in an accessible form. Unfortunately for me, I misjudged the sighted public's interest in my eye-witness account of life in a residential school for the blind. This is why I published only a print version of it. Furthermore, several blind folks wanted the book for free. My hope was to have the book pay for itself as When a Man Loves a Rabbit did.

These lessons are quite clear to me. I must write paper versions of books for those with sight, the inclination, and the money to buy them. I must also investigate e-books and their readability by blind customers's screen reader software. Crass though it sounds, preaching to the choir sells.

I hope to have How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity published sometime this year. As it's my testimony of how God lead me to a proper understanding of himself and his Word, I believe it has much wider appeal than my previous books. Additionally, I hope it shows the importance of discipleship as well as the danger cults pose to new converts.

1 comment:

  1. This just goes to show that you don't know how well a book will sell until you get it out there. When I published We Shall Overcome, a romance novel about a visually impaired young woman who falls in love with a policeman, I thought this whole new take on romance would be devoured by blind and sighted people alike. I even thought policemen would enjoy reading it because I portray them as human beings who like to kick back and drink a beer at the end of the workday like anyone else. Sadly, the book didn't sell as well as I thought it would. I have no regrets because at least I tried.

    I hope my second book, a collection of poems entitled How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, will reach a wider audience, but I could be wrong. The important thing to remember is that you can't please everybody. As long as your writing pleases you, that's the only thing that matters. If a book doesn't sell, it doesn't sell. All you can do is pat yourself on the back for making an effort and move on. There are no guarantees that you'll make a lot of money or become a best-selling author.


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