As you may be aware, I am working on a sequel to a novel I wrote about a year ago called ‘Dead Centre’ about a new type of terrorist organisation. This one is proving to be more difficult to write, but then a lot of the terminology and technology employed in the story is new to me, so the research necessary takes me away from writing and slows me down.
That makes it easy to lose track of where I thought the storyline was going with all the interruptions. It makes me wonder whether it would be better to do more planning on paper rather than just pantsering the whole book.
In fact, I already do a small amount of planning, but perhaps I should do more. At present, I try to have a few chapter titles ahead of where I am as waypoints, but no more than that.
I start chapter fourteen tonight or tomorrow, but after that, I’m not sure where the story is going.
No, that’s not true either. I know the ending, but I don’t know how we’re going to get there yet. It’s like knowing that you want to get to Berlin, but not knowing the way.
And that’s if you’re going by car and you have control over which roads you take, but if you hitchhike then you don’t even have that much choice.
That’s where I am now, hitchhiking towards the end of my book.
I have received a lot more pleas for help from authors recently, but I don’t know what to make of it. Is it a sign that my advertising is paying off, or that authors are finding it harder to sell books so far this year this year?
It’s hard to impossible to tell, because I had a far better January this year than last, but February’s sales are showing signs of flagging.
I think the answer depends on where you’re talking about. My US sales are way down using any metric I employ, but UK sales are up massively and my sales in Australia, while still small, are three times better than ever before.
Penetrating niche markets is difficult and can take a while before you see the benefits. I suppose it depends on why you think that your book or product is particularly relevant to that country or market.
I know from my research that the majority of white visitors to Thailand come from Germany, the UK, Russia, the US and Australia. Since a section of my books is about Thailand and in English, it makes sense for me to niche-market to those countries, but if I ever wanted to have my book translated, German would be the best option, because Germans are the number one visitors to Pattaya, which is the backdrop to several of my Thai books.
How you go about targeting a particular niche with your marketing is another subject – one covered by hundreds of books, but all it really takes is a bit of thought and lots of work.
All the best,
Behind The Smile: The Story of Lek, a Thai Bargirl in Pattaya, Thailand (Daddy’s Hobby)