When I lost my job in 2008, not from cutbacks, not from budget cuts, but from refusing to advocate for the owner of the nursing home I was a Social Services Director at, I got angry about the situation. I decided to write a book about how nursing homes in America suck. They suck and they suck big time! Disgruntled employee you might say, well yes and no. I was angry but I'm not sure if disgruntled was exactly it. I just want to expose nursing homes for what they are, meat markets for the elderly a way to swindle Medicare and Medicaid and not give paying customers a good service in return. Look, if a hotel gives me bad service, I have a bad night, a nursing home gives me bad service, I have a bad rest of my life. So I know this is not the only book about this subject, but I've set out to hopefully, make it the last book because something needs to be done and done soon.
I write a book and send the first few chapters to some publishers, well not just some publishers, I spend days and weeks submitting query letters and the first few chapters to publishers, only to get turn down after turn down. Did I have bad subject matter in the book, was the topic a bad one? Nope. I was told:
a) 'you say the same thing too many times' Well, I did do that, but mostly to drive the point home. Just like in marketing, people have to see the same thing at least three times before it sinks in. Are people stupid? No, but we are bombarded daily by so many things in our fast paced world, it is simply good to see something often, or read it, then it sticks in our heads.
b) 'it's a subject having social merit, but we just aren't taking new submissions from unknown authors right now' Well, wasn't Steven King, Nicholas Sparks and even Margaret Mitchell all unknown authors once? Yes they were. In fact, with Margaret Mitchell, she was turned down (Gone with the Wind) 13 times, being told her book was simply 'too long.'
Fair enough. I found Createspace and read the rules and the criteria and published it anyway. Do you slap up a book and it sells immediately? I wish! My book has been out about a year and a half now and contrary to the publisher nay sayers, it has been my best selling book to date,
NY Times best seller list yet? Not yet, but I'm aiming and I may as well aim big time.
Since that first book, I've created The Reason Why Nursing Homes Suck, Second Edition and improved it a lot. But I must say, the original book is still popular and it continues to do pretty well.
Marketing: You have to market your own books. If I could afford a big picture of my book in Times Square, I'd probably sell many more. I don't have that kind of money. But you can get creative and come up with ideas on a shoestring and on a budget. Tell yourself, 'I will do something every week, to market my book.'
I hope this blog is encouraging and if you have questions, feel free to ask. For without fans, nothing is any fun to create. I love you all!