Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Do You Want Sales…or Readers? By Marie Wells Coutu

Marie Wells Coutu
The answer seems obvious at first. As authors, of course we want readers. But we want sales, too, because without sales, it’s difficult to find a publisher for our next book and the next.

So, especially when first starting out, we check sales numbers, promote the book, watch sales rankings, cringe when an acquaintance says they passed their copy around to their “whole Sunday school class” (instead of each person buying a copy).

Sure, sales are important. But even more important is providing stories of hope and light to a dark and scary world.

To achieve success in this publishing field, you first need to determine what success looks like for you. Why did you start writing fiction? And who is your reader? Think in terms of one person and describe her in detail. Consider what she likes and dislikes, her age, what kind of family she has, why she reads.

If you consider one Reader while you’re writing and, especially, while you’re marketing, you’ll be better able to target your promotions and you’ll worry less about the numbers.

Book-marketing expert Steve Harrison says, “If one person’s life is changed by [your book], it’s worth the effort.”

After having three books published, I still have to remind myself that I write for readers, not for fame. Every time I hear from a reader who enjoyed the book, I’m thrilled, of course. And if they loaned their copy to two or three others—or a dozen—that means more readers and, perhaps, fans. This increases the chance of the book getting into the hands of that one person whose life will be changed by it.

And that is why I write.

Stop worrying about the numbers. Instead, pray that your book finds t
he reader who needs your story.
About the Author
The Secret Heart
by Marie Wells Coutu

Marie Wells Coutu’s newest novel, The Secret Heart, is now available from Write Integrity Press. Follow Marie on Amazon.com to be notified when it becomes available. The Secret Heart, loosely based on the lives of Bathsheba and David, is the third book in the Mended Vessels series. Books in the series are contemporary re-imaginings of the stories of biblical women, including Esther and the woman at the well.

Her debut novel, For Such a Moment, won the Books of Hope Contest. Thirsting for More, the second book in the series was a finalist in the 2016 Selah Awards Contest and a semi-finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards sponsored by Florida Writers Association. You can find more about Marie and her novels on her Facebook page (Author Marie Wells Coutu), at her website (MarieWellsCoutu.com), or follow her on Twitter (@mwcoutu). 
Marie retired after 15 years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and she and her husband now divide their time between Florida and Iowa.

The Secret Heart

Beautiful Shawna Moore married Hunter Wilson, the governor of Tennessee, after a whirlwind romance, only six weeks following her first husband’s death in Iraq. Now, she wonders if the governor loved her at all or only hoped to avoid a scandal.

An investigative reporter—and friend of Shawna’s—is asking questions. If he discovers the truth about Shawna’s baby, Hunter’s chances for reelection could be ruined. But keeping the secret is destroying their marriage. Will Shawna convince Hunter to choose his family and drop out of politics, or will he continue to put his career first?

For a sneak peek, download the first chapter here. You can also read Angie's review of The Secret Heart here: The Secret Heart - An Innovative Retelling.