P.J. suggested I write about how I approach promotion of my books. Oh, boy, she couldn’t have picked a worse person. Therein lies my Achilles heel, no doubt about it. Thanks to her, I do have an opportunity to promote JUSTICE SECURED, my recently released Josh Hawkins book, which I’ll get to in a moment. But, the truth is I’m envious of the authors I see posting, blogging, tweeting, and who-all knows what in such effective manners. It seems they have mastered a monster that I dare not approach. So, promotion is probably not the subject I should be writing about.
However, from my side of the fence, I can sound off about the lack of promotion. JUSTICE SECURED is my thirteenth novel, and I don’t claim to be a best-selling author. Why? My ego and the reviews I receive refuse to let me think it’s because I’m a lousy writer. Quite the contrary. I’ve received enough accolades to make me think I put together a pretty good story, well written. So, why am I floundering near the bottom of the “reader’s pool.” The answer is so simple, I cringe when I think of it. Lack of promotion. If I had the perseverance and whatever else it takes to push myself and my books into the face of every prospective reader, I’d sell more books. But, you know what? I can’t do it. I’m simply not built that way. I value the opportunities I am given, but just can’t force myself to do the “carnival barker” bit. So, here’s a thanks to P.J. for allowing me to write these words and an apology to same for not being able to do a better job of it.
The second subject that P.J. suggested is how I’ve changed my approach to writing since I began. I’m changing that a wee bit to how the industry has changed. When I began about 25 years ago, an author could submit direct to a major publisher in NY—over the transom, it was called. Agents were few and far between. Today, one cannot get near a NY publisher without an agent fronting him. Agents have become the power that stands between the author and a major contract. And, even though there has been a proliferation of agents, there has not been a proliferation of opportunities. We are at the mercy of agents who are looking for the new million-seller, while nursing their current stable of writers. The agent that can land that next NY Times number one is basically set for life. Mind you, I am not complaining, I am simply stating that’s how I see it. And, as much as I’d like to resent it, I cannot blame an agent for bashing our dreams as they pursue their own.
And, finally, before I lose all of you, a bit about JUSTICE SECURED. It’s a standalone (or first book in a series) featuring Josh Hawkins, a South Florida PI and ex-Army Special Forces officer. He is recruited by a Federal task force to bring down an “invisible” crime lord that the authorities cannot touch. His tasking is simple: make the man disappear in such a way his body is never found. This brings Josh into conflict with his conscience which berates him for being an “assassin-for-hire” versus the loyal American law-abiding citizen he believes himself to be. However, he must split his concentration between the “offer” and a case his fiancée, an assistant state attorney, is prosecuting against a wife-killer. Josh vows the accused will pay for his crime no matter what the jury decides, but his decision must be kept from the woman he loves. It’s a long, crooked path Josh must track before he discovers the truth about himself—and what kind of man he truly is.