Posted by: Sandy Graham | April 4, 2022

The $6,000 Book

As you are probably aware by now, I decided to actively market my latest book, You Speak for Me Now. Hired a publicity agent and professional cover designer, ran two giveaway programs, made videos, etc. Obtained three very good reviews by industry leading reviewers (and one fairly good one). Did two radio interviews, one of which by John Busbee of The Culture Buzz, was extremely positive. The few ratings received to date on Goodreads average 4.3 out of 5 stars and the consensus of the reviewers seems to be that the book is both entertaining and informative – to a high degree. And I’ve made it available in paperback, hardcover and eBook formats.

Sounds wonderful, except that I haven’t sold a print book in the last three months. In fact, Amazon reported only three paperbacks have been purchased so far, and I purchased one of them. Until recently, I told myself to relax. It takes a while for customers to materialize. Over a month ago, I sent out an email to many of my friends announcing its release. Not wanting anyone to feel an obligation, I informed them that I have no way of knowing who buys a book. All I get is a count of sales. It never dawned on me that perhaps none of them would buy it. Hopefully, at least one will part with fourteen dollars so I can assume whoever I’m talking to must certainly be the one.

Even an optimist suffers a twinge of doubt eventually. Still, one never knows when some small segment of humanity will find the book, recognize it predates Biden’s concern regarding the battle between democracy and autocracy, buy it, and maybe even recommend it to their friends. Till then, it remains a $6,000 book project.


Best Book List March 21, 2022

Shepherd.com is a new rival to GoodReads that offers a novel approach for finding novels. It requires authors to create a list of five books which the author believes are the best dealing with the theme of the list, and then tell why they were chosen. The goal is to attract readers searching for books related to the list theme.

The focus is on helping authors reach an audience while giving readers an easier way to find books. It may be unfair, but my impression of GoodReads is that it has focused entirely on readers since acquired by Amazon. Happy to charge authors for giveaways but with no persuasion of winners to provide reviews or even ratings, unless the author pays an additional $500. Sound like the Amazon culture?

Instead of mining for money, Shepherd puts authors to work coming up with a theme appropriate for their latest book, compiling a list of the best supporting books, and explaining why they belong on the list. To see my list, go to https://shepherd.com/best-books/to-influence-human-society


Culture Buzz February 25, 2022

In an effort to market a book for a change, I hired a publicity agent, Javier Perez. It cost quite a few sheckles but it has generated some good reviews, email interviews, and two radio interview. There’s an art to participating in a radio interview, which I’m in the beginning stage of learning. With no advance knowledge of what will be asked, there’s a lot of on-the-spot fumbling. However, a pattern is becoming apparent which should help in future.

The latest interview was with John Busbee, who hosts The Culture Buzz using a format of eight fifteen-minute interviews each week on all aspects of the arts. You can find it on www.SandysPen.com by clicking on the book image and selecting Videos & Reviews.

Reviewers are supporting my belief that this book has real merit. Nevertheless, like all new books not written by or for celebrities, it’s very difficult to get it exposure even with those sheckles mentioned earlier. (Spell-checker wants to change “sheckles” to “shackles”, which might not be too far off base when applied to my book.) In the past, I’ve broadcasted a book announcement to most friends in my address book. So far, not this time. Why? Well, even though it’s a gripping read, it has political overtones which I’m reluctant to trust to the open-mindedness of my conservative friends. That’s ironic since the main goal of the book is to get everyone thinking about the issues that are keeping us apart in our fragmented society.

Maybe I’ll put my hands where my mouth is and rectify that.


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