Who will want to read Wandering West? That was just about the first question to pop into my brain once I decided I had a story to tell. One of the slew of questions that followed–from the slew of questions that never stop–is the more pertinent one: who will actually read Wandering West? More to the point, who will even know the story exists to be read? Without promotion, the potential reader’s discovery of a book’s existence is akin to the hiker who stumbles onto the tree deep inside the forest where the wallet was last seen. Without having blazed a distinguishable trail to get there, the likelihood of finding that lost wallet is remote at best.
For me, by far, the most frustrating part about the entire process of writing, editing, publishing and marketing a book is the marketing–the capturing of an audience. Before I can target that audience, I first must have an idea who comprises it. So, who, exactly, will Wandering West appeal to? Well, my answer to that question is rather simple. I think it will appeal to a broad range of readers. I hope so anyway. After all, the book possesses many of the same ingredients that are found in other works with broad interest. It has elements of suspense and mystery, scandal and romance, humor and tragedy. If I do say so myself, Wandering West is funny in places, and it’s sad in places. It’s tense in places, and it’s thoughtful in places. It’s about life. According to the readers to whom I have spoken, it is fast-paced, a real page turner. Yes, I’m smiling like a proud pappa as I write that, but it’s true. That is what they tell me, to a person. I certainly intended to make it so. I get bored easily. No reader should get bored with something I write. At every turn, Jack Stiler is confronted emotionally, and oftentimes, in physical, life-threatening ways. Because he’s an older fellow, Jack suffers from a few of the more typical ailments of aging, so I think the older reader will identify with those things, and with Jack’s growing sense of mortality. At some point in life, the realization that a heart has only so many beats begins to gnaw at us all. As actively-paced and energetic as Wandering West may be, I also intended it to be poignant and thought-provoking. I think Jack’s empathy and introspection see to that.
So, my fingers and toes are crossed in the hope that Wandering West will attract quite an audience. The trick now is to make that potential audience aware that the book exists, that it’s now available to be read and enjoyed. I just need a well-trampled trail to show the reader the way. I hope you’ll help me get the word out. An author needs all the promotional help she or he can get. No one wants to get lost in a forest in search of a meandering and obscure trail, least of all, me.