Tag Archives: how to get published

warriors_hi-resAs an author of Historical Westerns it’s easy for me to exploit my uniqueness. I know, a black guy who writes Westerns… crazy, huh? What can I say… my childhood hero was Clint Eastwood. I loved Westerns so that’s what I wrote.

I published a paperback, a hardcover, and two audiobooks. I actually have the distinction of being the only black author ever to have a Western published in hardcover by a major New York publisher with THE main character being black. But when I sent my books out to be reviewed and to get promo blurbs, I actually had “established” big-name Western authors tell me a book about a black outlaw cowboy was not realistic. They told me not to put my picture on the back cover because… well, you know. But that was 20 years ago.

Then a curious thing happened to me. I went to my first booksigning at a Western book expo. There we were, all 50 authors. 49 of them were guys in cowboy boots and hats. And then there was me.

The black guy who writes Westerns

I was an anomaly, a curiosity. Everybody came over to see who I was. And they all bought my book! The other authors sold maybe 10 books and I sold a TON. The same thing happened at almost every booksigning I went to. I was a rock star. I was different, and I discovered that readers want something different. Not VERY different, but kinda different. A little bit different.

My westerns are just like those of every other Western author. My thrillers are just like those of every other thriller author. My characters – heroes and villains and sidekicks alike – look just like all the other authors’ characters, except maybe just a tad more diverse.

What’s different about my books is ME and I’ve learned to use my uniqueness as a marketing tool. People remember me as the black guy who writes Westerns (and high-octane thrillers, too).

You, too, have something unique about you. Discover what that quality is and exploit it. Use it as your marketing angle so you’ll stand out among your author peers. Use it to find readers who want something just a little bit different from mainstream.

Want high-octane adventure with an edge? Get the FREE pre-release ebook “American Terrorist” (coming Dec 2013) at www.JeffreyPoston.com or find Jeffrey Poston on Twitter: @jeffposton or Google Plus: +Jeffrey Poston or www.facebook.com/JeffreyPostonBooks

Structuring Your NovelIf you’re serious about your writing craft and ONLY buy ONE how-to book this year, make it “Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story” by K.M. Weiland. All successful authors incorporate these essential elements of structure in their novels. Also, all READERS inherently realize that if your book is NOT structured properly, they’ll get confused or bored and never buy anything else from you.

This is the book that explains why an agent or publisher says he/she can tell if your book is ready for prime time by reading only the first chapter or first ten pages. It gives specific insight why many excellent writers keep getting rejected or why very talented indie authors can’t get those rave reviews.

In the first half of “Structuring Your Novel” (which I read in a day) Weiland tells us the specific essential elements of a novel and precisely where they should occur in your story. She uses multiple bestsellers that everyone has heard of to illustrate those structure elements. In the second half of her book Weiland gives us an iron-clad formula for crafting perfect scenes that your readers (or agent or publisher) won’t want to put down.

In fact, I compared a couple of my novels to Weiland’s criteria. My 1997 western “The Peacekeeper” from Walker & Company (now called “Legacy of an Outlaw”) had perfect structure, but I’d expect that from a major New York publisher. A couple of my other upcoming novels… well, they still need some work.

 The problem for authors is that publishers and agents won’t tell writers why they’re rejecting a book, so a lot of writers don’t know they need help with structure. Of course, you can go to writers’ conferences and shell out a few hundred dollars for courses that teach structure. Or you can pay your professional editor a couple thousand dollars to tell you what Weiland teaches in a $4 ebook!

“Structuring Your Novel” is the kind of how-to book that, even if you only read the first half, you’ll be miles ahead of 99% of other writers. It’s a must-have resource for all writers (and multi-published authors) who want to take their writing career to the next level.

Want high-octane adventure with an edge? Sign up to get the FREE pre-release of “American Terrorist” (coming Dec 2013) at www.JeffreyPoston.com or find Jeffrey Poston on Twitter or Google Plus or Facebook.