The Niche as Novelist’s’ Nirvana; Or, Cycling to Success

August 2004
by Dave Shields

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If you want to give your book its best shot, you can’t go wrong by finding ways to identify readers who want it to succeed almost as badly as you do. Several things that I’ve done, both by design and by accident, have contributed to success for me.

Lassoing a Tornado

In the midst of the stir my new book is now creating, it’s hard to believe that as late as December of 2003 I was still pursuing traditional publication channels for The Race: A Novel of Grit, Tactics, and the Tour de France, thinking that what I really needed was a publisher with deep pockets who would go out and tell the world about the novel. How naïve I was, and how thankful I am for the obstacles that sent me onto another path!

Only a couple of weeks beyond my publication date, I’ve sold nearly 6,000 copies, and we have returned to press three times. Back in December I was negotiating with a well-established publisher when it delivered the news that it would be impossible to get my book out prior to the 2004 Tour de France. I realized this would never work. My options had been narrowing by the day, but I was convinced that this book must get onto shelves this season. I owed it to the people who needed to read it (even if they weren’t aware of that yet).

I scraped funds together and created Three Story Press. Ten years of effort trying to break through as a novelist had yielded an understanding of routes likely to lead to success, and I co…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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