The other day I had someone ask me which of my books I'd recommend to someone who'd never read any of my books. You know, which one should they start with?
I hate that question because I am really bad at answering it. Which of my books would I recommend to a first time reader? Gah.
I don't know. I don't know what any given person would like to read.
One would assume the easy answer would be Dying Embers, because it's my first book and why not have people start at the beginning, right? Except I don't know if the person in question likes suspense. Or revenge. Or female MCs. Or female villains. What if I recommend a title and the person hates the premise behind that particular title? Then it would be a total let down and my recommendation would be the cause.
If I'm out in public and face-to-face with the person, I can hand them a bookmark and we can talk about what they like to read. If it's online, it's sort of... Gah.
This is why I was never any good at telemarketing. If I can't show the product and put it in a customer's hands, demonstrate its awesomeness, I can't sell it. I mean, I love all my books and I want everyone to read them all, but all readers are not eclectic like me. I'll read any genre, pretty much. But other people generally stick to one genre or two. So how do I know which book to recommend?
My answer was ultimately to say 'it depends' and then offer them Dying Embers and list the other genres of the books I've written with a link to my author page so they could go check out the offerings for themselves. Not sure what they did after that. I hope I didn't chase them away with my waffling.
This was all so much easier when I sold screwdrivers. Slotted or Philip's Head? And how long? And how skinny? Magnetic? Want the whole set? They're ergonomic, doncha know. How many can I put you down for?
Even better when they were looking for resistors or capacitors. They already knew all the parameters they needed. All I had to do was show why mine were better than the competitor's and write the freakin' order.
What do you do when someone asks you to recommend a book?