Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guest Blogger, Art Adkins

Today I’d like to welcome author Art Adkins as the special guest blogger here at Thoughts in Progress.

“The Oasis Project” is Art’s debut novel. Here’s a brief synopsis of it: “A ruthless businessman uses an approaching hurricane to murder a boy genius and his family for his environmental invention worth billions. Enter Slade Lockwood, a retired LAPD Deputy Chief, who is on an inward journey to rediscover what he lost: himself. The investigation takes Slade across the United States as he unravels the mystery to bring the ruthless killer to justice.”

Art joins us today to talk about different aspects of promoting his novel.

As I travel all over promoting my work and doing book signings, I am repeatedly asked by fans the most crucial aspect of promoting a novel. I would have to say the most pivotal aspect of introducing a new work is to make sure you identify the niche or market for the book. To illustrate this point, the next time you are in a major book store take a moment and look around. 

There are thousands of different titles from just as many authors. Not everyone has the same taste or desires the same type of book. That is what allows multiple authors with a variety of subjects to flourish – to meet this demand of various interests of the readers. However, locating that target audience can be difficult.

Identifying the market for your work is not only important from a reader standpoint, but when you pitch your book to a publisher or agent they also want to know who is interested in purchasing your novel. With the economy still struggling to gain momentum, it is imperative you identify the correct market to illustrate the potential for sales to an agent or publisher and why they should take a chance on you. 

To accomplish this task you need to do your homework and see what is selling in your genre or what closely resembles your work. I have had some difficulty in this as I have a style that has ‘crossed’ over or is similar to several genres. I have been told my work is a mystery; others have labeled it as suspense; some have used the term thriller and even the descriptor of ‘detective or crime novel’ has been added.  While this has helped to set me apart from other writers, it has proven challenging when describing my work to perspective agents and publishers. I seem to be carving out my own niche and the response from readers has been extremely favorable! I was just selected as one of the “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading,” a book due out this Summer!

So how do you identify the niche or market for your book? I will share a personal experience from the marketing of my second novel, Power Grid, as I submit it to publishers/agents. In Power Grid, my hero has received a letter from a dead man telling him to ‘hide the secret lost for ages’ because of its destructive content. This secret is the power source used b y ancient man to construct the pyramids, Stonehenge and other ancient wonders around the world. The power source is desired by the military and corrupt government officials to deploy space weapons for global dominance. 

My hero is a retired LAPD Deputy Chief living in Cedar Key, Florida. Sounds straight forward right? Remember what I said earlier about the different genres I have been included in? I have a retired LAPD cop thrown into an international mystery/suspense involving corruption, deceit, terrorist plots, while trying to honor the wishes of a dead man he never met. This also sounds pretty much like other mystery/suspense/crime novels, but that is where I have developed my own style.

The mystery surrounding the construction of ancient megalithic sites has plagued mankind for millennia. How were the pyramids constructed? What is the meaning of Stonehenge? What is the purpose of the statues on Easter Island? What destroyed Atlantis? With the exception of Atlantis, thousands of tourists visit the sites every year and ask these very questions. National Geographic, the History Channel, radio stations and other forums discuss the questions I have raised. I have a built-in audience of thousands eager to explore a concept or idea about the origin or demise of these very sites! By wrapping it into a mystery, I have offered a solution and an enjoyable read. I have identified my market. 

By taking the time to research my potential audience, I have created a tangible marketing concept for publishers/agents reviewing my work. I am anxious to see how Power Grid is received once a publisher selects it. My first novel, The Oasis Project, dealt with an environmental issue and has just hit #1 on my publisher’s best seller list! My style is catching on! Keep reading and God bless!

Thanks Art for stopping by today and guest blogging. Sounds like you’re definitely craving out your own niche. Art will be stopping back by today to answer any questions you might have and to respond to your comments.

For a little background on Art, he is currently a lieutenant on the Gainesville Police Department, Gainesville, Florida. He his law enforcement career in 1980 on the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department. Seeking more diversity, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1982 and it is his experience on LAPD which he called upon to create his main character in The Oasis Project. In 1993, Art moved to Gainesville, Florida, his hometown, to raise his two sons. He currently oversees the crime analysis unit and crime prevention program at the Gainesville Police Department. For more information, check out his website at

So what have you found to be the most crucial aspect of promoting your writing?


  1. Mason - Thank you for opening up your blog to Art.

    Art - You've really given us some good ideas for promoting. I think most of us don't really think about the target market as carefully as you have, and we really should. I wish you the best with Power Grid. The Oasis Project sounds like a terrific read, too.

  2. Art, Great ideas and advice. Researching your market is so important. You are so right.

    Mason, Another great interview with useful information.

  3. Great thoughts on market research and targeting! I need to play around with this more than I do. Thanks for the ideas!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. I'm so grateful to have this blog available for finding authors who are new to me. What a service Mason Canyon's Thoughts in Progress are. I've now got two new books on my buy list—and one of them hasn't been released yet! The second one sounds more like my kind of story, but the first one intrigues me as well. Also, Art, I like the way you write, if this blog entry is any indication—and I figure it most likely is.

  5. You have a keen promotion eye! Most of us write the story then try to crunch it into a slot. If you have to pick, go with thriller. I've heard they make the most dough!

  6. This is such an excellent explanation of how to think about and approach target marketing for a book. And you are so right, those who are already fascinated with a particular subject are definitely going to be drawn to that subject. Best of luck to you.

  7. Some great promotional ideas - thanks, Art. And hey - any author who can enjoy a good cigar is fine with The Old Silly!

  8. Art, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. Your books do sound intriguing.

    Hi everyone.Tthanks so much stopping by and commenting today. Hope everyone has a fun April Fool's Day.

  9. Thanks to all the comments. It's nice to recognize that others find the importance of recognizing their target audience. As a writer, our goal is to entertain the reader and it's easier when we know who that audience is. I hope everyone enjoys my work.

    God bless.


  10. Not only does targeting your book's audience help the reader find the book, but would also seem to help to hone in the marketing dollars and efforts on just the right avenues, clearly focused on advertising to that targeted audience. Great advice, thanks Art and Mason!

  11. That's cool that a real cop is writing a crime/mystery book--and it wounds like a GOOD ONE! Very interesting, right up my alley--I just wrote an environmental mystery story myself. Being a cop probably lends realistic detail!!! Sounds good. I'm ready to read.

  12. Thanks for posting about this! I always love hearing advice from authors who've "made it"! Hopefully it'll make my journey that much easier. :)

  13. Thank for sharing good and useful information. This information is very valuable.



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.