Focus on Making an Impression, NOT a Sale

Focus on Making an Impression, NOT a Sale 1024 576 Reader Views

By J.S. Zuczek

     By the numbers, I’ve failed. It’s that simple. Really. I’m being honest with you.

     Let’s run it down. 

     I haven’t sold many books at all. I’m nowhere near one million followers on social media. I still find typos in all my books to this day. And my marketing spend is less than two-thousand dollars annually. 

      Give it up already, Jeff. 

      I was ready to – seriously – but a few surprises came my way that stopped me. More importantly, they taught me an important lesson. We’ll get to that soon, I promise.

      The first surprise was related to my neighborhood’s book exchange. It’s a three-tiered wooden shelf that sits under an awning by our community pool. Coincidentally, it’s right next to the trash can. 

        After finishing my first book, PANDEMIC DAD, I left a few copies on the bottom shelf one sunny afternoon when watching my two daughters in the pool.  

       That was over a year ago. 

       Recently, a postcard arrived in our mail. It was elegant and hand-picked. But I won’t labor you with any more adjectives.      

      Simply, it was nice. 

      On it, there was a handwritten, cursive message that covered the entire front and back. It was from a homeowner in my neighborhood who picked up one of the copies of my book from the pool book exchange. 

      The message itself mentioned how much my book had touched them. It had brought them back to their own Pandemic experience, reminding them of both the good and bad. 

      At the end of the note, they mentioned wanting to write about their own experiences. They wanted to pass them on for future generations. That my memoir had inspired them to finally take this feat on. 

      The second surprise came from my own family. My grandmother had always been an avid reader. However, she lost interest shortly after my grandfather had passed away a few years back. After I finished PANDEMIC DAD, I mailed her a copy, expecting it to gather dust alongside the other literary corpses by her bedside.

      A few weeks later, my aunt, who lived close to her, called me. She was ecstatic. Not only had my grandmother finished my book, but she enjoyed it. Even more staggering, it re-ignited her passion for reading again. 

      To this day, she hasn’t stopped reading ever since.

      I cannot put into words how much these events touched me – that my writing had an impact on others.

     Let it out, Jeff. The lesson already!


     What I’d like to relay to you, dear Reader, is finally my own lesson I’ve learned from these, and other, similar experiences. 

      That is: focus your writing on making an impression, not on the sale. Write with purpose and clear intent. Even if it’s fiction, try to leave the reader with something bigger than the book itself – something they can reflect upon and hopefully relate to their own life.

      Although making an impression could lead you to more sales, I find often that the numbers don’t matter as much as when you’ve made an impact on the Reader. 

     Leaving an impression is what matters to me, and maybe not for everyone. That’s okay. We all have different goals. But that’s why I write to this day. It’s also why I smile after re-reading my books a month or two later only to still find a few typos. I accept them. They are beautiful. For the story itself made an impression on the reader, even if the writing had a few bumps along the way. 



J.S. Zuczek lives in South Florida with his wife and two daughters (along with a stubborn cat named Orion). Jeff writes in the late-night hours, with the door slightly ajar, the lights at low dim, and the blinds slightly tilted to allow faint moonlight to seep in.

His writings today include: Pandemic Dad (a memoir), Red Violet – Judgement Book 1 (fiction), and the Not From Around Here short story collection (fiction). Red Violet – Book 2 is currently in development.


Author website:
Instagram: @writerdad_jeff

Red Violet Book 1 – Judgement

Violet had no intention of ever being tied down by others. As an eighteen-year-old, free spirit, she had it all figured out. But that all changes when she wakes up one day in an abandoned trailer park with no memories of her life before.

After meeting others, she quickly learns that things are off in this place. People hear strange voices from beyond, others vanish into thin air, and new people arrive with hidden intentions.

Then there is Jason – the late twenty-something love interest with a military background, chiseled muscles, square jawline, and ripped jeans. He is exactly Violet’s type, and her nighttime fantasies help distract her from the mysteries of this place. As their relationship develops, a power struggle emerges in the community. Isaac, a biblical cult leader-type, begins holding sermons to gain followers in this time of uncertainty. His intentions are impure, and Violet knows it.

As resources start to dwindle unexpectedly, Jason nudges Violet to rally the community for a departure from the trailer park in search of resources and answers. But she is hesitant to confide in others and become a leader.

Will Violet finally part with her loner mentality? What creatures and mystical forces await Violet, Jason, and the others once they leave the trailer park and venture into the forest?

In Book One of the RED VIOLET series, expect the unexpected. Punch your ticket on this mystical rollercoaster ride of magic, mystery, and romance. Strap in tightly to see if Violet finally discovers her true calling while helping to find answers and sanctuary for her friends.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.