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Roswell author Lee Gimenez shares experiences: Perseverance, marketing key to selling novels

April 02, 2013

Roswell resident Lee Gimenez recently wrapped up his seventh novel, "Black Snow Zero." Marketing skills and determination are what help sell books, he said.
ROSWELL, Ga. With his seventh novel, Roswell resident Lee Gimenez has decided to shake things up a bit.

While his previous books have been fantastic romps through science fiction, "Black Snow Zero," released Jan. 17, is a real-world thriller.

"I wanted a wider audience," he said. "All my other work has been sci-fi. Starting with this one, I started writing mystery thrillers."

"Black Snow Zero" is based on the concept of solving America's debt crisis. Since so much of American debt is owned by the Chinese government, rouge elements in the military decide to start a war canceling the debt. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation find out about the plot and attempt to stop it.

Gimenez's future novels will be of a similar ilk, he said. Mystery thrillers taking place in the real world and involving real problems debt, counterfeiting, terrorism.

Gimenez went into semi-retirement five years ago after a career in marketing with Verizon. That career prepared him for the biggest surprise of becoming a professional writer.

"You have to market yourself," he said. "You really have to promote yourself. No one is going to do it for you."

From book signings to online marketing and soliciting reviews, Gimenez said it was all up to him, not the publisher. While most of his sales are for digital books, having physical copies are important, he said.

"People still love reading books they can hold in their hand," he said.

When developing an idea for a novel, he said he starts with his tag line, his summary of what he wants to write about.

"With a really strong summary, I can build an outline from that," he said.

He spends roughly eight months writing the novel, he said. That comes from forcing himself to write daily and learning writing tricks from other authors.

"You learn a lot from other writers," he said. "Writing is a learning process. You have to work at it."

He sent off 86 query letters to publishers before he landed one for his first book.

"Getting that rejection is one of the hardest parts for a writer, but if I had given up after 85 rejections, I would never have been published."

The work and perseverance paid off with his first publisher and he has been writing ever since. One day, he hopes someone will pick one of his books up and decide to make a film out of it. Until then, he will just keep on doing what he loves writing novels.

For more about Gimenez's books, visit him online at www.leegimenez.com.

This article was published in the Milton Herald April 3, 2013 edition