I've noticed something odd about my Jesse James book. It simply hasn't been as well received as my other two titles, and it's left me scratching my head wondering why.
I've entered all three of my titles in various literary competitions over the years, and my first two books, on the O.K. Corral and Billy the Kid, did well. While neither won their categories, both came out as finalists. When one considers just how fierce the competition is among children's books or juvenile fiction, just being a finalist is a major accomplishment. Sadly, my book on the James gang simply did not fare well. Even an endorsement by Marshall Trimble, the official historian for the state of Arizona, did not help. It was entered in several competitions, and zip, zero nada. Nothing. Not even an honorable mention.
I've also noticed the Jesse James book does not get as much attention at book signings. People will smile and pick up the Billy the Kid and O.K. Corral books, but they tend to gloss over the Jesse James book. Now keep in mind, all three cover illustrations were by the same artist, and all three covers have a similar layout and design. However, it's always been a hard sell. About the only time people will buy it is when they're purchasing the entire series. Granted, I don't regret writing the book, and I certainly have no intention of taking it out of print, but it's got me wondering. Is there some sort of stigma about Jesse James that has carried over into modern times?