Who are you?
The ebook revolution really has been completely misunderstood by many new, and even perhaps not so new authors.
Whether the author is using self-publishing, small press or traditional publishing, I see so many making the same foolish mistake when it comes to convincing readers of their wares. ‘Buy My Book’ they scream, yell and even shout in caps. ‘BUY MY BOOK!’ ‘CHECK OUT MY BOOK!’
Well, guess what? I certainly won’t be looking, let alone buying your damn book. I’m sure most readers, with the possible exception of the author’s mother, won’t be either. The reason is so simple. We don’t know who the hell you are, what you write about, how well you write or even what nationality you are and language you write in.
I like books. I like reading. When I want to find a new book to read I do what most readers do; I think of an author. ‘Oh, a new Ian Rankin book perhaps. Steven King? Possibly. Oh, I heard there’s a new Jasper Fforde book coming out soon. Or perhaps Debbi Mack, Jens Khun, Jack Eason or Luke Romyn.’ You would all have heard of the first authors I mentioned, but maybe not the second group. Well, they are authors I have met online, chatted to, noticed or quietly popped off to read a preview of their books. The other thing they have in common is that after I did some research, I discovered that they can write and write well.
So, of course, I read mainstream authors, but more and more I’m reading new and self-published authors. Not out of some kind of friendly empathy and solidarity, but because they write stories I enjoy reading. I’m not a habitual review poster either, so it’s not a ‘suck up’ and they’ll do the same for me mentality. I read their stories to enjoy, not to make them feel obliged.
My point here is that no one buys a book. They buy the product of an author. So bashing readers over the head with ‘Buy My Book’ is doomed to fail. A better attack is:
‘Hey, nice to meet you. What do you do?’
‘A computer analyst. And you?’
‘Oh, I’m an author.’
‘Is that right. Must be fantastic!’
Making a killing selling a book is a pipe dream. But establishing oneself as a credible author and profiting in the long term is not.
The last point I would like to make is that having a blog is great. I can have a rant every now and again!