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Posts Tagged ‘readers’

While book bloggers are important for sharing books and a life-line to self-published authors, there are a lot of parties involves in writing and reading. The writer writes it, someone edits it, someone does the cover image, countless people (seen and unseen) are involved in the publishing of the work whether it’s print or e-book, others will assist in one way or another in marketing it (letting the reader know it exists),  and additional countless people (seen and unseen) can be involved in the transaction that puts the work in the reader’s hand.

Then it reaches the reader. Whew.

At that point it has reached the most important person of all. For if the work is not enjoyable, even to a subset audience, is it truly the art and craft it should be?

The reader (as an individual and as a collective) typically does not think about the power in such a position. If you love an author you can truly help him or her through positive affirmation, through word of mouth, and through electronic means.

Notice I didn’t mention money. Why? Because money doesn’t validate creation. It validates the desire for success and it provides comfort, security, and enjoyment. But even bad authors with bad books can make money off them if they are lucky or clever.

What kind of reader are you? The kind who devours books quietly? The kind who blogs about it to the world? Or the kind who can’t wait to tell your friends about the wonderful book you just reader? Participate in the process. Reach out to writers. Tell others around you what you thought, and what you enjoyed. Many sites exist simply to allow readers to share their love of books (Goodreads is just one of many). The age of self-publishing and social media has given readers more power than ever before. Make sure you harness it fully so you become the gatekeepers.

 

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I’ve wanted to be a published writer for a long time but, like many authors, could not get past the idea of pouring out this big, time-consuming project only to have it rejected over and over by agents.

Then one day my husband saw some links on successful self-publishers. That is what you need to do! he said.

I read. I waffled. I read some more. J.A. Konrath, Barry Eisler, Amanda Hocking, and John Locke are the poster children with a lot to say on the topic.

The guys are all “we’re awesome!” while Amanda Hocking tries to bring in a dose of realism but all people see is the notoriety and, of course, the money.

She also mentions one very important nugget that was a huge factor in her success:

Book Bloggers

I caught that and thought, “ah-ha!”

But it’s not so simple.

There are more book bloggers than decoys  in a Where’s Waldo picture and they are (rightfully) selective. They favor certain genres. Some take reader files while some only take print. Some will accept self-published work and others won’t. Some are eager for reviews and others make it clear you will face trial by fire before you get a review from them.

I don’t fault them for any of that even while I find it frustrating. I cannot imagine how inundated even the little guys and gals are with review requests.

As an author, I quickly start to wonder, though…… how different is this than going the round with agent queries? That is such a daunting path, full of rejection and heavy criticism. But are reviewers different?

On the criticism front – quite a few won’t publish less than medium-grade reviews, which I appreciate.

But when it comes to power – wow – do they hold it! Reviews can make or break a book, and an author. They are gatekeepers, withholding or granting entry rights into the competition for readers. If no one reviews your book, your footprint is tiny. Main-stream publications won’t touch a self-published book. It’s the indie bloggers, who do it for the love of reading, that hold immense leverage over this fast-developing arena.

Each time I send an email to a book blogger I question if I made the right decision to self-publish. I enjoy it. I even had fun developing the cover. But is it the right career move? For some the answer is a resounding yes!

So, reviewers, every time I approach you….be nice? 🙂 So far I’ve only had a small percentage (2) even respond, which I understand I guess. (Would you rather read or answer emails? Yeah.)

For now I leave you all alone and go do what I love best: work on the next book!

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I have a feeling that my idea of the concept of “writing is the easy part” is only in its infancy. New things crop up every day that make me think “Wow, I wish I could be writing instead of doing this!”

Ideally, I would write a book, work to market it, and the structural support system would just work. (Ok, really ideal is I write and people buy and read BOOM! but you know…)

The ideal is just that…ideal. It’s not realistic. For instance, a certain retailer took six days to publish the book when their max estimation is three days (and their customer service was non-existent). In the greater scheme of things, especially for someone still unknown, it’s not huge. I wasn’t going to make a million dollars in those three precious days.

I also had very frustrating issues with technology last night, trying to put up one simple link. Every link I posted broke. It was late and I said ‘g’night’ to it all.

The problem is not in the immediate issues of “Did I lose potential readers for a day?” or “Did I annoy someone on Twitter while I tried to figure this out?” The problem is in how it affects the core of what I do – write! I lost time and it hurt my creative mindset to become focused on these other issues.

I have a feeling these are the first things to be outsourced once a writer can afford the help…. 🙂

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