No question, it’s rough out there. No matter what it is you’re doing, whether, butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, there are those days when it feels like you’re just treading water to stay afloat.
Oh, yeah, and then there are writers …
With the number of newly published books flooding the market somewhere in the range of 400,000 yearly (Subject to change–oh, did you hear that? It just did.), it’s a far from easy task for the majority of books to find their place in the sun. Truth be told, if I shared the actual figures –the percentage of books that float opposed to those that sink–well, fugedaboudit–it’s NOT pretty. Although please note that the ones that sink don’t necessarily do so because they’re lousy. Very often, it’s that no one knows they exist. Such is the life of one lovely little fish in an overstocked pond.
Honestly, it’s disheartening–as in, not gentle to the heart. Sure, there are tips and suggestions aplenty for revving your engines in hot pursuit of the world’s attentions and subsequently turning heads onto your book, but that doesn’t eliminate the hotly debated question of which magic formula actually works, as opposed to those that will merely register on the scale of wishful thinking.
Let the Party Begin
Okay, then, lets say your friend, mother, pastor, mailman, or baby brother, is the proudly exuberant author of a newly published book. Aside from sharing a glass of champagne and enjoying a second piece of cake at the book party, what might you do to assist them in defying the odds, not to mention the dreaded post publication blues when the grand ticker-tape release day has come and faded away as predictably as your kids after supper when it’s time to clean-up the kitchen?
Curl Up With a Friend–Better Yet –A Friend’s Book!
For starters, if you haven’t read the book, it’s VERY nice to consider doing so. (With extra points for actually buying your own copy. Double for buying a second copy as a gift and passing it on.) And once you do, how about taking that extra step of letting the author know you did. Don’t assume they will just KNOW that you took the time and effort, because they won’t. Despite anything you might’ve seen on your favorite TV show, mental telepathy is not only unreliable–it generally DOESN’T work.
That you enjoyed their book is precisely the sort of thing an author needs to know, because it matters. It matters a lot. Just as your opinion does. Good, bad, or hideously ugly, your thoughts count. Share them generously, although if you genuinely
despised, abhorred, hated disliked the book, you might want to hold back a little as it applies to random public discussions. In short, singing from the rooftops is good, screaming in horror is not. This is the time to follow your mother’s advice, “If you don’t have anything good to say … ”
Share the Joy
However, if you truly enjoyed a book, regardless of whether it’s authored by friend, associate, or absolute stranger, consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads, mention it on Twitter, and Facebook after you’ve waxed poetic over that hilarious stunt your cat pulled this morning, even recommend it to your book group. Bottom line, tell people about it. Shine a little light in a very crowded room — which by the way, is still the most effective means of marketing there is. Grassroots. Pass it on.
Honestly, it’s that simple. If you love a writer, let them know. Let us all know.
Firecrackers, Balloons, Champagne, & Flares For a Friend
And so here’s my pre-Valentine Day spotlight– shining on writer friend and fellow blogger, April Ross Plummer, whose shiny new novel Coming Home debuts even as I type this! And yes, I will celebrate the moment with her (who doesn’t love a party!). I’ll read it, review it, and pass the word. Love, it’s good karma 🙂 Pass it on!
Loved a writer recently? Let them know, and let us know about your favorite good reads in the comments below 🙂