Friday, February 25, 2011

Don't Be Afraid to Share

I always find it uplifting to hear from my readers, particularly when they sing the praises of my work. It is unusual that I encounter someone who has read one of my books and not enjoyed it, and the accolades often come from people I have never personally met. This lets me know I'm doing something right, and that my goal of creating entertaining stories is being achieved.

With that said, my readership in recent months has begun to stagnate.

As I previously wrote, silence is death, and without new readers, a writer cannot survive. I need word of mouth to promote my works, and there is only so much I can do on my own.

If you read one of my books, tell your friends and neighbors about it and encourage them to read what you are reading! If you truly like my work, don't be afraid to share. Also, speak up if you think my work is no good. Waste a few minutes explaining why you don't like it, and maybe other people will be curious enough to see if you're right. Either way, I ask that you share my work.

I sometimes get the feeling that people view my writing as a "guilty pleasure." I envision them like teenage boys with a playboy magazine, stuffing it under the bed when there's a knock at the door. "Oh, my, I can't let them know I'm reading this garbage!" Okay, it's probably not as dramatic as that, but the end result is equivalent. People aren't talking about my books, for whatever reason.

In this modern age of mass media, the book market is flooded with all sorts of small-time, independent authors, many of whom are good, and many of whom can't string a coherent sentence together. This makes it incredibly difficult for undiscovered writers to break out of the pack and get noticed. The only ones who manage to do that have the help of friends and fans, who get them noticed through their support.

If you speak up for my writing and encourage others to do the same, then you can rest assured that more fantastic stories will be on the way. However, if nobody speaks up, I will inevitably fade away. Without success, there will be fewer stories in the future, for less success equals less incentive to create new work. Not only will I have less time to write (for I'll be too busy working other jobs to make money), but the ego factor will be a hindrance (I'm not an acid freak, so I have an ego, forgive me).

Just think, if nobody's going to read a book, is it worth writing? That question weighs heavily on every writer's mind. There's also the pain of getting a book published that detracts from the enjoyment of the creation process, for rejections often seem to spit on your very soul. There has to be some reward in the end, and having readers enjoy what I produce is good enough for me, but volume is a necessary element.

A handful of devoted fans can be the basis for a great success story, so don't be afraid to share.

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