I wanted to open this post with a video.
It would have been about 90 seconds long, but so agonizingly painful to watch it would have seemed like an hour.
A mournful voice moans over a lonely acoustic guitar…fade in…your favorite Independent Author sits at his/her desk. Their clothes look like they’ve been slept in. The desk is littered with papers, fast food wrappers, an overflowing ashtray and a two-day-old cup of coffee.
If it’s a man – he hasn’t shaved in three days – if female, her hair would need to be primped for an hour to look as good as bed-head. Their eyes plead with you for rescue.
The image dissolves into pictures of other authors in similar states of down-trodden-ness…the voice of a familiar actor speaks;
“Every year thousands of Independent Authors spend countless hours in front of their computers, forsaking their families, their health and their hygiene in an attempt to bring you that next book—to give you a piece of themselves. You are the one they live to please, you are the one they will lose sleep for and you are the one they think about when trying to decide which word will fit the best.”
The voice goes on and on until you just can’t stand to watch or listen anymore and you switch to another website where you can see the latest viral images of sidewalk art or lol-cats.
I wanted to make that video, but I lacked a couple of key ingredients…including, but not limited to the equipment, the talent and the money.
That means I’ll have to deliver the message of this post in words. Hopefully I’ll be able to tug at your heartstrings sufficiently before you decide to surf the web for the latest meme.
I’d like to talk to you on behalf of your favorite Independent Author.
The reason for this post came after a recent conversation with one of my readers. It’s a conversation I have quite often, as I’m sure the writer in your life does.
My friend asked me how my book sales were going. I gave my usual answer…”I haven’t been able to quit my job, yet.”
We laughed (because it’s true) and then my friend said she was surprised my books hadn’t caught on yet since she enjoyed them so much, as did all of her friends. She then encouraged me to hang in there because it was most certainly only a matter of time. Then she said something that I’m sure was said with great sincerity.
“I wish I could help you.”
I told her not to worry; things were getting better all the time. It wasn’t until later that I realized what I should have said—and I’m sure your favorite Indie Writer would like to say the same thing to you…
You CAN help!
In fact – you are our best shot.
The vast majority of Indie Authors usually face a monthly choice between spending money on marketing or some other nicety…like food or gas. We don’t have big PR firms securing shelf space for us at BAM, we sell books out of the trunks of our cars (when we have enough gas).
But what can you do to help? I’m glad you asked.
You’d be surprised at how easily you can help – for example…
Buy the books (sort of a no-brainer)
Obviously, the best way to help is to buy our books. If you don’t want to read it, give it away as a gift. Every sale helps more than you can imagine.
Give Us Feedback
Be honest with us, it’s what we want. Don’t be afraid to hurt our feelings – we’d rather have a friend tell us that our protagonist is a wimp than learn it through abysmal sales.
Ask Us About Other Writers
Chances are we know lots of other writers, from a wide range of genres. If you’re looking for a good horror writer or a new romance novel ask us, it’s like a free dating service – we’ll match you to the writer of your dreams.
Ask the Library/Bookstore
The next time you go to the library or bookstore, ask them if they carry our books. Suggest they contact us to secure copies and tell them you’re sure we’d be more than happy to do a signing (trust me – we would).
And perhaps the most important – and easiest thing you can do…
Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your co-workers. Spread the word in person and on-line. If your fave writer posts about a release on facebook, share it. If it’s a tweet about an appearance, re-tweet it. Then encourage your friends and followers to do the same.
There used to be a shampoo commercial about telling your friends. It was the perfect illustration of viral networking – 30 years before the internet.
It started with the image of a single woman, then it doubled to two images because she told a friend, then those two each told two friends and it went to six images. When those six each told two it went to eighteen and so on, and so on, and so on…
That’s how easy it is.
Every time you tell somebody, encourage them to tell people.
After a share or re-tweet – remind people to do the same.
Word of mouth is the absolute best marketing medium available to Independent Authors – and you never know where the message will end up. Your co-worker may have a hair dresser who cuts the hair of a man whose son went to high school with a girl who is now married to a limo driver in Hollywood who talks to movie stars and directors on a regular basis.
Well…that may be a little far-fetched – but you get the point.
Support Independent Authors – You’re our best chance!
(Obviously your first assignment is to share this blog post)