A very good friend of mine plays guitar in a heavy metal band in Denver.
Since I really don’t care for heavy metal, I won’t get into my personal opinion of their music. What I would like to discuss comes from a recent thread he started on facebook regarding the lack of air time that metal bands receive from radio stations. He claims that metal bands don’t get air time because they “refuse to follow the ‘code’ and ‘rules’ of radio.”
His comment implies that the reason we don’t hear bands like Anvil, Dream Theater, Slayer and Sepultura on our car radio, is that these bands refuse to cave in to “the man”. Furthermore, it could be inferred from his other comments that the only reason Metallica is heard on the radio is that they sold out.
What does this have to do with writing books, you ask?
Bear with me…
There are a few possible answers to the question of what keeps these bands off the air;
It could be that they just plain suck and they are blinded to that fact because they are lost in what they are creating.
It could be that, although they are talented, there is just not a big enough audience out there to warrant a radio station devoting serious (and expensive) air time to them.
Or it could be a grand conspiracy by said radio stations to only play that which they deem “worthy”.
Whatever the answer is (probably a little of each) I think this example can be carried over to the book world also.
The book industry used to be dominated by the major publishing companies. Back in those days, would-be authors would literally have to beg for a chance to get published. I don’t know the actual statistics, but the chances of an author getting published were somewhere between “don’t quit your day job” and “not friggin’ likely.”
The recent upsurge of small press houses, vanity presses and self-publishing has thrown all of that out the window. Nowadays anybody, literally ANYBODY, can write a book and have it published.
Going back to our metal-band analogy…this is the equivalent of a band recording their own CD – which is also much easier today than it was 20 years ago.
However the same road block that exists for heavy-metal bands also exists for Independent Authors…getting air time – or in our case, shelf time. Book stores, even though they may be going the way of the dodo, still make it nearly impossible for Indie Authors to have their books presented in large quantities to the public.
So we have to rely on other methods. Just as a local band will play in bars and clubs to garner a fan base, authors will usually hold book signings at small venues, where they might sell a dozen books, and consider it a success.
The other tool we have at our disposal is the internet – a (basically) free outlet which has the potential to connect us to millions of people – instantly.
So here’s where you come in…
You may not realize it but you have great power to help your favorite Indie Author (like me)!
It is soooo helpful to us when you do simple things like sharing facebook posts, retweeting us, talking about us on Goodreads and LinkedIn and posting reviews on Amazon after you’ve read one of our books.
I’ll use myself as an example…
Currently I have almost 1,000 fans on my facebook page (thank you, by the way!). If I post something about the upcoming release of a book, it will be seen by most of those people – let’s say 500. If half of those people (250) share it with their friends, and we assume that they each have 250 friends, that post has now been seen by 62,500 people.
That’s just facebook…
Numbers like that can really, really help.
I know you’ve probably heard all this before, but since Independent Authors are their own marketing assistants, we have to periodically remind the world that we are here. So consider yourself reminded!
And by the way, my next book, Unfinished Business, will be released in about 2 weeks (on or about June 30) – so spread the word!!!
You can read the first two chapters by clicking this link.
As always, thank you for reading.
Thanks to Chris Tucker and Beyond the Descent for being my example!