Monday, June 13, 2011

That First Novel

Good day, all you... people. (dang, I just couldn't find anything clever to finish that with today)

Wow, it is tough out there finding people that will read your book when it is your first published novel. Right? Riight? Yes, it is. (Although I think that most of these things are likely to pertain to anyone, I have to admit that I am writing about my experiences as an indie author, rather than an author involved in legacy publishing)

There are lots of reasons for this:

Almost all readers already have favorite authors, and if this is your first book, you are not one of them. It's sad and not likely to change soon, (due to the not reading of your book) but it's something you need to be able to deal with.

There are thousands of books out there that cost less than yours, and were there first. People with ebook readers tend to have their readers loaded with free and cheap ebooks that they hope to one day, eventually, hopefully read. Yours is a newbie and it takes a while for people to find it.

Umm, who are you again? Aside from the handful of friends and family that are kind enough to read your blog once a week or so, not many people know who you are. Yet.

And then there are the reasons that are kicking around in your head, the may or may not be true.

Your writing sucks. I believe every writer worries about this at some point. Maybe you didn't edit enough, maybe your dialogue is horrible, maybe your characters are unlikable, etc... These things could be true. If you think they are, maybe you should reread your book, re-edit, and decide if you really want it out there.

Of course, this is a short list that could be much, much longer. The truth of the matter is this: Finding an audience is a marathon, not a sprint- paraphrased from J.A. Konrath

You're not going to sell a million copies in your first month, probably not even 50 copies. This can be stressful, even if you went into it with realistic expectations. You believe in your work, you know it will succeed, so why should you have to wait? Because it takes time. Finding an agent, finding readers, finding your place... these all take time.

Hold out. Make changes if you think they are warranted, but keep moving forward. Write. Every. Day. If you want your work to be its best, you have to keep getting better.

Things to do that might help, maybe but also might not because this game is a lot of luck, include:

Have good cover art. If it looks dated, it's probably a turn off to today's readers. Hell, the stock art provided by places like Lulu or Createspace is better than a lot of the covers I've seen lately. This is the first thing people see, and no matter what they say, people do judge a book by its cover.

Keep your prices competitive.

Make sure your writing is at its best.

I think that's it for today. :)
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ken..its a post that will resonate with all of us. We have to keep our expectations reasonable and work really hard to produce something publishable.