Friday, January 14, 2011

Hey you! Yeah, that's right, you. I'm talking to you.

Writing is fun. Selling books is frustrating.

I suppose the thing about writing is that you don’t have to rely on anyone else to accomplish your goals. Sure, you may have come critique partners or an editor who has some input into the project, but if they’re too busy to look at it, you don’t have to wait on them. You can keep writing and in time, the project is complete. Selling books isn’t that way.

At some point, we put our books out there in the world. We want people to buy them, but there’s really nothing we can do. We tell people about our book. “Hey, here’s a link to Mother Not Wanted.” We beg people to buy the book, “Please, please, please, buy my book.” Of course, we don’t actually beg. We want to maintain the aloofness of being an author. We’re supposed to be above that. We aren’t, but we don’t want people to know that. We add a link to the book on our blog and our website. Surely, our blog readers will buy the book. We tell our friends and family about the book. Sure, our closest friends and family will buy the book. It isn’t like it is expensive. It is $12 and you get to keep the book. We wait for those sales. All the while, the crickets chirp.

Somehow, there is a disconnect. People seem supportive. They talk about how much they admire you for writing books. They just don’t get it. Authors don’t want to be admired for writing books. Authors want you to buy and read their books. I suppose, somewhere along the line, people just don’t seem to realize who we are talking to. As much as we might like to, we can’t take a baseball bat and knock some sense into them. We talk about how readers need to be buying our books and they sort of nod their heads in agreement, that yeah, people should buy our book.

“Are you looking at me?”

Yes, dear blog reader, I am looking at you. I am trying to get it through your thick skull that you are the person who needs to click on that link and then click “Add to Cart.” Yes, I am talking to you, the person who is reading this post. I don’t think I’m asking too much. It’s only like three cups of Starbucks coffee and you get to enjoy it for a whole lot longer. It isn’t like I would do any less for you. So come on, it isn’t that hard. All you have to do is click here and then you look over to the right and click the big yellow button that says, “Add to Cart.” Go through the normal checkout process and in a few days you’ll have a great book delivered to your door.