A couple of months ago one of my Facebook friends who is a writer confessed she’d received only $10 in royalties from books sales in the last quarter. She wondered how she could increase her numbers. If I had an answer to that question, I’d share it. All I could do was offer to buy one of her books. I’m not much interested in her subject, coastal history, but $15 is a small price to pay to make another person happy. Soon after, a second Facebook writer complained she’d made no sales on her new book. As it was her first novel, she was devastated. I’m not a fan of fantasy either but I put her title on my purchase list. It will be a gift for someone who likes fairies and elves and trolls.
I haven’t a clue about how an unknown author rises from the ashes of obscurity. If I did, I wouldn’t be an unknown writer. Skill, not even brilliance, is enough to guarantee success. Marcel Proust had to self published his works to get into print. He wasn’t alone. Joyce Kilmer, the author/poet, mailed copies of his writings to prominent society members until one began to spread the word about his talent.
Readers who like a writer’s work can rescue a faceless artist in a number of ways, none of which requires buying a book. Here are some ideas if you would like to help:
1. Ask the local library to purchase a copy of the book. That would be a tremendous boost.
2. Mention the title to friends interested in the genre. Nothing sells like word of mouth.
3. Say something encouraging about the author on your Facebook page.
4. If you belong to a book club, mention the author there.
5. If, by chance, you’ve read the book and liked it, write an short review on Amazon or Good Reads or Barnes and Nobel. Endorsements are welcome. Or write something kind on his or her webpage. One reader did that for me last week and I fed of the compliment for days.
On behalf of any writer upon whom you bestow your attention, I thank you. It is bread well cast upon the waters.
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