Sundays have become infamous for low (or no) sales days for my book. Not sure why, but today is looking like it will knock off all those Amazon lists completely. I’ve been preparing myself for this and trying to find a way to soften the blow. I was doing okay until a thought crossed my mind:
I’ve seen a lot of self-published authors talk about how important ‘word of mouth’ is and I’ve preached it too. I use social media, support other authors, and do whatever I can to spread the word of my book and the books of other authors. I greatly appreciate the hep and advice I’ve received from all of the WordPress friends that I’ve made. Yet, there is a piece of my puzzle that’s lacking and it’s finally hitting a point where I’m annoyed.
Back when I set out to be an author full-time, I announced it to my friends and stated that ‘word of mouth’ would be essential. I told them that I would need their help and they eagerly agreed to do whatever it took to help me. So far, only 2 people have really stuck by this. Everyone else has either ignored me, bought the book without reading it, or hit that damn ‘like’ button on FB. Honestly, the ‘like’ button isn’t really a form of support for something like this. It’s just a well-wish and doesn’t tell all your friends about my book. It’s an action with no ripple.
Now, I made a small plea on my FB today and asked that people simply share my post about my book. One person did it and it’s one of the usual suspects, so I wasn’t surprised by that. I still thanked her for her unending help. Truthfully, I’m not annoyed at the people who are actually helping and they know who they are. It’s the ones that I thought had my back, but are apparently too busy to share an FB post. People I’ve had drinks with and hung out with. I’ve been to the weddings and birthdays of some of these people. I’m ranting again, but you get the gist of what I’m feeling. Here are some private responses to my plea:
“You should stand on your own two feet and earn your success by yourself.” (Nobody really succeeds by themselves. Eventually, you need somebody to spread the word of your product or it won’t go anywhere.)
“I don’t read fantasy books.” (I didn’t ask for you to read it. Just hit the damn share button for a friend.)
“I don’t think I’d be much help.” (You couldn’t be much less help now.)
“You should stop this and get a real job.” (Good to see you’re in my corner. I’ll remember this when you ask for a favor.)
“My friends don’t listen to me on FB.” (Congratulations! Mine don’t listen either, but you have over 300 ‘friends’. I figure even two of them sharing that will help.)
“You can’t depend on anybody.” (That’s rather severe. Especially since you’ve depended on me for help and I’ve delivered.)
“Why do you keep asking people to spread the word of your book?” (Because going door-to-door with a staple gun and homemade bookmarks is illegal.)
“Here’s something with kittens to make you feel better.” (Great. Thanks. Virtual cats. How was sending this to me easier than hitting the share button?)
“Stop whining!” (Stop posting about what you ate.)
“You wrote a book?” (We’ve met in real life. I’ve been carrying a notebook and talking about being an author since high school. Should I assume you were ignoring me all these years? Do you translate everything I say to ‘boobies boobies boobies beer cake boobies guns’?)
That’s the real-life support that I have today. My family and I are going to a craft fair, but I might stay behind because I’m just too down. My wife seems to be a better saleswoman anyway. She’s handed out my business cards while doing temp jobs if she hears someone likes fantasy. If I go then I might be the toddler wrangler and let my wife do the work. After all, she’s got the cute sexy thing going while I’ve got the hefty sad thing going.
Thanks for letting me rant here. Needed to finally get that off my chest.