Anyone who’s tried knows it’s damned hard to self-publish and sell a novel. Social media tools have enabled free marketing, but it’s tough to seduce a reader who’s never heard of you or your book. You could pay for advertising, but that quickly gets into real money. Most vexing is that a 5-star review doesn’t even guarantee five sales.
So there is a natural temptation to commiserate with others on the bench trying to work their way into the game. I think this is where we should be careful. It’s great to share ideas, swap Twitter follows and massage egos bruised by bad reviews, but all that is time not spent sinking baskets.
Celebrated basketball coach John Wooden said, “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” So true. It’s also true that preaching to the choir doesn’t get you any new singers.
And yet we do it because it’s warm and comfortable inside the community of struggling writers. I joined a new authors’ site on Facebook that has registered 150 members in the time it takes to turn a page. A lot of nurturing goes on, and everyone is following one another’s Facebook page, offering advice and suggesting ways to crack into new markets.
And that’s the thing; when the sun sets each day, I think what we all really want is to be selling more books. Comforting as it is, I try not to spend too much time with other self-publishers. True, they know my pain, but my job is to remember the endgame. To amend another quote from Coach Wooden, “Sports (and writing) do not build character. They reveal it.”
Why do you think Author Central has grown so quickly, and is time there time well spent?