First of all, I just want to give a big thanks to Joe for all of his hard work and advice. I follow his blog religiously and the information I’ve gleaned from it has been a tremendous help to my career. It’s actually inspired me to give back to my fellow authors in my own way, and why not start now?
On my journey of turning from a “starving artist” into a full-time author, I’ve sure made plenty of mistakes, and the strategies that I have implemented correctly were either by accident, chance, or outright copying from someone else’s blog (such as Joe’s here). But one thing I noticed that have helped my sales and target marketing is knowing the difference between writing for the reader, and writing for the writer. Let me explain a bit.
As authors we have a variety of reasons why we write, whether it be for pleasure/fun, money, prestige, or just having your voice heard and understood, and I think it’s very important to understand your motivation because ultimately it will come off the page when people purchase your work. One of the big questions I ask myself when writing a novel is: would I buy this?
Would you buy your novel if someone pitched you the synopsis? Showed you the cover? Read a random blurb from within the pages? This causes us to take a step back and examine our words for what they are and not what we perceive them to be. That memoir you wrote, be honest, is it actually interesting? That blockbuster fantasy series – would you be in line at the midnight launch? Did you actually enjoy what you wrote? Because if you take an objective look at your work and put your perspective in those of your readers, suddenly, you’ll realize what it will take to bring your book to the next level - what could bring it from a casual upload to a success. We have to remember that in this day and age, we are often performers and entertainers, not educators. Though we are professional, hard-working, passionate individuals, all readers see when they start chapter one is the story, which should always be the true star and celebrity here, not us.
So if you’re writing just for money, perhaps you’re not selling as much as you could because readers may also feel your lack of passion. If you’re writing for prestige, maybe readers sense an ego or a self-important attitude. If you’re writing just for your voice to be heard, there is a possibility that readers detect your lack of confidence. Bottom line is, don’t be afraid to shine. And if you’re just writing for fun? It could be that your work needs a bit more professionalism. A tad more editing. A dash of color on the cover. A synopsis that makes their pupils dilate in excitement.
There are no right or wrong ways to approach your work because you are the captain and commander of your ship, but remember…there are other passengers on the boat besides you. Amaze us with your words, and write for us, your passengers – the readers…
So, if you are willing, allow me to invite you onto my ship. We have many refreshments and amenities during your stay that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. If you’re in the mood for a supernatural thriller then, please, check out The Deadly. Or if you’re looking for a more light-hearted and fantasy affair, why not consider the first in the Angel Story Series: End of Angels?