I happened to read a post that made me feel terrible, both as a reader and as a writer.
The gist of the post made by a writer is that her books aren’t selling because there is a glut of writers in the eBook space as every one who can write, is writing and publishing.
According to this writer,
the only writers selling their books are those who can afford the time and money to promote and advertise their books
those who turn lucky and succeed for an unknown reason (and definitely not for any talent they might have.)
This unknown reason, I trust, is quite well-known. David Farland writes about it often, and most best-selling authors follow it. One of them is Hugh Howey, the author of Wool, who broke through the glut of writers in the eBook space, and found his fortune. Dan Brown won his audience over by accelerating the pace at which stories were told. Even E.L. James, who began telling her stories first on Stephanie Meyer‘s blog and then her own, thrills her audience in a way nobody else has ever done before. At the other end of the spectrum, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series pulls youngsters and grownups alike, into a world of wonder that didn’t exist before. She was heartily criticized for her limited supply of verbs, but her discerning audience soon realized that her imagination was unlimited.
All these authors, and many others who are at varying heights of success have the following two things in common.
They tell stories that haven’t been told before.
They entertain their readers. In other words, they write with a sense of devotion for their readers.
I’m not someone with a truck-load of writerly advice, nor am I here to share any secrets, because honestly, I am not an expert on writing and I don’t think that I have any secrets. Frankly, I have no special space to write, no special material that I use for writing, no special times that I keep – I’m that un-special writer, who writes when and where she can.
But I realize this.
If I want to be read, I must not forget my reader. I must not forget the fact that when she reads my story, my reader spends not only her money but also her time in its company.
At this point, I’d like to mention that while my readers might not be buying me a house or a yatch yet, for the last four months, they’ve been giving me my pocket money. The only other people who ever gave me pocket money were my parents. They didn’t expect me to the best kid in the universe and yet they gave me my pocket money, because they cared and they wanted to keep me motivated. This is what my readers are doing for me. I believe that despite my inability to pay for advertising, they are buying my books because they enjoy the first ten percent, and because they see an honest promise in my books – that I’d do my best to give them their money’s worth.
I haven’t turned lucky yet, and I have lesser time than the said writer to promote my books (my FB page and Twitter bear testimony to it,) but here’s the unknown reason behind my limited success…I tell my stories, and when I tell them, I do the best of my best to reach the heart of the reader who picks up my book.
Each day, I thank my unknown patrons who place their faith in my ability to tell them a story that would be worth their time. I might not succeed all the time, but I trust the perspicacity of my readers, and I’m confident that they will see my efforts shining through my work.
I think these are beautiful times for the storytellers of the world. for there are readers waiting for the writers who would capture their imagination and tell them a story they haven’t heard or read before, and when you find your way into their hearts, it wouldn’t be for an unknown reason, it would be because you worked hard to get there.
I loved this post, well done. True talent, and when I say talent I refer to the writers ability to spin a yarn, will always outsell promotion. It’s all about the story at the end of the day and how it’s told.
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Thanks. I agree with you. What irks me is writers deprecating the effort and success of other writers, apparently to rationalize their own failure.
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