Are Writers as Sophisticated as Readers?
November 11, 2012
I fear that today that the partakers of independent digital publishing have split the world into two parts.
Writers – who have the God-given, pre-ordained gift and talent to pour their hearts and souls, their trial and tribulations, their tragedies and triumphs onto the printed page – often have a crippling ego problem.
Writers believe they are superior.
Readers are the huddled masses.
Writers hold in their imagination the history of the world, parts one through six and a smidgeon of ten.
Readers form the backbone of the great unwashed.
Writers look at themselves and say, Here I am, a college graduate, with a 2.6 grade point average in English, a 2.3 grade point average in grammar, and at least a 9.7 grade point average in imagination.
I am right there alongside Hemingway, Faulkner, Wolfe, and Sandburg.
I am a published author.
Readers shop at Walmart.
Readers will buy anything I throw out in front of them.
And that’s where the problem begins. The readers aren’t buying.
In a lot of cases, I believe an author’s lack of book sales can be boiled down to one simple truth.
Writers aren’t as sophisticated as the readers.
Readers dig ditches.
They greet at Walmart.
They sell gas at a convenience store.
They operate a cash register at Home Depot.
And occasionally they hang a high school or college diploma on the wall.
In reality, however, these readers – regardless of who they are, what they do, or the length of their schooling – know what makes a good book good. They have already bought the best. They have already read the best. ‘
How does you book stack up against the best?
They know better than you do.
Too many indie writers are so busy becoming published authors that they forget to properly take care of the literary dignity and sanctity of the book.
They go on Amazon with a book that’s crammed with mistakes. The books often have more errors than the Pittsburg Pirates infield. They don’t spend a little money to make sure the book is produced right. They don’t pay for editing. They don’t pay for proofreading. They Google up some stock art, slap it on the cover, and rush off to join Hemingway, Faulkner, Wolfe, and Sandburg to discuss the wonders and joys of being a published author. They certainly don’t need a graphic designer to give their book a chance to make a great first impression. They have photo shop.
And what do the readers and book buyers think when the see the book?
It looks homemade
It reads homemade.
It’s probably homemade.
It’s not worth the price even at ninety-nine cents.
As I said, readers habitually know a potentially good book when they see one.
They have read Hemingway and Faulkner, Wolfe and Sandburg, Robert Parker and James Lee Burke, Robert Ludlum and Danielle Steele.
They know a great read when they see it.
They know a great cover when they spot one in Barnes & Noble or on Amazon.
They believe that if the book looks professional, it is.
That may be perception. But, as we all know, perception is truth.
You want to be there shoulder-to-shoulder with Hemingway, Faulkner, and the gang? Place your novel – either the digital or the printed version – alongside their books and see how they stack up.
You may belong.
Then again, you may not.
If you don’t, why not, and what should you do to get there?