What if you wrote a really good book, and no one gave a damn?

word of mouth


When you get right down to it, the question in the title of this post is the heart of the matter about why many Indie writers get frustrated, and many give up.

Okay, so I know that if you polled a hundred Indie writers with the question is your book really good?  most of them would say yes.

That comes with the author gig territory.

I mean if a person doesn’t think what he is writing is good, why does he keep publishing his work?

Any author worth the powder it would take to blow him up must believe in himself and in his work product. It’s the only way he can harness the inner drive that allows him to keep moving forward.

But I am talking about “really good” in another sense.

Suppose we had a world in which people could tell whether a book was “really good” or not, an objective analysis of books so dependable no one could doubt it.  Let’s call a site that could perform such a service Booksville.

I’m posing a hypothetical.

Under this scenario anyone could go to Booksville and get the straight skinny on any book, whether published by a star writer or an unknown.

First of all, as an aside, let me say that most writers would be scared to death of Booksville. Can you imagine what would happen if some name-brand author submitted a book to Booksville, and Booksville said, “This is a piece of trash. Don’t waste your money”?  Or what about the Indie writer who is betting the ranch on a favorable rating from Booksville?  If she gets a thumbs down, does she stop writing?

But let’s take it a step further.  Suppose Booksville trashes an author’s work. Does that mean those works won’t sell?

No.  It doesn’t mean that at all.

A work will sell if readers like the author.

It’s as simple as that.

For instance, I am waiting this week for the delivery of James Lee Burke’s new book which I pre-ordered.  It will be here in the next day or so, and I will set aside whatever amount of time I need to read it.  Does it matter to me what Booksville says about it?

Hell no.  It’s James Lee Burke.  I don’t need anyone to tell me whether I like what he writes.

I could say the same thing about anything Caleb Pirtle writes.  If he wrote it, it’s worth reading.

But the problem comes when a writer produces a magnificent work, something everyone who is a reader would read and love if she knew about it, and the book does nothing. It languishes on the digital shelf, unread, unknown, undiscovered.

It will languish in obscurity despite kind words from the Booksvilles of the world.

That is, of course, unless someone happens upon it and tells a friend and that friend tells a friend and that friend tells another friend.

So, please do the authors whose work you love a really big favor.

Tell a friend about their work, and tell another friend and then tell one more just for extra measure.

That’s better than any Booksville.


, , , ,

Related Posts