For the third time in as many weeks, an author has picked my brain about how I write (daily), how I edit (daily), and how often I market (daily), then said they prefer to be a hobbyist. They cannot afford to invest the time into a book like I do, don't care to hire a graphic artist for the cover, prefer not to hire an editor, and don't belong to a critique group . . . so they'll write it the best they can and throw it up on Amazon "and see what happens."
Those four words . . . like ten long nails scratching on a chalkboard.
I have no problem with people writing as a hobby. I encourage it, actually. I have no problem with people publishing as a hobby. I encourage that, too. But . . . when they hint that they do not have the time to do it right . . . when part-time is an excuse for not doing it thoroughly, I just want to get to a microphone and rant!
Of course, ranting to anyone is not the way to make them understand. I don't want someone shaking their finger at me, either. So I try to educate.
1) A book not prepared with a professional eye will not sell.
2) A book not edited hard by people other than the writer will not sell.
3) A book placed on Amazon with no steady promotion will not sell.
4) A book published without the author marketing herself will not sell.
One gentleman threw those words at me, "and see what happens," and I simply replied, "It won't sell." He looked like I'd slapped him.
I smiled to ease the rift evident in his face. "Amazon, and the entire publishing world, is glutted with books. Thousands of authors are fighting to be heard, to promote, to sell, some with multiple books under their belt. Thousands of writers are fighting to make writing a career. With them clamoring every day to write and market, to blog, sign, social network, travel, how do you think a reader will find your book with you doing nothing to promote it? There are just too many books out there for that to be feasible."
We parted friends. I hope he heard me. I really hope he didn't spend all that time writing only to just throw it out there "and see what happens." None of us need any more of that. As both readers and writers, we can all appreciate seeing more of the well-written, well-edited, well-marketed books.
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