Pre-sold AS FROM A TALENTED ANIMAL to two of my dedicated readers — dare I say followers? Fans?
Well, of course, I can’t find the original post (I’m almost certain it was entitled “HOW NOT TO PROMOTE YOUR NOVEL” or something close to that) on A WRITER’S PATH — why not a search box? At any rate, the post was a rant against self-absorbed, self-centered writers who wish to promote their novel on social media. I recognized myself in this post — yes, I don’t particularly like to read blogs; yes, I know there are thousands upon thousands of novels published each year; yes, I know few people are interested in discovering an unknown writer; yes, I know I should read other writers’ novels; yes, I know I can be annoying when I post about my latest work, etcetera.
I stop here to ask — what novelist is not self-centered?
After all, a novelist — one who actually sits down and writes a 50,000 plus manuscript — is alone most of the time. A novelist — one who creates another world filled with imaginary persons doing imaginary things with each other — is completely absorbed in his or her creation. A novelist — one who writes multiple stories over many years — has little time for much else (especially if writing these novels brings no or only little money to their bank accounts) other than writing and the work that pays the bills.
As for reading other novelists — I don’t have time for that anymore. I used to read. In fact, as a young person, you would not have seen me without my nose stuck in the pages of a real book. I read all the time. In fact, if I didn’t write now most of my time, I’d still be reading.
Presently, I keep writing while I continue to share my work with others. I don’t write for myself (like I did as an adolescent in angst). Instead I write for others — for my very small fan base, which I am trying to establish on my own, without much help from anyone else — except them.
Thanks, little fan base! Thanks.
I prefer the latter — when a potential reader says, “I want to read that book – what’s it called?” and then almost correctly names your novel. The book has sold itself — I would imagine through word of mouth?
The feedback on my novels is generally either absent or glowing. Either the reader says nothing to me or he or she seeks me out to tell me how great I write or how much they loved my novel.
Several readers actually follow me — they are my tiny fan base. I love my fan base, and though I do write for myself primarily, I want my novels read by others, of course.
A novel is not designed to sit on a shelf; rather, a novel is crafted for the hands of the reader. The reader is meant to open its cover and bend back its pages and make its insides come to life.
Therefore, I call for readers.