Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Get on board

If there is no joy and freedom, it is not a church;
it is simply a crowd of melancholy people basking in a religious neurosis.

~ Steven Brown

The clamor to publish is like a horde of New York commuters in a subway station at five PM. Everybody running to get somewhere fast. Then they get there. Are they happy, satisfied, or pleased? No. They're going through the motions. They might be glad they arrived ten minutes earlier or didn't run into any questionable characters along the way, but nothing about the mission rocked their world.

"How about that commute this evening?"

"Yeah, no glitches today."

"Made my day, how about you?"

That's how I see many people publishing today. There is no heart in their effort. Go ahead. Fuss at me about not knowing what I'm talking about. But if that story of yours is so profound, what are you doing that is equally profound to spread it to the world? Sell me. Prove to me it's marvelous. I have millions of books to choose from. Why should I bother with yours?

A tremendous number of folks write that supposedly earth-shattering story. Then they do nothing about selling it, to make it available to more readers so they can be enlightened. Some say they don't have the money. Some don't have the time. Some don't care for technology, social networking or websites. Some are too afraid to speak. Some think the publisher, Amazon or some Internet ghost will direct people to their book.

The passion is missing. That story isn't intensely from their gut, their heart, their being. They aren't willing to sacrifice to reach readers. They are too afraid of the steps to commit wholeheartedly. And it makes me not want to read the book.

When you make excuses for not selling the book, you tell me you are not 100 percent behind it, maybe because you're not sure the book is that good after all. Now . . . why should anyone read your book?


widdershins said...

... because it's mind bogglingly wonderful! ... and I just this evening sent it back to my editor so we can now begin the 'errata' edit. What that is I have no idea, but I'm guessing its like line editing. This is scarily fun!

Sioux Roslawski said...

As the old song says, "Ya gotta have heart."

You have to have passion, a convicion, a willingness to slobber and spray spittle on anyone who will listen to you slather about your book.

Michelle Fayard said...

Hope, you said it perfectly when you wrote "if that story of yours is so profound, what are you doing that is equally profound to spread it to the world?" It breaks my heart to think that another thing you wrote too often is the reason: Authors might be too afraid of the steps to commit wholeheartedly.

As much as we as writers go through to bring a book to life, we should never feel bad or shy about tooting our own horn. The marketing plan for my historical YA, The Underground Gift, is now nine pages long, and it's still growing because I believe in this book's message and I believe others will too--but not if they don't hear about it. :)

Arlee Bird said...

I need to get down to the station so I can jump on board the train. It doesn't matter how many train schedules I memorize, I'm not going to go anywhere until I actually join the crowd on the platform.

Tossing It Out