Writing – it’s a tough business. For small time authors such as myself, we rely on the ‘friends and family’ concept since we lack what is called a ‘platform’. Let me translate what I just said….Small time writers rely on their friends and family to purchase their books as they don’t have a brand name like say JK Rowling that will guarantee thousands of anonymous buyers for their writing product. Hopefully, friends and family will not just BUY the book but also support it by writing short reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and mentioning it to their friends. The hope is that either, one of these friends of friends and family is extremely influential and can influence the broader public to buy the book (a stroke of good luck) or, more likely, small concentric circles of friends of friends continually buy the book through time.
For the last 4+ months I have been promoting The Last Observer now published by Roundfire Books. I, like all other authors no doubt, think that this book is pretty good and deserves broader appeal. The problem is I have no platform. I can reach out to about 500 friends and family via Facebook and Linked In and hope that if 10% of them buy it, I will sell 50 copies. Maybe 10% of those will result in another sale in their group of friends making a total of 55 copies. Hardly makes for a best seller.
So how to reach a broader market? Well, the publisher is supposed to help with that and to be fair, they have, but my book isn’t likely to be a best seller statistically and so they hedge their bets and budgets and will only do a little. They will do a little more if the books sells say 500 copies. But that is it folks.
So what is required is to find a broader market and develop a platform. To do this, I heave reached out to bloggers with some success and had a hand full of posts and reviews of the book as reward for my efforts. I have also reached out to reviewers and built competitions for give aways on Goodreads and Facebook.
I need some luck too.
But most of all, I need my friends and family to pull through for me….. please, buy the book and post a review. Tell your friends. I would be much obliged.
Because you see here is the funny thing. I know a few celebrities. I have reached out to these people too. After all, if a celeb liked the book, tweeted about it etc. that would make a big difference don’t you think? I do. But, I have been disappointed and disillusioned here. It seems that celebs have made it and they don’t have time to help. They are too busy building on their success. I hate to say this but I have found it to be true. The more successful someone becomes the less willing they appear to be to help others perhaps, they are too busy being successful.
If I ever build a platform, I swear I will use it to also help my friends and family.