Expect nothing or reach for the stars?
The euphoria generated by the wonderful launch of The Piano Player’s Son has long been tidied away. The book is written, rewritten, published, launched – now what? Sales!
I write because – for some perverse reason, I hate it when I’m not writing – but also because I want my books to be read. I love it when people say how much they’ve enjoyed a book, how they couldn’t put it down. I even like it when people say they hated one of the characters, or they couldn’t understand how a particular character could behave in a certain way because it means the reader has engaged with the book. It’s made them feel something, and that’s what it’s all about.
What I don’t like is promoting my books, trying to encourage people to buy them or borrow them from the library. And yet, the market is so crowded, how will anybody, other than the people I know well, find out about my books?
So, I try to promote them in the hope that they will sell. And here’s my current predicament: my sales on the dreaded Amazon are not doing as well as I’d hoped. In so many ways, I hate the tyranny of Amazon, and love bookshops, especially independent ones and even Waterstones at a push. But it’s difficult for writers to ignore Amazon. It holds a lot of power when it comes to a book’s success or otherwise. Hence my disappointment with my sales so far.
I tell myself to expect nothing (as in the title of the post) and then I can’t be disappointed. I don’t even know how well Unravelling was doing at a similar stage (I was deep into a temporary house move, accompanied by the stress of building work), so I hardly remember checking Amazon. But whoever achieved anything by expecting nothing? Would Mo Farah have stood a chance of winning two Olympic golds if he’d prepared himself for failure?
So, I will reach for the stars, and if any of you guys can give me a leg-up by spreading the word, that would be great! And if you haven’t got a copy yet, there’s always the dreaded Amazon! I know direct marketing is social media death, but think I’m allowed to get away with it on my own blog!
I’m doing a book giveaway on Goodreads if any of you are members of that site, even though I struggle to understand how Goodreads works, and lovely Caroline Davies is helping me!
I’m disappointed at the moment, but I refuse to expect nothing.
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?