WHAT YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF YOU CAN’T EVER READ
Seems such an obvious statement, but being invisible is a big problem for authors – getting the title of your book out there is a constant pressure, and you become very fond of those who make the effort on your blog, their blog, a writing site, a reading site, or any place where readers who would like YOUR books congregate.
And then something has to persuade them to read enough words to get to a ‘Call to Action,’ which can be as simple as a recommendation followed by a link.
The problem of recommendations
If the subject of what you’re reading comes up naturally, I don’t find it too difficult to ask a few questions about what someone new to me likes to read.
I rattle off a couple of favorites of mine – say Jane Eyre and the Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries and maybe Dune – and watch to see if the listener’s reaction is fight or flight.
No one likes pushy authors, those who insist their books are ‘for everyone.’ Because it’s not a very believable statement in general, though people who are glad they read Jane Eyre have the most flexible mindset (which is why it gets so much attention). The enjoyment, or even that the story was self-chosen, are the keys – such a reader probably plowed (or ploughed) through similar long-lasting books.
I tried reading A Confederacy of Dunces – an award winner with a good author story (John Kennedy Toole committed suicide when he couldn’t find a publisher, his mother persuaded a legendary literary agent to champion the book, and it won the Pulitzer Prize), but had to force myself to finish Chapter 1. Because it may be brilliant, but it made my gorge rise and choke me. ‘Icky’ is the best I can remember about that long-ago attempt I have no desire to repeat. I don’t get very far into Lolita, either, for similar reasons. Or The Catcher in the Rye.
I can’t imagine their authors spending time with those characters, however good the writing may be.
So I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, and am glad I don’t have to assign either book to, say, a class of high school juniors (assuming teachers still get to make those choices), and then have to talk about it in class.
It’s personal for the author
And books can become a personal crusade favorite for readers who then recommend, gift, or lend something they loved.
So, if you LIKED a book, take a moment and do SOMETHING to encourage the author to keep it up:
- Rate the book
- Review and rate it
- Blog about it
- Recommend it to a friend
- Leave nice words on the author’s websites
- Buy an extra copy to lend
- Send a copy to a friend or family member
- Use as gifts
- Ask your library to order the book(s)
- Write a guide
- Mention your favorite parts
- Tell people you can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy
- Hire a band to parade in DC in costume
- Anything you would like if YOU had written the book.
- Be your most creative.
- Give a copy to any medical personnel who have no empathy for diseases like ME/CFS – this will allow them to live the life of one – without actually having to get it, or Long Covid, or Post-polio Syndrome, or Lyme disease – or any one of a bunch of post-viral syndromes and similar misunderstood ‘invisible’ diseases.
Crusade for indie books in principle by doing something a little beyond your normal response – the author will be delighted.
It’s not the money (though adequate royalties of around $6 per any version I have are about three times larger than many traditional authors make per book) – I crave the readers. Thanks!
Don’t forget – the Pride’s Children NETHERWORLD ebook is IN KU, and
The NETHERWORLD ebook goes on sale (Kindle Countdown Deal) for a week starting October 19 – lowest price you will find it.
And once again, I find myself agreeing with you. The only difference is that for me it would be Dune and Left Hand of Darkness rather than Jane Eyre. 😉
The great HUMAN novels. Add to them, On The Beach, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and so many other deeply familiar novels.
Each of us has their own list of what resonates – if we are capable of resonating with fiction.
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On The Beach…dear god, that novel probably started me on a life long search for a better way. Also scared me half to death.
Even dated now, and done badly in movies then (dunno, never watched it), being the first of its kind and GOOD, its impact has been noted in human history.
For another book of Nevil Shute’s I love, try Trustee from the Toolroom, and much tinier and amazing little personal novel.
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I haven’t read that one but I’ll swap if for ‘A Town Like Alice’. 😀
I didn’t care for A Town Like Alice – didn’t seem his best work. TftT IS of his best work, IMNVHO. I’ve read it several times, and it is better and more personal than OtB.
It might have been his last novel.
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I liked A Town Like Alice because it spoke so strongly of Australia, but I’ll definitely give yours a go if I can find it for a reasonable price. 🙂
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