I'll admit it, I want to be read. Yeah writing is fun sometimes and it would be nice if I could get some cash from it a some point – not very likely – but really I just want people to read my books.
I think that's why I've been so happy about the Amazon three days promotion. It's really nice to see what appears to be a large number of people downloading “Bardo” and I do hope most of them will read it at some point as well. It might even lead people on to my other books.
The strange thing is, when you tell people you just want people to read your books, they often say, “well make it free all the time then”. But that's the funny thing people, and I include myself in this, wont touch free books. I released the “Truth about Faeries” free on Smashwords and despite good reviews and it's presence at the top of the free charts, no one seems to download it. I guess it's a suspicion thing. If it's free then I'm not going to touch it because there must be something wrong with it. Sadly this is often the case. The reason the Amazon thing works so well is that it's only free for now. It's a deal, a sale and who wants to miss out on bargain?
I think that's what's been putting me off writing recently: the hunt to find readership. I mean I'm not the next Oscar Wilde, but I do think that my books are pretty good. Sure they could be tighter in places and the early releases could have done with a better tidy up here and there. But I do feel I have something to say and fairly good way of saying it. But if I'm having to use all my effort to get people to read the books in the first place.... well.
An example would be a friend of mine who I went to visit once. Now this person had helped me a lot with the book both in terms of the ideas as well as being connected in other ways that I'm not going to mention for the sake of anonymity, yet despite having been involved and having bought the book, they hadn't bothered to read it. “Not had time,” was the reason, but I couldn’t help but notice that they were carrying around a well thumbed Star Trek novel. Now of course people have the right to do what they like with their free time, but for me it was a early taste of the stark reality of writing. If someone, a friend, who was so invested in the book wasn't going to read it, why would a stranger?
So should I keep at it? Will I keep writing? I don't know. I think it will depend in large on the success of “Bardo” and the results of releasing a book for free for a short time. Will it rise with the digits in the price column? Or will it sink back into the obscurity from whence it came. I'll let you know when I find out.