If you’re Stephen King, or James Patterson, or John Grisham, you’ve got a lot of people standing behind you, in front of you, beside you, all doing their best to make your novel a bestseller.
In other words, the room is crowded!
These people take out ads in publications and on TV. They set up book signings. Publicists contact journalists — what few are left — to see if anyone is interested in interviewing their clients.
Those “opportunities” equal “success” equals “money” in the bank.
If you’re E.E. Williams and your third novel, “My Grave Is Deep” has just been published on Amazon.com, the room is pretty much empty.
You’ve got, well, you.
To be fair, only the best of the best of the best get a crowded room. Most authors are kinda stuck promoting their books and themselves.
A friend of mine, Robert Strauss, spent months calling folks to set up his own interviews and book signings, and driving around the country to promote his book, “Worst President Ever.”
He did a great job and the book sold pretty well.
Robert is one of those people who has no trouble promoting himself.
Me, not so much. I think my reticence comes from my dad, who, when he was alive and would visit my wife and I in California, would stay in a hotel rather than with us because he didn’t want to “put us out.”
I don’t want to put anyone out. My wife is constantly reminding me to promote “My Grave Is Deep” on my Facebook pages. I do, but reluctantly. Because most of these people are my friends and I don’t want to appear as if I’m strong-arming them.
Not the best way to promote a book.
But, I have other “opportunities.”
Kirkus Review, which gave my book a very nice review, wants now to “discuss” my “opportunities” to promote the book. The Independent Press read the Kirkus review and also wants to discuss “opportunities” to further promote my work.
The difference between E.E. Williams and King, and Patterson and Grisham?
My opportunities mean money going out the door, not in.
Any independent author has to weigh the economics of these opportunities. Is it worth it? Will I sell more books?
Or will I someday be homeless, cold and hungry and be thinking, “I wish I had those opportunities back.”