One of the most difficult parts of being an author is finding readers. Unfortunately, nobody tells you that up front. A lot of first-time authors have the idea that their friends and family will read it. Even if they don’t read it, they’ll at least buy a copy to be supportive, right? They’ll help spread the word once the book is released, for sure. Maybe a friend of a friend will like it and I’ll find new readers no problem!
Not so fast. It is remarkably difficult to find support in the most logical of places. For whatever reason, friends and family don’t always share the same excitement level for your accomplishment. Maybe they’re not aware of the time and effort that goes into becoming a published author. Some people hesitate to support something that isn’t established and/or popular for fear of judgment. They’re worried that if they recommend something, and people don’t react to it the same way they did, then that person will judge them for liking something “inferior.” As much as people like being the first to like something, the fact is, there’s just too many products out there to be discovered. There’s too much noise to drown out your attempts at publicity.
And with the rising number of self-published authors, it’s nearly impossible to know what quality level is being produced by a first-time writer. I hate to say it, because I want to be supportive of the indie, self-published industry, but there are endless numbers of bad books out there. Readers are also hesitant to spend their hard-earned money on something they don’t know is worth it. Without experience, and without a traditional publishing company supporting these authors (and without those traditional publishing company’s funds to pay for editing, cover design, advertising, etc), new authors get lost in the sea of nameless books.
Which is why this topic is so dear to our hearts. As an indie label, intent on supporting authors who are starting out, and are still trying to develop a readership, we want to inform and educate writers and readers alike. For authors, if our point hasn’t been clear enough already: temper your expectations. For readers who want to offer as much support as possible, or for readers who aren’t sure the best way to help, let’s get into it! Continue reading