We all started as readers, didn’t we? Long ago, back when books could only be purchased in print and the idea of corresponding with our favorite authors was a pipe dream that earned us generic letters written by fan club volunteers–yet, we cherished them anyway.
All the late night hours, oversleeping for school the next morning, because we just couldn’t put that book down. We didn’t know how much money the author made, what they preferred for breakfast or the name of their beloved pet, until someone was lucky enough to get an interview with them. Authors were as distant as the stars and we worshiped them for their creative brilliance. We were awed and spellbound by the masterpieces they were able to create with words. We would wait months, years for their next novel, because that was normal.
Now, we’re the authors and we’ve come into this fast-paced, on-demand, high-tech industry with the same hopes and aspirations as the writers who came before us. We have the advantage of a self-publishing market and being able to personally connect with our readers through various social media platforms.
What’s a fan club? (I think she meant Street Team) Oooh, gotcha.
We aren’t distant or mysterious. Our readers not only know what we prefer for breakfast, they get before, during, and after photos on Instagram.
The disadvantage, is that the reader mentality has adapted to these modern times. Instant gratification has become the new norm and they’re no longer willing to wait months or years for your next novel to come out.
Now that you’re on the other side of the coin, has it changed the kind of reader you are? Do you find yourself more sympathetic to the time and cost, or is there a switch in your brain between writer and reader?
You know exactly what goes into each and every one of your books. The writing, the beta readers, re-writes, blurbs, covers, the editing, promoting and tours. No matter how small your budget, you publish at a loss, unless you’re skilled enough to do 100% of everything by yourself.
Do you wince at paying $2.99 for an eBook? Oh, I don’t know about that, I think I’ll wait for it to go on sale. You know that cover alone cost at least $45 if it was pre-made or author made (royalty free stock photos can cost that much for the right size). Upwards to $499 if it was custom ordered by a top professional.
“Yeah, but $2.99 is half the cost of my favorite espresso or 2 cheeseburgers off the dollar menu at McDonalds and I already know I like those, no risk of being disappointed.”
Instant gratification is worth the cost, but a new author we’re not sure we’ll like…um…maybe not so much.
Plus, there’s no resale value on an eBook, but you can always sell a paperback used on Amazon, at the flea market, yard sale, or trade it for credit at the paperback exchange – yes, they still have those.
And this isn’t a dis on technology, our spending habits or the new times. The world changes and we adapt. We have a lot of things to be grateful for as authors, that our predecessors only dreamed about – I’m just curious if becoming a writer has changed the way you behave as a reader? Are your reactions more lenient when you find a typo in someone’s book or harsher? Do you find yourself reading as a writer; critiquing plot, flow and character development as you go – or can you still fall into these things from a reader’s perspective alone?
Do you find yourself reading more or less? Do you have writer envy? Do you find yourself discouraged more often than not by other authors’ successes?
Want a free book?
Bet you never thought you’d pass up on a free book, huh? These days, there are so many free book promotions that a good 50% never get opened in emails; click-delete, delete, delete, because we already have 1,000 free novels bogging down our Kindles from the last 25 promotions and we’re not even sure we’ll ever read them…like ever. 90% of them sounded good at the time, but they’re not even on our TBR list. They’re just sitting there, collecting cyber dust.
Do me a favor and look at the bookcases in your house, you know those beloved shelves you treat like a shrine, and tell me – is there a single book on them you haven’t already read at least once?
Does that make you feel guilty? Do you wonder if your own novel is sitting on someone’s Kindle, where it will go unread…possibly forever? Ever fear that karma’s gonna bite you in the ass if you don’t go above and beyond to support as many fellow authors as possible, even at the sacrifice of your own precious writing time?
Is your mind filled with:
“Read? Who has time to read?! I’m not writing fast enough, my readers are going to leave me for all those other authors, because they’re publishing books once a month, attending signings, giving out SWAG (where do you even buy that?) and still find time to post a new Tweet every five minutes!” (?)
Or do you actually take the time to stop and think:
“Oh my God, I did it. I’m a published author, and there are people out there, right now, reading my book and I don’t care that they downloaded it for free and may never review it or buy the next one – they’re reading something I wrote – That’s all I ever wanted. I never thought this day would come!” (?)
♥ Curious minds want to know…