I hate selling stuff. I just do. Oh, I’m passionate about my books and I know I’m the best person to sell them, but I’m an artist through and through and prefer being creative over sharing my elevator speech to another soccer mom.
I know I’m not alone in this quandary. Check out SC Harrison’s Blog for her tongue-in-cheek insights.
Before you post witty, pithy comments to try and encourage me to sell or to remind me that it’s a necessary part of the job, let me say that I learned as much when I was a musician here in Nashville. More on that later.
So what has me shaking my fist at the Marketing Monster this morning?
I befriended a new Twitter author and checked out their book. 4 stars. Impressive. I scrolled through the gushing reviews to learn that many had given the book only 1 star. Curious, I read their comments.
Harsh! One even quipped that they purchased the book based upon the 4 stars but found the book to be poorly written with a weak storyline. They pressed through anyway in hope that it would get better.
I know not everyone will like our books, but these reviews were polar opposite in comparison to the other comments. My gut tells me this author hired reviewers to get their 4 STARS so they could shoot to the top of Amazon.
As a retired music pro, I know what it’s like to swim with sharks, do business with squirrels and perform with snakes. Back in the day, I competed against musicians who were great at selling themselves and rocketed past me to better gigs. But as time unfolded, and they had to deliver the goods, they showed their true talent.
As quickly as they were the top dog, they were dropped, forgotten and faded into oblivion. I continued to improve/persevere and found myself with better jobs and notoriety.
What’s my point?
Well, let’s get back to this author I have tied to the whipping post. It doesn’t matter how many blasted stars they have or how many Tweets they send or how AWESOME reviewers say their book about “Amish vampire finds true love with a gypsy-alien” really is (not the real title!) In fact, go ahead and label your crap as crème brûlée! Eventually readers will notice that foul taste is in their mouth and run for the toilet to heave.
But what has me really irked is that readers are the ones being bamboozled by the this shell game of “let’s hide the crap.” That is SO wrong!
As for me, I know I have a LONG way to go as a writer. I’ll continue to hone my craft and let my work (hopefully!) cut through the sword rattling that’s being done in cyber space.
Yes, I’ll continue to pound the pavement and keep my head above water in the social media frenzy, but I won’t succumb to paying for reviews.
My readers deserve my best.
So do yours.