Dear independent* author
I understand that in today’s topsy-turvy publishing world you have to take on many roles in addition to your writing. I am sympathetic to you because in my job I too have had to become an expert on many things that aren’t part of the work I trained to do including budgeting, managing people, procuring goods and services within the ever-changing rules and regulations of the jurisdiction in which I work and having a grasp on a massive array of hardware and software. Frankly it sucks having to be a Jill of all trades and master of none and I appreciate that you’re probably doing the best you can.
I know too that you probably have received a boatload of advice – solicited and not – about how best to market your book and make it stand out from the million or so other books published each and every day. So the last thing you probably want is yet another piece of such advice but I’m gonna give you some anyway.
- No means no. Not ‘maybe’ or ‘well since you badgered me I will change the habits of a lifetime and read a werewolf novel just this one time’.
- An unsolicited plea by you for a total stranger to read/review/promote your book does not entitle you to a response or an explanation. If you push for one, be prepared for it to be curt. Or even unpleasant.
- Do not assume every book blogger on the internet is American. When you do (and a lot of you will) don’t be surprised that it irks those of us who aren’t.
- Before you plea with a book blogger to host your blog tour / interview / giveaway / free tattooing of first-born child with your book’s logo take 60 seconds to look at the blog you’re asking a favour of to see if such things are regular features there and/or whether or not your particular book is the kind the blogger(s) reads. Or if you don’t do this (and a lot of you won’t) don’t be surprised when you get no response.
- Spell and grammar check your begging email.
Bernadette at Reactions to Reading
*After a comment I realise this might be unclear – in my head I was writing to authors who have ‘published’ their own manuscripts by whatever means available without those books having gone through the benefit of a process which has turned their manuscript into a novel (e.g. editing by someone other than a family member, proofreading, typesetting and the myriad of other things that the publishing process has traditionally taken care of). I wasn’t thinking of authors published by small publishing houses that are sometimes called independent (though rarely by me as I don’t really know what it means when it comes to publishers)