For fun and games last week, I decided to go to HAN (seriously not sure why) and I discovered sixteen of my old Silhouette Romances were released as ebooks. This floored me because they were sixteen of my favorite books I'd written. For years, I'd wanted these books released as ebooks so readers could find them ...
And then I sort of felt like somebody smacked me on the side of the head. Really? How WERE readers supposed to find them?
Discoverability is the devil.
I have enough friends who publish their books independently to know there are a few "tools" that help readers find you. The first one is pricing. That one's out of my control...so no point thinking about it. Then there are reviews. But people have to read the book before they can review it which means they've got to find it so that's an endless loop...so cross that one off.
You can post on Facebook or Twitter but with everybody saying, "Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!" won't my cry just become one of the many?
And while I'm sitting here pondering how to get out the word that I have sixteen glorious titles on ebooks now...I'm neglecting my current WIP!
Worse, every day thousands of books are released. Indies, traditional publishers, small presses, rereleases, funnel into Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and all the other outlets every day, making discoverability that much harder.
As I pondered this over the weekend, working on a book due far too soon for me to have split brain syndrome, I realized how very little control I had. Punching up dialogue and following character arcs through my story, I lamented how very, very small my name is in a very big publishing world.
Working on new scenes, I pouted over the possibility that maybe no one would read my words...words I considered next to poetic LOL!...and then it hit me. I ALWAYS read my words. I ALWAYS have to love my stories. Even if I'm only writing for an audience of one (2 if you count my editor :) ), I am writing to please myself. To tell great stories. To enjoy the rush of adrenaline that accompanies falling in love. And over the story, the rush of adrenaline, I have complete control. (Mostly...everybody needs editorial input.)
It's hard to sit around and try to figure out how in the name of all that is holy you're going to get someone to discover your book-- or lots of people to discover your book. Writing is a lot easier when you stop that and focus on your writing.
Especially since that's what brought us to this profession in the first place. The love of writing/storytelling.
That's not to say discoverability isn't part of our job. We need to get out there and make sure our babies are found and read. What I am saying is I want to be sure that if I find a few wonderful souls to read my work...they'll like what they read.
Happy Monday and Happy Reading