Connections and Relationships Sell Books

Reflective Robin - Guenette photo

Coffee in hand, I make my way out to the deck and sip as I watch the mist lift slowly off the lake. Sunday morning and I’m feeling reflective. My office space is crowded with boxes of softcover books. Hopefully, at least half will find their way to store shelves and into people’s hands in short order.

I randomly grabbed a few copies of Chasing Down the Night from within the boxes for a quality control test. As I flipped through to ensure all was where it should be, I decided to read the last couple of pages. I was brought to tears. Oh, what a feeling. You may say I lack objectivity but you must read yourself to be sure.

Chasing Down the Night was released as an e-book on April 28th. It had a bigger bump in the Amazon world than my other releases and I worked that as hard as I was able over various social media channels. But like most bumps – it soon became a recurring blip and I have been taking a rest the last couple of days.

Daily itinerary – coffee, smattering of social media activity, go for a walk, knit a few rows of these wildly coloured cabin sweaters I am making for my granddaughters, read a couple of chapters of someone else’s book – repeat.

A chance to be reflective leads me to reiterate, for myself as much as I wish to share with others, my book promotion policy. If I genuinely connect with the right readers, they will buy my book. The choice to pop over to Amazon (or Nook, or Kobo, or iTunes) and download my book is because you and I have developed some type of relationship. You came to my blog or saw me featured on another blog, we interacted, you followed me on Facebook and liked the eclectic mix of things I tossed up there, we interchanged tweets out in the twitter-sphere or you scrolled down my list of tweets and got a laugh. There was some personal connection that tweaked your interest. Or one of the above happened to a friend of yours and this friend told you about me.

My books on the shelf at Overwaitea, Pt. HardyIf you walk into a local store and see my book on the shelf, perhaps the cover will grab you and you’ll flip it over and read the back. Maybe you’ll be hooked without ever having heard of me. It’s not unheard of in the world of paper and ink books. More likely, you’ll see the book and think of some type of connection you and I have had. It might be as simple as recalling that I’m a local author.

There are no shortcuts, no tricks to cheat Amazon algorithms, no magic solution to be found in the words of slick promoters who sell the self-published author’s latest version of bottled snake oil and no one size fits all way to get onto the shelves of real stores.

So followers, this is me connecting with you. I stare at the lake that stretches beyond the confines of my little cabin in the woods and send words out that might bind you to me. It’s like an incantation – though don’t let that concern you. It’s much less double, double, toil and trouble than Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come. I wish to make you curious enough about me that you might like to read one of my books.

But really, it’s all just throwing pebbles into a wide pond. I’m not about creating a tidal wave. Just ripples extending out and out. And lest I despair of the seemingly small nature of such tossing, I consider the words of Blaise Pascal:

The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.

Ocean waves - Bruce Witzel photo