I'm changing the subject of this post to go along with the merriment of the season at hand. At first, I was going to follow up on my December 5th post with a tidbit about the results of my character tour for Dark Seraphine. I've decided to take a different route instead. I want to thank a few of the people who have been most influential in my life because sometimes recognition and success isn't about the Bookscan numbers, but rather it's about the heart of the venture.
I'm a self-published author who has successfully published books under my own small press's imprint. To admit to your self-pubbed adventures is no longer a reason to find the nearest rock and insert both head and body underneath it. Indie authors are now the rock stars of the literary world. The Tomb Raiders of all things undiscovered. And the pioneers of the new publishing format that is now taking the world by storm. The one critical thing we discovered that propels our success, in my humble opinion, is that our readers are the key. Reaching out to them and allowing them to do the same for us carries a power that even the most expensive ad campaign can't touch. Why is that? How are so many of these indie authors dominating the top 100?
Well, as I said, the key to an indie author's popularity isn't a huge secret anymore. We write from the heart and speak to our readers. No, I don't mean only through our literary ventures. I mean, we get online and offline and get their opinions on our work. We name characters after them. Open a blog dedicated solely to making sure the reader knows that at the end of the day, an author is no different from the rest of the book obsessed world. After all, that's what rock stars have done since the beginning of time. They communicated with their fans and spent time getting to know them on a personal level. A song is written from the heart first. The commercial campaign and marketing stuff comes second.
When an author uses this model as his/her guide, this putting the reader and fan ahead of "the ideal formula", then a remarkable thing happens. A book takes off and does well. You find headlines on reviews like this one: "WOW WOW WOW!" Smile. And so I end my post on a note to thank all of the indie authors who encouraged me to trudge along this path. A few of them are members of this group. I want to thank my sons for being so patient while I pumped out five books in one year. The gorgeous people of Romania who have worked up enough buzz in their country to create my very first foreign fan club. The bloggers who embraced my debut novel with the intriguing romance and funny words. And of course the faithful readers who keep spreading the word every day. I heart you all dearly.
I wish all of you the merriest Christmas and Happiest New Year Ever!
Yours in Prose,