I'm a writer. There, I've admitted it. I wonder if there's a 12-Step program for folks like me...

Most of this blog will be about writing for a living. Or maybe about trying to earn a living as a writer. Or maybe about trying to have a life while you write.

And maybe I'll be able to avoid the driving temptation to write about politics. But I'm not very good around temptation, so all I can promise is that I'll try to avoid writing about politics.

But I will write about the software I use, and the software I try out, and what I think about it. I actually spent lots of years in software testing - as a tester and as a manager of testing departments. I actually started work in software development in 1971, so I have a bit of experience with computers to back up what I have to say on this subject.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

They don’t write, they don’t call

And they don’t post reviews, either.

A year ago I counted myself fortunate if I sold five copies of my novels a month on line; that’s paperback and Kindle versions together. My sales have grown this year to well over twenty times that, and my bank manager is well pleased.

But getting readers to post reviews or even drop me a line to say they enjoy what I have written is something else entirely.

But what the heck; at least someone, somewhere, is buying my books. I’m assuming it’s not my mother any more – she passed away some years ago (she never posted a review, either).

I have received some lovely emails from readers since my work began to sell, and it is always a great boost to my otherwise flagging ego.

And I’m not alone in this. If you as a reader enjoy what a writer produces, be sure to drop the author a line and let him or her know that – and do post a review; it means a lot.

I am not soliciting reviews for myself (okay, I am – sue me). I try to avoid that sort of thing – it seems a bit churlish, somehow. Bat as a member of the writing community I can state that we succeed in this business because what we produce pleases readers one way or another, and other readers very often base their buying choices on what other readers have to say.

So go the extra mile – take that extra step – and post reviews on what you read. Decent reviews not only encourage others to invest their hard-earned cash on a writer who's work you enjoyed, it encourages that writer to produce more work that you will in future be able to enjoy yourself.

Recent industry statistics show that over one million new titles were published last year. One million. That’s world-wide, in every genre and almost every language on the face of the earth. That’s a lot of books.

And that growth is directly related to the end user’s ability to access internet retail sales sites and the ability of independent authors to access publishers such as Create Space, Lightning Source and other print on demand publishers (along with the Kindle and Nook no-fee self-publishing options) without going through literary agents and traditional publishing houses.

And the readers – the consumers – benefit by having a world of new books to explore.

What’s wrong with that? Not a damn thing, unless you’re a literary agent or a traditional publishing house. Guess it just sucks to be them right about now, huh?

The “Reader” now has the last word. Literally. He (generically speaking) decides who to read. The reader makes or breaks the author. The reader – finally – decides who he will or won’t read, who he will or won’t support with his money and his recommendations.

The reader, finally – not the publisher or the literary agent or the bookstore chain – decides which authors are ‘good enough’ and which are not.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly how it should be.

So post your reviews and tell your friends what you are reading. Your opinion really does matter.

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