By J. F. Lewis
If you have been paying even a little bit of attention to my various feeds, you know that BURNED: A VOID CITY NOVEL is out today. And today or at least this week is when I need you to buy it. On previous book releases, I’ve kind of been a bit subtle. I snuck around to various bookstores (both the indies and the big guys) and stealth signed all the copies they had in stock. I have never been that comfortable with saying, “My books are awesome and funny and sweet and twisted. If you love them, buy ten copies each and pass them out to your friends.” I still don’t like to refer to my Facebook Fan Page as a “Fan Page”, though I’ve started to do so, because calling it a Reader Page was confusing people.
But the market is changing. And only the writers with die hard fans are surviving. I’m not good at blogging about every clever thing under the sun and making the every day seem magical. I do it when I can. Whether it’s talking about how The Elder Son complained about the turkey I’d packed for his lunch being the most horrible turkey he’d ever tasted. (It was roast beef.) Or posting parody lyrics of “(Meet) The Flintstones”.
What I do best on the writing front, however, is not the self-promotion part. It’s the writing part. I have no interest in talking about my politics or religion, beyond the ideas of everyone being fair and nice to each other. And okay, I wouldn’t shut up about getting excommunicated, but for the most part when I have the urge to write, it’s a novel or a short story that I start turning out. As a result, I need your help.
If you love Void City and want to see what other quirky little worlds are inside my head, then buy my books and when you’ve purchased them and read them and enjoyed them, then spread the word. Review them anywhere you are comfortable doing so. If you can’t review them or are afraid to do so, then log onto Goodreads or iTunes or Barnes & Noble or anywhere else and give them five stars or “like” them or tag them or all of the above.
Here’s why: last year, around October, the reading public in the U.S. lost a lot of brick and mortar stores and it looks like we are going to lose more. When that happened and every time that happens, physical book sales are taking a huge hit and it isn’t all being transferred online or to eReaders. Some of those sales simply vanish. Books that people would have purchased had they seen them in the mall just don’t happen, because those stores aren’t there anymore.
So if readers want to make sure they get the next book by their favorite authors who aren’t always on the bestsellers lists (and even the ones who are), they are going to have to do their best to put their favrorite author on those lists and keep them there, to go beyond buying the book the day it comes out, but to making websites, or funny videos, or posting with obnoxious repetition on Facebook and Twitter, or buying copies of books they’ve already read and loved and passing them on to friends they think would enjoy the books, too, or even by simply making sure everyone they know understands how much they love the books they love.
And that’s not just my books. If you love Kelly Meding, Adrian Phoenix, Jennifer Estep, or any other author with a book out today, then let the word ring out. If you love Mark Hodder’s awesome Burton & Swinburne series (which came out last week), buy your copies now or as soon as you can. And if you can’t afford a book, then go to your local library and place it on hold or request it. But spread the word or the words you crave may stop flowing.
(Cross posted everywhere I have posting rights, because it’s THAT important.)