I follow Mr. Gaiman on Twitter, not because I have read his work (obviously), but because he is an author and I like to follow other authors to see what they're up to. Not the I'm-in-a-van-with-tinted-windows kind of following. You know what I mean.
Anyway, last night I saw this tweet from Mr. Gaiman:
A request. If you liked The Ocean at the End of the Lane, tell someone. Tell a real human person. It's all about word of mouth.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is, evidently, his most recent novel. I think it's funny that he's trying to get people to use word of mouth to spread the news of "Ocean's" release because seriously, he's Neil Gaiman, and he has millions of fans who will eagerly snatch up his latest work without anyone having to tell them about it.
But for some of us, it's a different story.
My novel The Land Beyond the Portal was released two years ago. In that time, it has sold 500 copies.
I have to do all the marketing on my own. My publisher published the book and helps me set up events, but they don't advertize their books. Their books do not find their way onto bookstore shelves except on rare occasions, like when I was invited to have a book signing at the Kenwood Barnes and Noble in October 2011. They kept "Portal" in stock for about three months after the event was over.
That was it.
But they looked amazing while they were there. :)
It is so hard being a first-time author whom nobody has ever heard of. Fortunately in the past couple years I have met some awesome fans who have shown unending love and support for my stories, and I will be forever indebted to them. They took a risk on a newbie and have stuck with me. I wish I could gather them all together for a big group-hug, and maybe that will happen someday (even though hugs are scary).
My second novel, Rage's Echo, releases on October 1 of this year. I've been brainstorming ways to get the word out so it will be more successful than "Portal." I write so that people will read my stories and enjoy them, and it's tricky finding those particular people. Not everyone likes every kind of story. It's kind of like looking at a scene from Where's Waldo? and trying to pinpoint my target audience among the throng. Who are you? And where are you hiding?
So please, people. If you read and enjoy a book, especially one by a lesser-known author, TELL people about it! Sing its praises to your hairdresser. Your doctor. Your pastor. Your kid's teacher. Your parents. Your siblings. Your cousins. Your cable guy. The person bagging your groceries. LEND them a copy. Or give a copy to them as a gift. Ask your library to add it to its collection. Recommend it to people on Goodreads. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Interview the author and give away a copy of the book as a prize for those who comment on it. Pin pictures of it on Pinterest. Write reviews and post them on Amazon. Climb to the top of the nearest mountain with a megaphone in hand and shout its praises to all the land.
Not everyone who hear about a book will want to read it. But what if, say, your hairdresser says, "You know, that sounds like it could be a really good book! I'll have to go check it out."?
That's what we ask of you. It means so much to us. We are the future Gaimans of the world. And it is up to you to help us get there.
Rage's Echo releases October 1. Click here to preorder: http://www.amazon.com/Rages-Echo-ebook/dp/B00DOAX9CO/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372816667&sr=1-4