by C. Hope Clark
When you stack up all the years we are allowed
against all there is to read,
time is very short indeed.
~ Stephen King
When I saw this quote, I
almost flinched in my chair
as it hit home. It's almost poetry (and not just
In all our rush to become published in magazines,
blogs, and newsletters, we forget that people only have
time to read.
How much do you read daily? An hour? Thirty minutes
you go to bed? What is that . . . a book every week at
say you do read a book a week, and kudos to
you. That's, say, 50 books a
year (giving you downtime
for holidays and interruptions). Out of the
thousands of books published, you will handpick only
Or you might be one of those who reads two to three hours
day. That also usually means you are more knowledgeable
about what there is
to read. It also means you might spend
less time on the computer researching
the authors, publishers,
and stories that are available to you. Chances are,
your specific groups and connections, and from
recommendations you select your next reading material.
you read 80-100 books a year. You're voracious!
Now, turn it back around.
As an author, how in the world
do you think you're going to reach those
convince them that your work is worthy of being added
their nightstand, end table, Kindle or Nook?
Not by saying "buy my
Not by putting it on Amazon.
Not by blogging once a
Put yourself in your readers' shoes. Chances are the big
authors grab most of those 50-100 book slots. Let's
say half. So, you
compete with thousands and thousands of
writers to convince readers you are
such a good storyteller
that you deserve one of those remaining 25-50
There are more authors than that in your hometown.
not different until you make yourself so. Nobody
can read your mind. Nobody
will accidentally find your
book. All accidents are opportunity that meet
and savvy individuals. Your job is to prepare.