Monday, July 30, 2012


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 because
it rhymes).

In all our rush to become published in magazines, books,
blogs, and newsletters, we forget that people only have
so much time to read.

How much do you read daily? An hour? Thirty minutes before
you go to bed? What is that . . . a book every week at
best? Let's 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 hundreds of
thousands of books published, you will handpick only 50.

Or you might be one of those who reads two to three hours
each 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, you have
your specific groups and connections, and from those
recommendations you select your next reading material.
Let's say 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 readers, and
convince them that your work is worthy of being added
to their nightstand, end table, Kindle or Nook?

Not by saying "buy my book."
Not by putting it on Amazon.
Not by blogging once a month.

Put yourself in your readers' shoes. Chances are the big
name 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 slots.

There are more authors than that in your hometown.

You are not different until you make yourself so. Nobody
can read your mind. Nobody will accidentally find your
book. All accidents are opportunity that meet prepared
and savvy individuals. Your job is to prepare.