I’ve blogged about this topic before, but recently my friend C. Patt contacted me about trying to get authors to send her swag for a convention where she has a booth. Ideally she’d like to get 24 authors, maybe. I don’t remember most of the particulars. I just know I told her I’d send her postcards for Natural Born Exorcist, so if you are in Austin Sept. 21-23…
She asked me to help her try and fill the spots. Okay. I really only talk to a handful of authors. Because most authors treat publishing and writing like a competition and I just can’t. I believe authors should work together, promoting one another and assisting each other when they can.
Let me explain it this way, I am not in competition with Clive Barker, and not just because he’s a big traditionally published author, but because if one of my readers wants to go grab The Scarlet Gospels or Mr. B Gone they should. They are great books and as a prolific reader of Barker’s works, I would say all of them are worth a read. I got hooked by reading his Books of Blood vol. 1, because I enjoy short stories. And someone who knew I was reading Lovecraft’s short stories recommended the Books of Blood. Which I enjoyed immensely. At the time I didn’t think I had ever heard of Clive Barker. However, once I got into the Books of Blood, I found a short story with a character I did know… the Hell Priest. For those not into horror or Clive Barker stories, the Hell Priest is Pinhead leader of the cenobites from the Hellraiser movies.
My feeling is there are enough readers for everyone. And when readers have multiple authors they enjoy, I think that’s healthy. Variety is the spice of life. Books are a multi-billion dollar industry. And most authors aren’t James patterson, who is currently paid millions a year for his books. He is the highest grossing author out there. But Patterson’s profits are still a drop in the hat when it comes to book sales.
And if my readers want to read James Patterson or Amanda Booloodian or Adria Waters or C. Patt while they wait for my next book, more power to them. It is not going to hurt how much I make in a year. But lots of authors act like if a reader spends $5.99 on a book by someone else, that’s $5.99 they don’t have to spend on their books… That is true in most things, but not book publishing because there is the very real chance that the $5.99 they spent on someone else’s book is because you didn’t have one they hadn’t read. I don’t actually know how many books I have out right now. Twenty-five I think. The readers that have to have my book the moment it releases are going to spend the $3.99 or $4.99 for my book the moment it comes out and since I am not capable of putting out a new book every day… I’m not losing sales to other authors, I just don’t have anything to offer at that exact moment! And the readers that don’t have to have my books the moment they release are still going to buy my books at some point in the future.
Just something to think about next time you refuse to promote another author.