On Smashwords dot coms Site Updates, one of them is about how Discovery is more important to the success of your book than marketing! It provides a link to a blog post written by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, where he further states that, 'Word of mouth' is what most readers use to discover new books to read. I may have said that before, posted it here, once or twice, either way I am pretty sure I have heard that before.
I consider myself a prolific reader. Even though I have read about half as much as I did in 2009, because I have unfairly been writing more than I have been reading, I'll wager I'm in the top percentage of readers in the country. Because of my new found love and passion of writing, and building a group of loyal and demanding fans, I will continue to write more books. I go through times when I have more books to read than I can possibly ever read and times where I just want something new! I finished two or more books within the same week of each other, and want something entirely new. Something I have never read before, a new author to follow, just something different.
Contrary to what my wife and close friends have been saying, I do talk about other things than my books or what I am currently writing. I talk about what I am currently reading, the authors, their works, likes and dislikes about current or recent reads. I know the friends of mine who read books, just like other readers know which of their friends happen to be readers. We talk about the books we are reading. We share what newest books were just awesome.
Another important point that Mr. Coker points out is that once an author has earned a readers trust that they know they are going to get a well written great read from them, the reader will search out other books by that author. You will hopefully maintain that trust for many years until you disappoint your readers. I have been on that side of many new releases of well known great authors that just delivered a mediocre book after a long string of fantastic great books.
I understand completely now why I had to wait for months and months and what seemed like an eternity for an author to come out with their next masterpiece! It takes a long time to craft, write, re-write, edit, edit, and EDIT a book. Trust me this time is important, you as the reader want a great book, as good as the author is capable of turning out at this time as much as the author wants a great book you feel compelled to tell all your friends about. That way we both win. It takes forever to even attempt to get it almost right.
The best news is if you read any authors first works and then each successive book after that in most cases you will see a marked improvement. I know personally I am going to what I feel are Herculean Efforts to make my current work better than anything I have previously turned out. I have a friend on Goodreads who recently gave my newest novel a three star rating. My new goal is to get to where one of my new releases in the future will get a four star rating and eventually a five star rating. I was and am extremely humbled by all those who read my second novel and rated it at five out of five stars. But frankly it is only my second book, and I am learning more every week, a little bit here and a little bit there about writing. I don't want to be at a point where the world is grading my books at the extreme top of the spectrum for quite some time. I would like to feel for many years to come that my best is yet to come.
As my English skills, writing skills, vocabulary and the myriad of other attributes that all rolled into one makes a person a great author mature and season me into that time honored treasure I dream for my books to become. I realize as I progress we can all point out a great leader. We can list the attributes of a great leader. We know one when we see it, and we know when we don't.
Readers know good writing when they read it. They also recognize mediocrity when they read it. My point is you need to build a following, and you do that by writing good books. Hone your craft, yourself, feed your mind, study your craft, and write better books.
So to summarize, Write, Publish, Discovery, build a following, then back to writing.
Pretty much just be patient, if you're writing you will get better, as you get better and finish more books your chance of being discovered goes up, and if you're writing great books you will build a following in time.
If you love an author's book then tell the world about, blog about, comment about it, write reviews about it and most importantly tell all your friends and family about it. If you didn't care for a book, just go grab another book! It serves nobody to spread negativity about anybody. Maybe it was the author's first book? If it was only alright maybe try their second book, they more than likely are only going to get better. I love James Rollins books, and stumbled upon his books when he was first starting out. They were not awesome, but they were very unique and took me somewhere NEW, where I hadn't been before, in ways I had hadn't been taken before. He earned my trust as reader and over the years his books have raised the bar in his genre to new heights. I aspire to just get close to his level and ability in the next few years.
Then to leave him in the dust! Oh vanity, what a terrible trait to possess. But you should have a goal, a target, or ideal to strive for. James Rollins is one of my target levels to reach for. There are others, and other genres, as we should all hope, the Best Is Yet To Come!!