Lost Among a Sea of Words


You know, as I sit here wondering about my future and skimming the books of big-name authors and celebrities taking up the entire page or bookcover…and wondering why no one caters to my subject matter or interests…and why it just seems like, overall, there is no real hope for us indie authors in this big, wide world. Whatever happened to make it this way?

Once, while I was in a slump, I went to a local used bookstore. It was a new store, recently furnished and sparkling neat, which took up quite the bit of space and claimed its dominance of the strip mall as its kingdom–as it stood in the exact place where an earlier bookstore had lain and catered to my imagination before a time I woke each day to fantasies and the call to writing. And, well, as soon as I walked inside, I was struck b the sheer volume of paperbacks and hardcovers–from eras past, present, known, documented, popular, obscure, and lost. And then it hit me. Just how many books are out there? Trillions? Billions? Maybe a couple thousand to each living person? Maybe a few thousand to each human–alive, dead, or otherwise? It’s like trying to imagine the concept of infinity. The very idea floored me and made me a bit dizzy.

But what was even scarier was the fact that I am (or rather will be) trapped in there somewhere–amid that vast sea of words without a sail or any sort of distinction to keep me afloat or gently flowing along at a good enough pace to stay noticed. Noticed once…or perhaps once every new year until, after 80 years, I would have reached shore with the certainty I had been seen 80 times.

And that’s not even counting e-books. Or the books that simply aren’t published but are widely available online or by print via one’s home printer. And–further still–the ones that have yet to take shape as they dance in our and future authors’ minds!

So where does this leave us? How is it possible to navigate through all this fog surrounding us? And how can we assist our readers to do the same? Well, I have seen a few attempts at societies indie authors have formed to try not only to weed the good from the bad and to endorse the future bestselling or fascinating and thought-provoking novels but also to form a kind of family for all of us to fall back on and tie a good community so no one gets lost. Unfortunately or not, these projects are still small and largely unnoticed or unable to be properly funded enough for it to blow up into a bigger, closely-knit, and fully-organized “company.” Many also exist solely online unless you’re talking about your local writers’ group, which is a niche all its own. Or maybe we can focus on creating a little community of our local followers or readers who reap the benefits of our undying gratitude as they help us blossom and grow. This can be an easy feat…such as a “fan club” or website, blog, profile on an e-book site, etc. or even something to the extent as a Patreon account or a Youtube channel.

But there isn’t really an easy answer. We can’t ring a bell and see them all magically come to us like cows to the feed trough (had to get in a Harvest Moon reference). As cliche as it sounds, though, we can’t give up, for those readers, that niche, that opportunity to grow, will be waiting around the corner someday if we try or wait for it. Trying initiates but patience and diligence on one’s work will bring about the results. For now, try making your own little community. Support other local authors and maybe even try to help push up ones you admire or get together with indie authors of your same genre or style. Write, write, write, and submit some stories to contests, post samples online of new books, learn how to advertise on social media without sounding silly or bothersome, offer a sample story or chapter for free to get people interested, and–as always–give back to your loyal followers. Let them know you care! And, as for readers, maybe set up some kind of website or blog in which they can become part of the conversation and receive updates and newsletters or anything of interest. That’s the one thing I find most bothersome about Smashwords.com–I can’t really connect with my readers unless they post a review; and even then, I can’t even tell them thanks!

There are even some writing websites out there which, though flocked to by everyone and sometimes disorganized, can also stand as an outlet–especially if you are looking for constructive criticism or suggestions. If you are just looking for # increases on those little heart symbols, then go to Figment.com (OK. You get suggestions there, too, and you get to interact directly with the teen/YA crowd, but I still like to tease about the whole “popularity contest” thing they have going on).

Other than that, enjoy the ride, and don’t forget to write. (Ha! look how clever that was. I’m writing that down…)

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ADVERTISING SECTION

Websites I may have alluded to in this post:

http://www.wifwa.org/
A place that tried to help promote indie writers and edit manuscripts (site not existing anymore? aww)

WRITER SITES
http://figment.com/

http://www.wattpad.com/home

MANY MANY MANY MORE. GOOGLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. ALSO, PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE NATURE OF EACH SITE AND ITS UNIQUE FACETS AND WAYS OF READING, WRITING, AND COMMENTING, ETC. BEFORE YOU CHOOSE ONE. THAT IS WHERE I ERRED AS A DUMB TEENAGER.

http://www.reviewfuse.com/
WHERE YOU GO WHEN YOU WANT HONEST FEEDBACK ON YOUR WORK (EMPHASIS ON THE WORD “HONEST”–SOME ARE DOWNRIGHT BRUTAL). SOME REVIEWS ARE GOOD, OTHERS NOT SO MUCH. ALSO, NOTE THAT IT IS A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO ORGANIZE YOUR FAVORITE STORIES YOU MAY COME ACROSS. YOU HAVE TO GIVE REVIEWS TO GET REVIEWS– 1:1.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ClaireKatsionCRK
WHERE YOU MAY PUBLISH YOUR OWN E-BOOKS ON EVERY FORMAT AVAILABLE. I ALSO EXIST HERE…HEHE DONATE TO THE ANIMALS TODAY BY PURCHASING MY NOVEL FOR $2.95. 10% GOES TO THE KIDS! (THE ANIMALS ARE MY KIDS)

Is there an “unknown author” society?

Look for “Weekly Ramblings” every week!

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