#IWSG Where are our precious readers?
This post was written in response to The Insecure Writers Support Group, which posts on the first Wednesday of every month.
In 2013, when I started writing my first novel, my greatest insecurity was that I didn’t know if I would be able to complete it successfully. Could I actually write a novel? Could I publish it independently?
I finished writing my first draft in November 2013, but it wasn’t published until 1st May 2014. In those five months, it was read by beta readers, friends and family, revised and re-edited by me, formatted, and finally edited and proof read by two professional editors, until I was finally satisfied that it was good enough to be published on kindle.
Now, in January 2016, 20 months after All Hallows at Eyre Hall was first published, it’s also available in paperback, and I have 41 reviews on amazon US and 13 on amazon UK, 54 in all, of which only 3 are 1 or 2 star. It’s been in the top 100 bestsellers for Victorian, Historical, Romance, Mystery and Thriller on various occasions. It may not be the best book on the market, but I’m satisfied that I have written a good book. I’ve also written a second book, which was published in August 2015 and is gradually doing well, too, and I’m currently writing book three of The Eyre Hall Trilogy. I have a number of fans and followers. I sell a moderate number of books a month, and lots of pages are being read every day on Kindle Unlimited.
Luccia Gray is a moderately successful, published author, there’s no doubt about it.
Now I have another discouraging insecurity, and I can’t do much about it. Namely, how can I convince people to read my book?
Let’s face it. The book market is saturated. There are too many good books published compared to the limited demand. There just aren’t enough people to read all the books available.
According to a survey carried out in 2013 by the Huffington Post in 2013, 25% of people read between one and five books a year, 15% read between six and ten books, 20% read between 11 and 50, and only 8% read more than 50 books a year, and the rest, 28% didn’t read a single book all year!
Another study carried out by the The Pew Research Center, states that the average American adult read or listened to 12 books in 2013, which, according to their statistics, means that half of adults read no more than 5 books a year. This trend is similar to previous years.
Getting your book noticed and persuading readers, who read between 5-12 books a year, to read your book out of the literally millions of books available is a daunting task. I’m overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge.
My own TBR list is ridiculously long. I read over 50 books a year, but it’s still not enough to read all the books I’d like to read and deserve to be read.
So, what can independent authors do to reach these precious readers?
This is what we all do to a greater or lesser degree:
1- Be active on social media regularly.
2- Advertise our books on specialized book advertising sites, such as Books Sends, Ereader News Today, Book Gorilla, etc… or on Amazon, or Goodreads, the list is endless.
3- Give away books, take part in blog tours, NetGalley, Story Cartel, etc. to try to get more reviews.
4- Keep writing more books and promoting.
Why do I have the feeling it will never be enough?
I’m a drop in the ocean, floating with lots of other identical drops.
For now, I’ll get down to finishing book three, Midsummer at Eyre Hall, which is due in April, 2016, and cross my fingers for books one and two.
Does anybody else feel like this? What can we do about it?