Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
Curb your enthusiasm.
OK, so you've finished your mangum-opus and you're excited. Or if you're an octopus, perhaps your magnum-octi. Or maybe if you're an octopus with four typewriters, maybe mangnm-octaopi... and don't laugh because Sony recently trained an octopus to take pictures of its visitors, from its tank ... but I digress. (damn, this is good shit I'm smoking today...)
I mean, when I finished Companion, I thought it was really going to rock the world...
... man ... I thought I was the right person, with the right book, at the right time.
Fuck all happened.
While, in Oman (1996) just seven books were published, at the other end of the scale, 440,000 new titles and re-editions were published in China in 2013; and everything in between. In the English speaking world, the heavy hitters were the UK (2013) 304,912 and the UK (2011) with 184,000. Russia was fourth in the list in 2013 with 120,512. Source - um ... ok, it was Wikipedia but there are external references listed - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_published_per_country_per_year
Just to take the UK and the US alone, (give or take a rainforest,) that's 490,000 a year, or almost 1,400 books every day, or about 58 books every hour. Near as damn it ... one book every friggin' minute. THAT is the kind of competition you're up against.
Assuming a person reads one novel a day, then they're next read is one out of something like 1,440 newly minted books. More if they miss a day. Yes, you can likely scratch off some genres, possibly re-editions, etc. but it's still a solid pause for thought.
I have a theory that the reason that people going for recommended reads is so high, is because they are aware of all the statistics games that are being played. The, "Best Selling," author; the revelations about where the New York Times best sellers list gets its numbers from, and more importantly, where it doesn't! The stoking of the fires to hit the stats highs on release day. The companies that offer positive reviews for cash. People are not stupid, they can see this and they're rejecting it.
It is very difficult to get any reviewer to read your book, but I'll tell you what I'm working towards now. I'm working towards producing books that go beyond getting the reviewer to give a five star review on Amazon and to extol the virtues of my writing ... I want that reviewer to be bouncing up and down in their chair, screaming from the rooftops about, "this bloody stunning book I just read!" I want reviewers to be writing stuff like, "Dude! You miss this fucking book, and you missed the wave, man!"
That's a boat I've missed with the first two of the Submissive Heart series. Yeh, book 1 has had solid reviews, and book 2 is slightly slipping as it was a different read ... and book 3 is now only weeks away from being out the door (and I'm scared now, even though I think it's got a stronger story than book 1 ... don't worry, you'd have to know how all this came about in order for my babblings to make much sense.) ... but from now on, I know what I've got to do ... be a better writer than everybody else ... and I've got to do it by one hell of a margin.
So, curb that enthusiasm. Recognise that the book world is broken. Not many people trust statistics, and reviewers are a voice in the wilderness ... and these are your main avenues to get the book in front of people. Be ready for a long haul, and when you do climb that mountain, make sure you're carrying a flag pole that's worth planting on the summit.
And no ... I wasn't kidding about the octopus taking pictures of its visitors - http://www.slashgear.com/sony-trained-an-aquarium-octopus-to-take-pictures-of-visitors-12378553/