Nothing is more dismaying that looking at the liquidation lists for books. I order for the store about 3 or 4 times a year.
It's not just that there are so many, but that so many of them look interesting. They're legit -- nice covers, intriguing subjects, often well-known authors. And they're being discarded.
Most I've not heard of, though I try to keep track of the book world.
So what chance do I, an unknown author without any promotional skills, without influential contacts, writing quirky stories, have of being discovered by anyone except by accident?
The most success I've had trying to get people to read my books is to ask them person to person. I've done this twice. The first time with "Led to the Slaughter" because it was my first book. The second time with "Tuskers," because it was my first book with a new publisher.
Not coincidentally, these are by far my most successful books, saleswise. If you can get a good start with sales and reviews, that momentum can carry you.
I won't be doing it again because it is obnoxious, verging as spam. People who joined my Ironic Fan Club are contacted, because they have showed an interest, but I'm not trying to bug everyone again. People will forgive me the first time because of the excitement I have, and they might forgive me the second time, because again, I'm excited to have a new publisher and a new series.
But everytime? Especially since I write so many books?
A public plea to buy my new book without the personal one to one contact has very little effect. It floats by like advertising. People may have a momentary urge, but it passes.
So I depend on people who have enjoyed other books by me, and by newcomers who stumble across me.
That's the way it is. I'm going to keep writing the best books I can and have faith that it will be enough, even when all the evidence says otherwise.
5 days ago