Better to be talked about than forgotten is something I say a fair amount. Usually it is in jest, but last night I came to realize that it really is a key to any success I may or may not have.
In this case, it is that talk about my books. I ran into a fellow writer last night who told me again that I was robbed for the Prix Aurora last year. In his opinion Mik Murdoch: Boy Superhero was the best book in the category and should have won.
Granted, that is only one person’s opinion but it was the opinion of someone who I respect. He isn’t one for idle praise and is an accomplished writer in his own right.
So, why didn’t the book win? Well, since the Prix Aurora is voted on by fans, it didn’t win because it wasn’t known well-enough. Or perhaps I should say, I was an unknown and, when push comes to shove, people vote a name they know.
Sour grapes? Hardly. I’m honored that Mik made the shortlist. It tells me I am on the right track.
But how do I stay on track? How do I make the newest book in the series do better than its predecessor?
Truthfully, I can’t. Only the people who read my books and enjoy them can do that. Word of mouth for a small press published author is absolutely critical. Positive reviews, picking up copies of the book for friends who you think will enjoy it are equally important.
In other words, the message that the book is worth reading must come from the readers. I cannot, through sheer force of will, coerce people to pick up the book wherever they might find it (btw, it can be ordered from the publisher or any online bookseller. Just saying.)
So how can you help?
Well, buying the book would obviously be a good start, I suppose. But even more important than that is, if you like Mik Murdoch (either Boy Superhero or The Power Within) tell someone. Tell parents of kids who want good books for their children. Tell other adults who might enjoy the story. Write reviews. Tell teachers.
The key here is spread the word.
And, if you want to get an early start spreading the word, drop me an email (author at michellplested dot com). I will get you a reviewer copy. The more reviews and pre-orders that are up prior to August 1st, the better.
And please let me know what you are doing. I just might have a little something I can share with you.