“Have you read my book?” expectation vs. the reader’s goodwill

by Emanuel

2019, Asengana, Writing life
August 17, 2019

​In every social approach (Facebook / Twitter posts, even paid ads) of writers promoting their new published books, there is an unspoken / unwritten expectation: read my book. Furthermore, the promotion is often for a free download or a discounted price.

Let’s assume the book is a page turner. The intrinsic recompense you get is the book itself. Your read and you enjoy it. And it’s free. Is it?
Reading your book competes not only with other books but with all other activities I do in a day. It competes for a precious resource: my time. Even offering me a free book it’s not enough. I know it’s not what you expect to hear. After all, it’s your mind’s baby in which you poured hours of work, your soul on paper.

There are two interdependent reasons for this:

  1. We don’t have a relationship. We don’t have a history together. You haven’t given me anything until now. Dropping a book on me is not enough. If you’re a storyteller, start by writing the story of us becoming friends. Write a blog with articles that interest me. Comment on mine. Interact with me in social media, even once in a while. Because, if you don’t know me, you compete with those people I know or attempted to know me. If I have to choose between a book you just posted in a Writer’s Group and the book of a friend, you know what I’ll choose. That friend was a Giver long before he gave me his book. If I have to choose between your book and that a famous writer, I’ll choose hers because I already gave her my time for another book of hers and it was worth it.
  2. But if you made the smallest effort to interact with me, even if I remember you for a funny comment on a Facebook post, I’ll give you priority and consider you my friend. If this is the case, don’t give the book for free or at a discount. If you don’t give value to your work, I, as your friend, I’ll tell it to your face: I won’t give it too much value also. Therefore, ask me double the price. If I’m your friend, I should not only read your book, but I should support you and show my appreciation by paying more.

If you meet my expectations for being a Giver, or at least for making the effort, I will give back.

Start writing now… or you can spend your time on the couch watching movies based on other people's books.

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