Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My books are not pieces of my soul

I've been seeing variations of pictures like this floating all over the internet lately.






I'm going to respectfully disagree.

Here's the deal. I do put in hours of work and edits, rewrites and more rewrites. Every book comes with moments of exhilaration and times when I want to throw my laptop at the wall. Each and every book I write is carefully crafted and I put a lot of energy into making sure I give my readers the absolute best that I am capable of giving them.

But that isn't what readers are buying. It makes no difference to a reader if my book flew out of my head in a perfect state on the first try or if they are reading the 36th version. As a reader, I can appreciate the amount of work that went into a book. But that's not what I'm buying. I'm buying a book. It's a book.

So many authors try to turn their books into life-changing, magical unicorns. They buy into the idea that their book is imbued with phoenix tears and dragon blood. And that can set them up for a huge letdown. Because most of your readers are not going to set your book upon the pedestal it rests on in your day dreams.

Seeing your book as a shiny precious can make you do silly things. Like overpricing, turning down marketing and exposure opportunities that are "below" your books status, and not valuing the precious interactions from readers that don't bestow the appropriate level of appreciation on your book. It can make you see your book as more than what it is. It's a book.

Books can be amazing pieces of literature than can change lives, inspire a generation or even bring awareness to those who hide in the shadows. It can do all of those things. But your book doesn't have those powers on its own. It takes amazing readers to accomplish it.

My books aren't tiny pieces of my soul. They don't hold fragments of my heart. If they did, they would certainly be worth more than $2.99.

No, my books are important to me and I hope like heck that my readers love them as much as I do. I love thinking that my books are making a positive impact on readers. But if they do, it's not because they are tiny horcruxes. It will be because readers have taken those words into their hearts and made my books pieces of their own souls.

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