Very few like to read. This fact came hard-hitting to me, as I showed my magazine to the tenth person that day. I had been featured on the cover, and the magazine carried my story, and though everyone talked about how good I looked in the picture, only perhaps one person out of the ten I showed the book to, actually took the time to read what was written.
So, it was true. The art of reading was dying out, rather I must say, that in today’s times, the art of reading IS dying out. With alternatives like the television, Internet, you tube, whatnot, why would one read a book. Moreover, given the ocean of choice beckoning out there, I wondered more specifically on why one would read MY book. What was so special about my work? About me? And so I decided that if I wanted my voice to be heard, I had to reach out to that one person who would actually read.
Reach out to that 1%
If you are still reading this post, then I’m glad that I have served my purpose. I have actually reached out to that 1% who read, and read the kind of work I create. And this brings me to statistics. Every book, genre, style have a 1% readership that is truly interested. So there are specific readers for romance, waiting to devour more books; crime, horror et al. And for writers who want their voice and story heard, it is imperative to reach out to them.
Tap the dynamic media
Well, how many of you have read the great epic Mahabharata? My guess would be, very few. And how many of you sat glued with their families to television when the serials played? My guess would be 99%. It is important for us writers to understand the changing shift from the static medium of writing to that dynamic one of electronic. And it is equally important for us to reach out to a readership base through that. No, I’m not saying that you must go and write a script or direct a film (that’s another crowded market), but incorporating dynamic elements into your work or vice versa may actually help. Maybe you could create a promo video for the book? How about getting an interview?
Give your book a yellow shirt
Well literally and figuratively a good selling book is purchased not because it reads well, but because it attracts the reader in a certain way. For example, in a room full of people with blue shirts, a yellow shirt attracts the most visibility. And that is what your book needs too. With publishing becoming easier, many books get published everyday. Therefore, your book has to compete with new books and thousands of old books every month to get noticed. Your chances therefore of being purchased and read are very slim. However, giving your book a yellow shirt, meaning: doing something no one else has done, can actually make it sell.
Today publishing has become extremely easy, so much so that if all else fails, you can actually self publish your book! And though this may seem like a fascinating fact for a newbie writer, it can become the source of concern, once you’re published. You realise that while you’re in the league with writing greats, with your name on the e-reader sandwiched between Steig Larson and Robin Cook, you also have to put up with a long list of writers who’ve made painful errors in the blurb itself. And as a certain hopelessness that ‘No one likes to read’ starts to cloud your mind, remember the silver lining of that one person who does. He/she is out there, and it is only for you to reach out to them.