“There is only one thing in the world
worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about.”
– Oscar Wilde (from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
This remark was written to amuse. But it’s not wrong. Anyone with a business knows it’s good to be talked about.
For an author, it’s essential to be talked about.
Why I chose this quote
It won’t come as any surprise to you that many authors are introverts. We shut ourselves in our writing dens. And try not to think about the book we are writing eventually being seen by other people. Right up until the moment we have to actually make that book available to purchase. And then we battle anxiety because somebody somewhere is going to hate it. And they will probably tell everyone. While the people who love the book may not tell anyone at all.
The biggest struggle for most authors, and certainly for indie authors, is visibility. All that hard work could be for nothing. Because unless the author does something about it, no-one will even know the book exists.
Writing a book is just one step of the long journey to becoming a successful author. Visibility is an ongoing quest.
With the internet, there is an enormity of information available. To everyone, all the time. This makes it tricky to reach particular people. Authors need to reach readers. More specifically, the kind of readers who like the kind of books they write. This is what I mean by visibility.
Most of the time, not disappearing completely in the constant flow of content is the best we can hope for.
What this quote means to me
This quote makes me smile. But it’s also a reminder that it could take many more years to reach the level of visibility I need. Because I hope to make a successful business from writing books. Every review of one of my books, every mention on social media, every recommendation given to a friend, takes me a step closer to that goal.
But first I have to find my readers. So posting about my books on social media, advertising, and asking for reader reviews, are all part of my role as an author. Much as I wish I could just write all day. For me, there is no point in writing unless someone is going to read my work.
I must believe in my abilities so I can convince others of them. This isn’t something that comes naturally. It’s outside my comfort zone. So what this quote really means to me – is that I must be brave.
What does this quote mean to you?
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