I am sure that this comes as a surprise to no one, but I’m not famous. I’m not even well known. My life long misanthropic tendencies have probably made it so that fewer people actually know me than, say, the average person in America. In other words, the number of people who are going to hear my name and become interested in whatever it is I’m doing is going to be pretty low.
My grandfather isn’t famous, either — not yet, at least. This was my biggest problem when shopping “Pray” around. Publishers and agents didn’t want to invest in a book by an unknown writer about an unknown person, because that combination equals no sales.
All of this means that I have to build a reputation from the ground up, and the only way to do that is by word of mouth. I need word of mouth and positive reviews in hopes that the audience for “Pray” grows. And so far I feel like I’m moving in that direction. But it’s going to take time…a lot of time.
It’s going to take time for those who have my book to read it, and for those who care enough after having read it to review it. It’s going to take time for people two, three, four degrees of separation away from me to discover the book, and then even more time for the aforementioned reading and reviewing. Getting the book to professional reviewers doesn’t help much, either, as they have piles and piles of books to read.
Perhaps more frustrating is the fact that this throws a wrench in going out and promoting the book, other than doing it online. Book stores agree to have you make an appearance if they think you can bring people into the store, and right now the only people willing to go into a store for me are those who already know me, and I’ve tapped that well dry.
Even if doing appearances was an option, I’d still find myself in the position of trying to sell complete strangers on a book they know nothing about. Granted, I can be pretty personable from time to time, but it’s going to take more than that.
I need that one good review to come in, that one person to discover “Pray” who can spread that message far and wide.
In the meantime, I have to wait, and hope that slow and steady pays off.