July 2, 2013: I am 42 years old. For the record, that means that for an entire year I get to be the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. I’m looking forward to that. When I turn 43 it means I will have moved beyond the question which is also kind of cool, but for now I’m going to revel in my Douglas Adams-inspired cosmic awesomeness.
This year I actually have something of a birthday request to you, my readers. It doesn’t involve spending money (though if you’re inclined to go out and buy my books, hey, that’d be awesome) but—if you’re so inclined—it does involve spending a little time. In short: if you’ve read either Pay Me, Bug! or Curveball, and if you’ve enjoyed reading them, would you consider posting a review somewhere?
Self Publishing has come a long way in the last five years, but discovery—the process of getting your work noticed by readers and increasing your readership—is still a huge problem. The truth of the matter is that when you self-publish a book it becomes a database entry on a site full of thousands upon thousands of database entries, and it stays that way unless people are interested enough in it to give it a try. This makes some self-publishers go crazy, using every avenue at their disposal to generate interest (and sales). Unfortunately for them, it usually creates fatigue rather than interest. The worst thing to happen to any artist is for your audience to become tired of you before they even get curious enough to check you out.
That said, discovery is still a problem. And so far the best way to overcome that problem is for an author’s readers to talk about a book instead of the author doing it. Which brings me to my request:
If you read Pay Me, Bug! and enjoyed it—or if you are currently reading Curveball and are enjoying that—would you consider reviewing them on one of the sites where the eBooks are sold?
It might seem trivial, but reviews help sell books, and selling books increases discovery. In my case, since I post my works here in serial form first, people who aren’t interested in buying a book might still be interested in stopping by here to read.
Obviously not everyone is going to be interested in doing this. Some of you come here for the comics and don’t care about my fiction—fair enough! Some of you might enjoy the fiction but not enough to endorse it to other people—and hey, that’s cool too. But if you read my fiction and think it’s good enough to be judged at the same level as the stuff you can buy at Barnes & Noble or... whatever other book stores still exist in the world today, I’d really appreciate it if you told other people that.
Where to post reviews
If you are someone willing to consider writing a review, I’ve included a few links below that you can use:
My Books on Kobo.com (There are actually a number of books on this list that aren’t mine.)
My Books on iTunes (I have no idea how to review anything on iTunes. I suspect you actually have to be logged into iTunes to do it. So I’m not sure if this link will be helpful to anyone, at all. But I include it anyway.)
Finally, if you're more interested in leaving a review specifically about my web serials, for other readers of web serials, consider posting a review on Web Fiction Guide:
Thank you for your support
Whether you post a review or not, thank you for your support—thank you for following my comics for as long as you have, through good times and bad (especially during those long, dry spells when I can’t seem to post anything at all). Those of you who do read my fiction, thank you for your interest. When I was 26 and just starting to post Help Desk, I never would have suspected I’d still be doing it at the age of 42, nor did I think I’d be posting fiction as well. The fact that I am doing this, after all these years, shows that for all it’s horror-inducing strangeness the Internet is awesome.