A week or so ago, a friend and author said, “When I started writing, I wanted to support all my friends by buying all their books. Then I did the math, and with all of my creative friends, and all of their projects, there’s just no way I could afford it.” He said it with a begrudging shrug, and everyone in the group agreed. For some reason, though, it stuck in my mind. I’ve been thinking about it off and on ever since.
I just want to say, if any of my friends deal with that same concern, let me help you put that aside. Let’s do the other side of that math. Let’s say I have a hundred friends in the New Media sphere (I haven’t bothered to count). If each of them bought a copy of my book off of Amazon, that would net me roughly $200. And while that is nice, it only pays a third of one month’s grocery bill. It’s nice, but it’s not a huge deal.
Consider, however, if each of those 100 friends used their own skills and contacts to promote the book once. If they left reviews on iTunes and Amazon, tweeted about the book, mentioned it in their podcasts. If they reached, say, 20 people each who were endeared enough to buy a book, then that would net me $4000. That kind of money could pay for six months of our legal bills. It would get us half the price of a used car. It would make a significant difference to the life of my family.
Am I asking you to run out and do my promotion work for me? No. But I am saying that, given the choice between you buying my book to promote me, or you telling people about it, I’d have you keep your money every time.