THE LONG CON
There is nothing more frustrating to a writer than a lack of readership. Nothing. Not any kind of creative block. Not lack of time. None of that matters, when there ain't nobody to read your work in the first place.
That's a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in.
They toil away, hacking at the keys, for days, months, years. And when all is said and done, and their work is complete, all they ever want is for someone to read the bloody thing.
Someone. Anyone. Please.
They don't care if you like it, though hopefully you do. They don't care if you find mistakes, though hopefully you won't. Just. Read it. Most of the time they are screaming into the void. An endless, well-wishing one, but a void never the less.
I suspect many an author knows which well-wishing void I'm referring to. So I'll just wink at them and carry on.
Most of us don't write for the money. How could we? Unless you're a top-seller, chances are that proposition would be dicey at best. Check your expectations at the door, mon frere. Get a job, you bum. Etc.
So what do we write for? Well it's a creative outlet. It's stress relief. It's a chance to build a world. To belong. Blah blah blah.
It's a long con. Especially if you're writing a book. Because, here we are, a year or so later, and you're begging people to read your book. You're giving out free copies. You're making ebook versions available for eReaders that haven't even been invented yet!
Some famous person once said that you should forget about getting your friends to read your book. They won't do it. They just don't care enough about it. Not entirely true, though there is a nugget of truth, certainly, buried deep inside of that pessimistic point of view.
So what do we, as writers, need to do to find readership? What can we do? I say that it's a long con because waiting for feedback on a book is an excruciatingly long process. And it is a process you're not allowed to sit idly through. You have to be doing stuff. Important stuff. Like finding more readership. Like finding people that are not just willing to read your book, but also review it in all the obvious places, like Goodreads, Amazon and Booklikes. And it takes forever. And you pray that they like it enough to give you at least 3 stars.
And it cons you, because after all of that, holy shit, you may not find anyone who wants to read your stupid words anyway.
So why keep doing it? Because someone will read it. Eventually. And someone will like it. Probably. And that's a nice feeling. It is ever so nice. Like scoring. You know... in sports? And other things.
So the writer will keep going. Despite earning next to nothing with their free eBook offers. Despite not having anyone to read their works, initially. Despite giving away free copies, in book giveaways, to people who just couldn't possibly care less about your story, and will never read it (seriously, why are you entering the giveaway if you won't read the book). And, of course, despite the millions, upon millions of awful Young Adult and Romance novels that saturate the market, and compete for your readers' attention.
Despite all of that, the writer will keep going. Because above any potential praise. Above any rising sales figures. Above any of that, writing is fun, god dammit.