I have, pinned to my notice board, the following quote “if fifty people buy and read your book you have a market. If only five of those fifty readers read your novel form cover–to-cover and reviewed your book, you have an accomplishment. If only one reader not only reads and enjoys your novel, but understands the message, you are a successful author-artist.”
This is certainly one way of looking at the vexed question of success as a writer. There are of course, others, like the numbers of books you sell, how high up the Amazon rankings you are, how many five star reviews you have, whether your books are for sale in supermarkets and are they being optioned for/made into a Hollywood movie.
At the moment, being in the middle of promoting “Bridge of Lies” the next book in the series of The Adventures of Letty Parker, I veer somewhere between the two views. Of course I need reviews. How else will I sell my books? Or more importantly how will my potential readers know what I have written? So I have approached book bloggers, who have read and will review in time for publication day on May 10th. I am also planning a book signing event at the local library and am spreading the word in every way I can.
This is all part of the business of writing.
But to go back to what is really meaningful, to the reader “who not only reads and enjoys your novel, but understands the message,” they are who I write for and if they take the time to write and say how much they appreciate the book that is the most amazing feeling.
It’s those letters, messages, or emails that stay with me. They validate what I’ve been trying to do as a writer. They make me feel good on a day when the writing is going badly.
So thank you Frances for your letter about “Shadows on the Grass.” It’s pinned up, safe in its envelope, on my notice board to remind what this writing lark is all about.