When was the last time you walked into a bookstore? I’m talking about a real brick and mortar, honest to goodness, coffee shop in the corner, “Hi, can I help you?” kind of place. In this new uncertain and ever-changing world of publishing, it’s a good bet your favorite bookstore no longer exists. If it’s still there today, it may well be gone tomorrow. You might not like it but you’d better get used to the idea. The traditional bookshelf is rapidly being replaced by the search field at Google or Amazon. That, in its way, can be a good thing. For a new author–heck, for any author, it’s easier than ever to get his or her work into the marketplace. Here’s the catch. That same marketplace, vastly larger and more accessible, can also be much harder to find. Think about walking the aisles of that bookstore, assuming you could find one. To your left, there are some bargain tables sure to have at least a few things to capture your interest. On your right, you’ll see an end cap overflowing with the latest audio books. And straight ahead, you can’t miss the huge display of new release hard covers. So many choices. Now take a stroll down the aisle at Amazon. Better yet, imagine you’re standing in the middle of the world’s largest warehouse. There are hundreds, even thousands of shelves, all loaded with merchandise. But, it’s completely dark and you have nothing but a penlight at your disposal. The warehouse is that search field. The penlight is the pull-down menu with wide-ranging options such as Baby, Beauty and Books. Where do you start? You can’t very well find what you’re looking for unless you have at least an inkling it’s there to be found. That’s tough enough on the buyer. How is it for the person with something to sell? What is the new author to do?
I am that author and I have something to sell; at least, I plan to in the not too distant future. But for all the world knows, my debut novel, Redemption by Michael Sova, might be on Amazon right now. It could, at this very second, be sitting on the virtual shelves of every Internet bookseller. How would anyone know? That’s the question I’ve been struggling with and, I must say, I don’t much care for the answer. I’m not comfortable with or especially good at tooting my own horn. I prefer self deprecation to self promotion. However, per the advice of nearly every reliable source I consulted, I now have a website, two blogs, a Facebook fan page and you can follow me on Twitter. Yes, Twitter. That’s a word that, not so many months ago, I swore I’d never use. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m in the process of what’s known in the industry as establishing a platform. At this stage of the game, it feels a lot more like making a nuisance of myself. Still, humbly, regretfully, I ask for your help,. Share my website. Share my blogs. Tell your friends I’ve written a book. In exchange, I promise in future to blog about more interesting topics. I also promise I’ll stop begging… as often.