Last night about 11:15 p.m., I happened to go to my Red Room home page and saw that I’d reached a landmark 50,000 views. Even though that’s in just more than a year and a half, that’s pleasing. First to you, dear reader, thank you for coming here. Second, I’m still trying to wrap my head around what authors are supposed to do these days. Clearly, having a Red Room page is a good thing.
The reason I’m here and not on blogging on my own separate site, by the way, is that I love the interface here. My books, my video links, my long list of reviews, and so much more fit into an eye-appealing design. I like the dashboard to see the effect of when I blog or add things--readership goes up. Someone like Jessica Barksdale Inclan, who blogs everyday and manages to write in such an emotionally transparent and insightful way, remains the vanguard on how to do this best. I know about her sons, her divorce and engagement, buying a new house, and more. She reminds me often of what it means to be human, struggle, and feel. She’s the one to tell me about Red Room.
I also like the traffic that Red Room brings. I doubt I’d have 50,000 views elsewhere in the same amount of time. When something I write ends up as an editor’s choice, that’s pleasing. So is working with Huntington and Jennifer and finally meeting the brilliant CEO of this all, Ivory Madison.
I’m seeing that 50,000 views has not brought an avalanche of book buyers--not that I expected that. Over the last few years, I’ve sensed that independent and self-publishers--heck, even authors with small and big publishers--hope and yearn that just a little work will bring riches. Having your book on Amazon, getting a few reviews, and blogging every now bring a false sense that you’ll land on Oprah and in a house on a hill. The reality is that there is an incredible amount of work to do as a writer, and few are rich.
I’m in a writers group right now where someone mentioned he sees a gap between what he writes and what gets published and revered, such as Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs. I happen to be reworking the structure of two of my novels because structure is critically important. Every scene counts. A lot of exposition bores. There’s so much to do to write an interesting novel that to do other stuff, such as market a book, makes it seem nearly impossible. We’re all climbing Mt. Everest, and most writers seem to crash to the side breathing with difficulty long before the top.
Anyway, I’m heartened by fifty thousand viewings, and I treasure your presence. You give me oxygen.
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