Wishful Thinking: Readers

There’s nothing wrong with wishful thinking, so long as you don’t rely on it. Sometimes the object of our wishful thinking is not a bad idea in and of itself, but is not practical to initiate or expect at any given time.

I engage in wishful thinking, and so do you, whether you admit to it or not. In this case, I have some wishful thinking about readers.

Mainly, I think it would be nice if more readers dug more deeply into possibilities when looking for something new to read. Beyond genre, and even beyond subgenre. If more of them were at least a few times ultra picky, ultra specific in what they were looking for, I think more unknowns, such as myself would get discovered.

There are millions of self-published books, and any given author is going to  get lost in the crowd if they don’t have a lot of luck and some promotion savvy. My book will no more magically appear in front of the eyes of a reader who might like it than will a pot of gold. I get that, and I am doing my damnedest to figure all that out so more people will buy my books. (With limited success so far.) But that is in the non-wishful think world. In wishful thinking, people wouldn’t settle just for what is easily right in front of them when they search two or three keywords, or scroll through one genre, or one best seller list. They’d decide they wanted to take a chance on any book that contains their mega-specific set of interests, and seek out same by conducting a search that takes more than a few minutes. By doing so, they may discover they are a niche that an unknown author is writing for already.

I have done this as a reader. Searching for, “Papal, Vatican, suspense, mystery, political” I have found more than one book, and in one case, have read more by the author of same because I liked what I read so much. Books that combine those subjects and tones and genre aren’t exactly flooding the market. But because I decided to put in the extra effort to seek out books by authors (traditional or self-published) that contained so many of my particular tastes, I found someone I might not have otherwise found.

It is the authors who conceive the books, write the books, edit the books, or find the agents, make the revisions, do the promotions, engage in the marketing, make the connections. Use keywords, write synopsis, go to conventions and conferences and so on, all in an effort to stand out at the right time in the right place among the endless books out there. We do it, albeit reluctantly at times, because what choice do we have? All so one day someone, or thousands of someones will notice the book and choose to read it.

The reader is the one who hears of the books, gets it and reads it.

I’m not angry about it, but every once in a while, if the majority of readers put in as much effort as some do in finding something unique to read, we may just have more of both happy readers and happy authors.

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