word of mouth


Don’t tell me how good I am!

StarsIt’s SO hard to write this article without sounding ungrateful, so I want to stress, right from the beginning, that I am extremely grateful for all the support and positive feedback from my readers. It keeps me going and encourages me to write more.

Almost every day I get messages from readers praising my writing, telling me how much they enjoyed reading my work and, usually, urging me to write the next book, reveal the next chapter or let them know how the story will go in future. It’s lovely, and great for my ego, but fundamentally they are telling the wrong person!

Most authors feel like they are shouting into the void. We announce new works and hardly anyone reads them. We ask for feedback and only a tiny (but hugely valuable!) percentage reply. We want to be read but there are SO many other authors expecting the same that we just get lost in the crowd. It’s hard for readers to pick out the works worth reading when the good stuff is buried amongst the stuff that still needs work.

If every compliment that arrived in my inbox was, instead, a recommendation sent to a friend, a review posted on Amazon or a positive comment posted on social media, I would be able to spend a lot less time promoting my work and more time actually writing.

If you want to see more Astronomicon books, if you want to see the next one launched sooner rather than later, then don’t tell me about it – Tell everyone else!


How to Praise a Creative Person

Man shouting into a megaphone

Why isn’t EVERYONE thinking this??

 

Just imagine a situation: You’ve just read a great chapter, a fantastic short story, seen a stunning illustration or heard a great tune. You’re moved to tell the creator how great you think their work is so you leave a comment, a vote, a thumbs up or send them a message.

 

That’s great! You will make their day, improve his or her mood and, hopefully, encourage them to keep creating. But here’s the problem: Who are you encouraging them to create for? You love their work and you want to see more of it. That’s lovely but that doesn’t benefit the person whose work you love so much. You may not be aware of it, but you’re hoping that by making them feel better, they will work for you more. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but that’s a little selfish!

Let’s roll back to the start of this scenario. You experience the creative person’s work and want to give something back. A comment or thumbs up is nice, but does it help that person? Does it improve their situation?  Not really.

So, what can you do? How about instead of telling the creative person how great you think their stuff is, try telling everybody else how great it is! Tell your friends, family and social media followers how great you think it is. Believe me, that is worth a thousand times as much to any author/artist/musician.

Do this and you will be increasing their fanbase, spreading the enjoyment and, just possibly, helping them sell a few books/pictures/tunes. That is a MUCH better way to say thank you and much more likely to encourage them to produce more. The more people you recommend the book/story/tune/picture to, the bigger the thank you!