A few months ago I read something that struck me like a lightning bolt. Duh. Why didn’t I think of it like that before? I mean, it’s totally obvious, but still, the thought had never crossed my mind (for the full post, click on the link).
So what was this something?
Bottom line, dear authors, your book is not their baby.
Now, before I go any further, you must know that I’m not one of those writers that call my books my babies. Nothing against those who do, if you want to then, by all means, do so. It’s your life and your book. I have just decided not to. I have babies. Two of them. Although, I guess they aren’t really babies anymore. But, they are of the humankind. They look exactly like me except they have brown eyes and my husbands’ big feet. They aren’t made of paper. They are flesh and bone. They aren’t full of fake characters or live in a fake world. They are real people.
While yes, I made them all—both kids and books—the line of resemblance end there.
But, back to my point, while us authors love our stories and characters and feel as close to them as we do our own family members, readers don’t have that connection. True, they have some love for them and the travel through their adventure with them. I mean, if readers didn’t connect with characters then books like Harry Potter and Twilight wouldn’t have been as popular as they were. People longed to fly a broom next to Harry, Ron, and Hermione, just as hordes of women of all ages flocked to Team Edward and Team Jacob fan groups.
But no matter how close they feel to the characters or how much they enjoyed the adventure, they still were just along for the ride. Their bond ends with entertainment.
They don’t care about book sales and marketing. They don’t care about sale reports or promotional projections. They don’t care about getting reviews from professional reviewers or whether or not the book is picked by Amazon for an advertisement.
They don’t care if the book sells at all.
Once they have finished it, they are off to find another adventure in another world with another set of characters. Sure, sometimes they come back to read it again, but sometimes they don’t. And for those that don’t, unless the characters seriously changed their personal lives, most of the time they are forgotten.
Not to say that as a mean thing. It’s just a fact of life. Heck, I have moments of my own childhood I’ve forgotten. I’m not going to remember every single detail of every single book I’ve read. Especially when the older I get the more I forget.
Again, back to my point, so the next time you get a bad review or you find someone who doesn’t love your book baby as much as you thought they should, just remember, your book isn’t their baby. It’s just yours. You will always have a love for it that no one else will.