Bookstores on the decline.
As writers/authors, getting our books into a bookstore was/is a big deal. Those who had the good fortune to be published by a mainline publisher with distribution to bookstores was an achievement. not available to self-publishers or by POD publishers. Having a book on the shelf of a store gave exposure to the book with the added value of “impulse buying”, often triggered by an exciting cover.
There are reasons why people write. A few write with the anticipation of making money - a goal seldom achieved by an unknown author. Some write for the simple pleasure of writing while others may write to inform. Memoirs can be exciting as well as informative, relating personal experiences.
Historical fiction writers can allow their imagination to add spice to historical events.
In any scenario, getting noticed is a prerequisite for book sales. The book cover is an important element in attraction for prospective customers shopping at a bookstore. For those who utilize the Internet for sales, self-promotion is critical. This type of promotion has a downside that has taken a turn for the worse. One has only to reflect on a person like Trump who tries to flatter himself in all that he does. Patting oneself on the back is repugnant and a huge turnoff. What others say about you and your work has value as with a good review.
How can one gain recognition without self-adulation/promotion? It seems to me that teamwork, among authors in the same or similar situation, can be valuable. There are books that have appealed to me as with books written by Don Stephens, now deceased. A single book written by Ron Kruger, “A Higher Good” is a book that I have recommended to many. Ron Kruger is also deceased. I don’t know where a copy of his book can be found and treasure the one copy that I have.
My suggestion about teamwork is relevant to those who self-published or were published by a POD publisher. Third-party promotion has merit. The best scenario is an honest appraisal of the author and his or her work. Promotion for sake of promotion without sincerity won’t work, IMV. If one has not read the book being promoted, it is not only a waste of time, but fraudulent as well.
I value this forum as a place to share ideas and even to vent. Getting feedback is important whether it be critical or congratulatory. Getting an honest appraisal is rare these days. Being politically correct has caused many to avoid making comments on sensitive issues. How one truly feels is shared among friends, however even that is becoming rare. Trust is something that is earned. The expression “fake news” was unheard of before Trump. What he doesn’t want to hear he labels as “fake”. Critical thinking and evaluation is more important than ever before. The search for truth continues even with biblical history. Archeology has revealed much. We continue to learn about our past, our ancestry and even our place in the universe. We learn more about “cause and effect” and the role it plays in our environment. A recent book by the late Stephen Hawkins “A Brief History of Time” is revealing.