Reviews are the best!


    Most writers are not sales-experts or accountants. We don't thrill to convince someone to buy our stuff just to make a sale; we want to share the hard work of our minds with people who will enjoy it. The characters that dance in our heads deserve to live in as many minds as possible. A balanced sales spreadsheet does not make us smile; knowing that our stories made people smile gives us far more pleasure.

    Yes, money is nice, but let's face it: 90% of writers in America never make a profit from their writing. When you narrow the scope to exclude technical writers, non-fiction writers, advertisers, editors, etc., then that percentage becomes 99%. Add in poets, and that percentage becomes a decimal point with a lot of zeros behind it.

    If you are reading this: Congratulations! You are one of the few who read for fun! Most readers are highly intelligent, and as you can see from America's popular media and politics, intelligence has become a rare commodity.

    Books don't have the mark-up of almost any other product. Writers are like the farmer who goes into a grocery store and sees 50 cents worth of his corn go into every box of brand-name Corn Flakes, which he can't afford to buy. A pair of sneakers made in China and brought to America (at a cost of $5.00) sells on average for $50.00 - most books printed in America cost more than sneakers made in China, but books earn only a fraction of their cost. Add taxes and shipping charges and the sellers of books are lucky to break even ... and often don't.

    So why do writers write?

    Yes, there's that "J.K. Rowling" brass ring, but the odds of winning $$$$ in the lottery are many times better than the odds of repeating her success.

    Writers write for the same reason that everyone does anything - we just do. Nurses care for their patients - if you don't have the calling then you probably won't tolerate the low pay or lousy working conditions. I couldn't even consider a calling like the priesthood. When an honest person finds money and turns it into the police, often they can't explain why they are so honest - they just are.

    Writers are those who actually write ... and the best are those who are driven to write. It doesn't matter what you write, just that you put thoughts into words that can be shared with others.

    That last bit, "shared with others", is what it's really about. Writing in secret is like sculpting a 'masterpiece' in your basement and letting no one see it - NEWS FLASH: it's not a 'masterpiece'. 'Masterpiece' is a title that others give your art - the artist is too close to judge their art without bias. The purpose of art is enrich the world; to do that, your art must be shared.

    Most people walk past art on a wall with only a casual glance. A painter who sits in a museum dies in frustration as most people barely pause before their art as they walk past. But there is that one, rare, occasional person who stops and appreciates the work of the artist, who takes the time to enjoy it; that is the artist's chief reward.

    Books take a very long time to write, and the act of writing is insignificant to the total hours of researching, plotting, and planning. Every sale is more gratifying for the sharing of the artist's efforts than the profit, but the greatest reward a writer can get is to read a review of their own work; after hundreds or thousands of hours of work, devising, typing, and editing, the fact that someone took 20 minutes to write a few sentences of how our art made them feel thrills us.

    After all, reviews are the only real feedback artists get. Without reviews, artists don't get better.

    Help an artist. Write a review.

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