Why “if you write it, they will come” is not enough

My experience recently:

I’m driving down the road to work and I get behind this Suburban with Boise, Idaho plates – not uncommon, but what strikes me is that there is a website address along with something along the lines of “an epic fantasy in 5 novels.” That’s not a direct quote, but it was similar.

I think to myself, “Cool, I’ll have to look it up.” Later, I look up the website. The domain is parked, meaning there’s nothing but a page that says, “This website is under construction. Get your own domain through us now.” Right off, I know the author is not ready to sell her novels. If you go to the effort of buying a domain and putting that domain on the back of your car, you need to have something up on the page. Something!

I hop on over to Amazon and search for the title. She currently has 3 books out. Okay, now I really know something is wrong. Three books and she hasn’t bothered to put anything on her domain. Maybe thinking that she’s got 5 books to this series might be premature too. I click to hit her author page, hoping there is something. Again, nothing. In fact, I’m not even sure if she’s claimed her Amazon Author Page yet. Does she know about it?

I’m ever the optimist. I’m still hoping that she’s a better author than she is a business person at this point. I download a sample — I never buy a fiction book these days until I’ve downloaded a sample and looked at it. I’ll get to what I found in the sample in the next post.

Let me get to my point here: Writing a novel is not enough. The world is drowning in lots of voices all shouting, “PICK ME!” It’s noise. She stood out because not only did she put her domain name on the back of her car, but she told my WHY I should go there — 5 Epic Fantasy Novels. To my ears, that was a heaven-sent message. I was her target audience. I’m sure most of the people driving down the road that morning weren’t her target audience and probably ignored it. I was that 1 out of 10 that was. I wanted to see her books, right then and there. I remembered it, wrote it down, went looking. But with no website at the domain she told me to go to in the first place, then no author page so I could find out more about her, and to see that she had 3 books out, it left me sorely disappointed.

I wish I could say that I was wondering what her sample would be like. Unfortunately, I already knew before I opened up my Kindle app.