With my manuscript done, most of the hard work of writing and editing is behind me. However, now begins the potentially even harder work of getting my book into the world. Each year hundreds of thousands of books are published. Most of them languish in obscurity, only selling a handful of copies.
“Exposing 10,000 people who care about the arena of your book gives you a chance that enough of them will actually read it and then recommend it to someone else. That word of mouth will keep the book alive from one year to the next.”1
I’m not going to lie, getting my book into the hands of that many people feels like an impossible mountain to climb. So why bother trying? Because as Salvadoran author Roberto Lovato points out:
I truly believe my book has a chance at changing this, or at the very least making a significant contribution to the conversation.
Growing up with a story like this often left me feeling lost and alone, because my friends and family had a difficult time relating to what I was going through. It took nearly a decade before I met another person from El Salvador that had been forcibly separated from their family.
In recent years, stories like Encanto, Gentefied, and In The Heights have meant so much to me, because they have given a voice to some of the difficult emotions I’ve had to deal with. It is my hope that my book will act in a similar manner for Salvadorans who live with the messy aftermath of our country’s 13-year-long civil war.
That’s where you come in. If my story is going to get any real traction in a crowded marketplace it will be because of your efforts. So I hope you will help me spread the word about my book by acting on least one of the steps below:
1. Sign up for my newsletter
It might seem trivial, but signing up for my email newsletter is one of the easiest and most effective ways that you can support this project. Understandably, it can be challenging for publishers and other potential partners to take financial risks on an unknown author like me. However, having a healthy subscriber base sends a clear signal that there is an audience interested in my story.
If you have any desire to buy my book when it’s available, then I strongly recommend you subscribe to my mailing list.
Emails are sent out on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. One is an original piece of content, for example, my Beyond The Book series, and the other is an author update which focuses on the book’s progress.
2. Share this story with someone
In my 2013 essay Why you should support (and share) your friend’s work I argued that one of the best ways to support your friend’s creative endeavors is to share their work.
When you launch something into the world you can feel incredibly vulnerable and knowing that someone, anyone, cares is comforting. Sharing your friend’s project online not only validates the creator but also their work.
We live in an attention economy where ideas that spread win, and every time you share or comment on a friend’s work, you are letting other people know this is something worth paying attention to. So if you want your friend to succeed, you should support them, and share their work.
Even though I wrote this post almost a decade ago, I think the advice still holds up. Sharing this site on social media, or sending it to someone who might be interested in it, is one of the best actions you can take to help this project succeed.
I realize that the website address is a bit long so I created this handy short link for you to share:
3. Suggest a connection
As I mentioned above, getting my book in front of 10,000 people is going to be a challenging task, one that I’m hoping you will help me with. Do you know anyone, or can you think of anyone, that has an audience who might be interested in covering my story? Perhaps you went to school with someone who works in the media. Perhaps you listen to a podcast that interviews authors.
Use the form below to suggest a connection. Just tell me who you are, who they are, and if you can make an introduction. You can also provide any other ideas, suggestions, or assets that you might have which might help me get the word out.