Photo by Charles Deluvio, Unsplash.com
If you are reading this post, chances are, you are thinking the following: “My book is too weird to be liked. My target audience doesn’t exist. If I sell any copies at all, I will be really lucky.”. You must stop telling yourself that! It’s discouraging, and the last thing your book needs right now is that its author gets depressed.
First of all, stop saying “nobody”. The word “nobody” is used by people with low self esteem, who tend to overgeneralize and fall in the trap of all-or-nothing (black-and-white) thinking. Be honest with yourself about the number of people who like your book.
Let me tell you more: five people who don’t like your book aren’t “everyone”. There are over 7.4 billion people on this Earth. How does your five people compare to that? They are not even 0,01%!
So really – stop saying “nobody likes my book” and “everyone hates it”. Instead, say: “some people like my book” and “not everyone knows my book yet”. Doesn’t it sound better? Attitude is everything!!!
And here is why you shouldn’t buy into the idea that your books is too weird to be liked:
Do you know the 36th rule of the internet? Let’s me tell you: “No matter what it is, it’s someone’s fetish. No exceptions.”. People like all sorts of things, so why wouldn’t they like your book?
Hardly anything is original. Our ideas stem from other people’s ideas. We create new things using what already exists in our reality. Think about “50 shades of Grey” by E. L. James. It’s a combination of Twilight and bdsm. In Twilight, Edward is portrayed as an overprotective boyfriend who refuses to hurt Bella in any way. To drag them in the bdsm world must have seen crazy to at least a part of E. L. James’ initial readers. She could have sat in the corner and worried that her fanfiction was too weird to be liked. But she didn’t! She probably knew, that if there are people, who like the Twilight and the people who like the bdsm, “50 shades” will be liked. It’s like wondering if someone who likes apples and likes pie will like apple pie. Of course they will! Stop doubting your book! Have faith.
Finding the right readers for your book is like finding true love. It takes time and patience. Sometimes you approach someone who seems to be your style only to be rejected five minutes later. It happens. The most important thing is that you don’t give up and keep looking for your readers. They are somewhere. Keep looking and don’t give up until you find them.
Your book is your baby. Would you tell your son or daughter that nobody will like them because they are too weird? Because they stand out too much? Probably not. So stop telling that to your book! When you tell that to your book you tell that to yourself! You tell yourself that you are too weird to be liked and nobody wants you! Stop!!!
I think you need to hear the story of Tu Youyou. She was the Chinese scientist who discovered artemisin, which is the cure for malaria. She did it in 1972, and her work was published anonymously in 1977. The recognition she deserved arrived as late as in 2015, with Nobel Prize. Before 2011 she was completely unknown to people. Does it mean that her existence was insignificant? No! Since 2000, she had saved over 3 million lives! How is that not significant?!
Some beginnings are easy. Others are hard. The beginning of gathering popularity is one of the most difficult beginnings you can bump into. It is hard for everyone, not just for you. You are valid. Your writing journey is valid. Your book is valid. It deserves to be read. It’s a hidden gem that will be admired once exposed to appropriate light. In the times when nobody believes in you and your story, you are the one who has to do it.