"It is unfair to struggling authors to lend books. If you have enjoyed a book, hide your copy, tell your friends about it, and direct them to the nearest reputable bookseller."The quote is from a writer, Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery (Retired). His collections of "Sea Stories" in the late 60's, were memoirs of his time in the military. He changed the names of the characters to protect the guilty. Thanks to Brad Mitchell for that quote. And while Rear Admiral Gallery was talking about writers, it can be said the same for all artist, because, in a sense, we're all struggling.
Now, what does this mean to you, oh supporter of artist, struggling or otherwise? I'm going out on a limb that you support the arts in some way, especially the artist of this particular blog, mostly because you're reading it right now. True, we get some random hits from people doing Google and Yahoo searches for random stuff, but they are rare. For the most part, my readership logs in to read me pontificate ad nausium because, for whatever reason, we are familiar in some way. So again, what does this quote mean to you.
Buy my books on Kindle. Give up a soda for two days, or your coffee from Starbucks. Klick on the "Like" button. Do a review, give me however many stars you think I deserve. Any attention you give my work on Amazon will help create a little more traffic there. On the same note. Come and see my shows at Renaissance Faires, if you're attending a Faire where I'm scheduled to perform. Not necessarily every show; I know oeople are busy, but it helps generate an audience, and I cycle around my material, so I can make sure to do something newer if I see more familiar faces. These things help.
Do the same kinds of things for other artists you know. Support them in little ways and big ways. Without an audience, artist are merely hobbyist. I firmly believe that. If art is not being observed and appreciated, by someone other than its creator, then well, never mind, i don't want to open that can of worms just yet.
Second (and probably more importantly):
Tell people about the artist you are trying to support, without giving them anything the artist has produced for free, unless the artist himself or herself had provided it for free. (Steve and I have done just this for National Short Story Month. You can find free stories we've written elsewhere on this blog.)
Right after the publication of "Knight of the Living Dead," I had one of my well meaning fans talking about loaning his or her Kindle to people so they could read the story. This fan meant well. This fan wanted to spread the word. I appreciate that. However, to help all of us poor struggling artists out, if we're not giving out freebies, you shouldn't either. Talk us up until you are blue in the face. Tell people where and how to find us! We will love you for it.
Here is the bottom line:
We, the hopeful, struggling artists of the world need you, our first and most often strongest fans, to help us. We may understand how to promote our work, but we only have as much time in the day as any other single person on the planet, and we need as much of that time as we can get to work on future projects. If you really want to see us succeed and be able to put out more of the work you love, please help us. The slang term "fan" comes from fanatic. We need you to be fanatical for us. Pimp us out to everyone you know. Email links to your entire contacts list. Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter about us. If you see someone reading a book that is even vaguely similar to your favorite up-and-coming writer, or the cover look like something another artist you like, ask the person if they've read so-and-so, and sell them on why random person in line should check out favorite writer/artist you love.
We, the artist, cannot make it in the world without you, the fan, talking about us, creating buzz. In this day, in this age, where everything moves at the speed of light, the artist does not succeed or fail on the merits of his or her work. We succeed and fail on the loyalty and voice of our fans. Please, stand up and make yourselves heard.
Please, if you are an artist and have someplace online where you sell your work, add a link to it in the comments line. I will be linking to this particular post everywhere I can. I ask if you are a fan of my work, to email it, link it, post it everywhere, and if you know of another artist with work for sale online, post a link in a comment as well.
Let's make some noise!
Knight of the Living Dead (3 Strange Knights)
The Dragon Bone Flute