I stumbled upon Fresh Fiction from the recommendation of a friend who loves the site. As I began surfing, I thought to myself, “Wow, we have come so far as authors and readers.” It hasn’t been too long since the only places you could find good books were in the bookstores and in the libraries. That meant that a lot of great books could never be found or read by readers. Why? Simply because of the limited resources needed to make the books available. Can you imagine walking into a bookstore and having to walk through a small sky scraper in order to browse every book available? Neither time nor money exist for something like that. Besides, there is something cozy about visiting a library or bookstore with a cup of coffee or tea in hand to browse through your favorite genre for a couple of hours. Can you imagine having to schedule your two-week vacation to do just that if every book ever written was available to you in a bookstore?
But the internet has broken through the barriers to make that happen. It has become “The Great Equalizer”. As readers, we have access to books that would never have been made available to us in the past. As writers, we now have a platform to reach more people than ever before. Not that every book we write will be seen by every reader, but at least the potential is there. And with sites like Fresh Fiction and others, we have the opportunity to see books, read reviews, and watch trailers to see what piques our literary interest.
Take my book, for example. I have written an action/adventure book, The Samson Effect, that Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.” A major Hollywood producer has acquired the film rights to it. I also have some other big things brimming under the surface that should be announced soon about the book. How did this happen? Not because a million copies sat on bookstore shelves around the country. It happened because of “The Great Equalizer”. Readers surfed the net and found the book. They read it, blogged about it, and reviewed it. They told others about it and soon, the book appeared on countless number of sites and in search engines results.
Sure, The Samson Effect sat on bookstore shelves, but the lion’s share of sales came because of readers who found in on the internet. For that, I am thankful. Thankful for the readers, for sites like Fresh Fiction, and for living in a time when any author can compete for the privilege of having readers all over the world consider their work.
I still enjoy curling up on an oversized sofa in a bookstore with my Sumatran coffee and browsing through books in my local bookstore. But as I look back at the last 12 books I have read, they have all been purchased through the internet. And six of them have the author’s autograph on them. How cool is that? They were signed from authors around the world and I didn’t have to stand in line for even one of them. And you know what? I have found some new favorite authors that I probably never would have found if “The Great Equalizer” hadn’t existed.
So thanks for browsing, thanks for your reviews and your word-of-mouth recommendations, and for the time you have taken to read this blog entry. And if you have a few moments, I would appreciate it if you could make a quick stop to my home page, http://www.samsoneffect.com/ and check out my little corner of the internet. Who knows, you may just find another favorite author in the process.