The Journal: Readership and How to Get One

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Today, again
* “What it is”
* Readership and How to Get One
* Of Interest

Quotes of the Day

“Actually, practically nothing is going on.” Kurt Vonnegut

“Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.” John le Carre

“Film adaptations of books gross 44% more at the U.K. box office and a full 53% more worldwide than films from original screenplays.” Adam Rowe in Forbes magazine

“Writing is exactly like having a rare disease.” Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

Today I’m just chatting. Again, the Journal is all about the items in “Of Interest.” Well, that and the quotes of the day. Are those good, or what?

The first three quotes are linked to items in “Of Interest.” In the fourth quote, Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt is alluding to the importance and rarity of having writer friends. I pulled her comment from her response to “The Benefits of Writer Friends”.

And although Alicia doesn’t say so specifically, I believe she’s talking about people who know what it is to actually BE a writer. That versus those who think about it and talk about it and imagine it’s some magical angelic calling but never are quite able to take the plunge and hence, never know the joy. Of course, I could easily be wrong.

“What it is”—I love the power of that phrase. It’s almost as powerful as “I am.” And I almost took off on its various connotations and uses, but I was able to restrain myself. Well, sort of, as you will see. Still, it’s odd (and really cool) how some small groupings of words can contain such varied and powerful meanings.

As I used the phrase inadvertently above, my own weird writer mind went to the connotation it carried when it was used in the book (and film) I Heard You Paint Houses, which is the story of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (a notorious Mafia hitman) and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

In that context, an example might be, “Hey, you need’a convince Jimmy what it is,” meaning if Jimmy doesn’t straighten up and fly right he’ll soon have an encounter he won’t survive.

Anyway, the point is, the phrase can mean things that are bathed in light or in darkness, but they’re always meaningful, important, “big” things. And it’s important for writers, if you are able, to be in touch with others who Know What It Is.

Readership and How to Get One

This isn’t really a topic. More of a musing.

Re the last item in “Of Interest,” I have a fairly large readership, one that (according to royalties I receive) continues to grow. If the current trend is any indication, my readership will continue to grow long after I’ve gone off-planet.

But how to get or increase a readership? A few times a year, I consider (briefly and not at all seriously), designing and engaging in a marketing push. You won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve never actually tried it.

I’m no longer on social media (and don’t care to be), and I’m not big on coercing people into buying things, even my own works. I’m more of a “Here it is if you want it” kind of a guy.

Plus, to me, marketing is boring, and doing it well requires a set of skills that I don’t have and that I don’t care enough to attain. From what I’ve seen in some other writers, marketing well also means setting aside the writing for a day or a week or a month or, in some cases, a year or longer, and to me that’s just silly.

So for the record, if I have anything to offer you on “Readership and How to Get One,” it’s just this: the best marketing a writer can do is to write the next book. Hey, it worked for me.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “100 Facts About Earth” at

See “Are You Prepared?” at

See “Artists use frauds” at

See “Demand for TV rights ‘never been higher'” at And see PG’s take and CE Petit’s comment.

See “Book Sales Up, Readership Down” at But also see PG’s take.

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.