Yesterday another author friend and I were discussing the sales of our books. She is on her fifth I on my first. She wanted to know how many of the 130 sold, came from family and friends. I had to think for a moment and do a finger count to give her an answer. Before I did I said, “Why are you asking?”
She said , “I don’t know if my family and friends don’t like my books or if they feel I might do a sales pitch on them if they ask how I am doing. In two years I have only sold 60.” She sighed before saying, “It would be so nice if they would just tell me how proud they are of me. I really don’t care if they buy or not but the support means so much.” She continued with, “I have a really large family and only a few have supported me or my sales and ego would be huge. So does my husband have a large family. I don’t know if they expect me to give them books for free but I can’t afford to do that. I have no problem with a discount though.” Almost tearing up she continued, “But just to avoid the subject hurts. I would like to scream at them – just tell me you are proud of me- that’s all I ask.”
I thought about it for a moment and realized she was right. There are those family members and friends that don’t even mention our work. I wish there was a way to let them know none of them are expected to buy my books or even like them but a pat on the back for my accomplishments would mean so much. I however reminded her that those of my family and friends who do support me by buying my books or who show their excitement for me, make up for those who do not. Some are so proud they shout it from the rooftops.
I don’t think any of us write books just to sell to family or friends or we would find ourselves with a ton of left over books. Like my friend said, “Just be proud of us and tell us. That is all we ask.” She sounded so sad as she talked about it.