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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I recently sent out an email announcing the release of my 2nd book. I couldn't help but notice a pattern of sorts. I admit maybe it only appeared to be a pattern because I was looking for it.

Anyway, I've been really surprised at the response to my books. People who are on my email list as what I would call casual acquaintances or internet buddies have been overwhelmingly supportive. Not necessarily in sales, but just by hitting "reply" to the email and saying congratulations on publishing.

However, some people who I thought would have been the very first to respond, people I've been friends with for many years, have made no response at all. I didn't expect every friend to rush out and buy, but when friends respond to your good news of being published with even a simple email with no words but a smiley face on it, you feel so encouraged like they're in your corner and pulling for you to succeed.

I figured the first email about the first book might not have reached them, but I couldn't help but notice this same pattern with the release of the 2nd book. Now these are not long lost friends whom I only contact when I release a book, but these are friends I know and interact with almost daily through email and FB since we all have spread out and now live in different states. We are in constant contact about everything else, but no mention has ever been made about my books.

What do you make of this? Have other writers experienced this odd lack of (good or bad) reaction from friends? Just interested to hear your experiences if you don't mind sharing. Thanks.

*****Also I have two Kindle books and have been considering ordering some print copies to sell also. $39.95 is really not much at all, but my budget is so tight after having recently started working again that I haven't been able to try it as of yet.

Well I just received an email yesterday from CreateSpace with a limited time offer to try their services and get a free proof copy of your book, plus free shipping. They must be using an email list from people who have published books for Amazon Kindle.

This is a great opportunity for those of us who've been wanting to try CreateSpace. The only thing we'll have to pay for is the copies of our books we order and I believe that's determined by the size of the book.  From what I understand you don't have to receive an email.  Just go to their website and on the left side you'll click on summer special - free initial proof.


Just wanted to pass the the information along. Happy writing and have a great weekend.


 

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My #1 sales tip: Don't expect your friends and family to buy what you've written.

I've had more strangers show up to my vendor table at a convention where you had to pay to get in than at my house for a book launch party among friends and family.

ETA: And I say that without any malice whatsoever. It was a surprise to me, since so many marketing books say to let your friends and family know and these folks will buy your books. That wasn't my case at all. In fact, they don't even follow my blog, know the titles of my published works, or (in some cases) know I've published until they saw me in the newspaper. **even though these are the same people who were shocked when I quit my job to write full time!**

 

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Krista D. Ball said:
My #1 sales tip: Don't expect your friends and family to buy what you've written.

I've had more strangers show up to my vendor table at a convention where you had to pay to get in than at my house for a book launch party among friends and family.
Almost none of my IRL friends have read my books. My mother read a couple, but only after I published them. Before that, she expressed no interest. My brother read two. A friend told me she'd just bought Trial by Fury and The Red Rooster after already having read Implant, The Righteous, Mighty and Strong, The Wicked, and The Devil's Deep. I was surprised and pleased, but so far as I know, nobody else has bought any copies.
 

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Some people might be feeling a bit uncomfortable with talking to you about your book. They might feel bad that they haven't bought the book, so they don't mention it all. Or they may feel like it's not a genre they read, and don't want to hurt your feelings by saying it's not appealing to them.

I don't think it's personal. :)

Vicki
 

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This is an issue I'm wondering about a lot at the moment.

I'm about to send out an e-mailer announcing my first e-book has just been published.  Some friends and family have actually asked me to let them know, so I feel OK about sending them a mail, but for the rest, it feels very spammy and I'm wondering if it's worth it.  My family and friends mostly dont hang out in social media places so I cant let them know with a status update., which would be the easiest.

 

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I second not counting on family and friends to buy what you've written. It's nice when they do, but I put my focus on my target audience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Krista D. Ball said:
I've had more strangers show up to my vendor table at a convention where you had to pay to get in than at my house for a book launch party among friends and family.
Yes!!! And I guess people are different, but it would just seem natural to be at least verbally supportive. Do you think it's possible that because they are so close to us, they think we should already just know that they back us to the fullest? And would be surpised to know we'd like to hear it once in awhile? Not bells and whistles, just "hey buddy, heard you published a book, good luck". Short and simple.
 

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I know how you feel. I had quit a friendship over this. Well, at least I thought it was friendship; apparently I was wrong. I had known this family for several years, we had been very supportive to each other. They knew my dream was to become a writer, and they encouraged me to pursue it. Then they had moved, and we only kept in touch via email. Then my first book was released. I rushed to send them an email sharing this joy. I never expected them to buy; I asked for their address so that I could mail them their free signed copy. No response. Not even a "Congrats" with a smiley face. I thought the email must have gotten lost, so I sent another one. Same result.

That was it for me. There's a saying, "Are you my real friend or a pair of socks?" They have shown themselves to be a pair of socks. I never sent them another email. It did not look like they even noticed: no emails came from them, either.

So unfortunately this is not something unique. The experience has taught me to never count on other people's support and encouragement. If I get it, that's nice, if not, I no longer take it personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vicki ,  I hadn't considered that they might feel if they mention it, I might ask had they read it.  I wouldn't ask that, but they have no way of knowing that I wouldn't. 

Dr. Laurence Brown, I hear that it's good to focus on on family and friends and then fan out, but it's probably a better idea to focus on the target audience just as much. 

Mashadutoit,  I just recently noticed something that I might use next time as opposed to sending out my announcement email.  When I log into yahoo.com to get to my emails before I click on check mail there are updates of the lates status changes of my contacts.  So I might give that a try. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Laura Lond said:
I know how you feel. I had quit a friendship over this. Well, at least I thought it was friendship; apparently I was wrong. I had known this family for several years, we had been very supportive to each other. They knew my dream was to become a writer, and they encouraged me to pursue it. Then they had moved, and we only kept in touch via email. Then my first book was released. I rushed to send them an email sharing this joy. I never expected them to buy; I asked for their address so that I could mail them their free signed copy. No response. Not even a "Congrats" with a smiley face. I thought the email must have gotten lost, so I sent another one. Same result.

That was it for me. There's a saying, "Are you my real friend or a pair of socks?" They have shown themselves to be a pair of socks. I never sent them another email. It did not look like they even noticed: no emails came from them, either.

So unfortunately this is not something unique. The experience has taught me to never count on other people's support and encouragement. If I get it, that's nice, if not, I no longer take it personally.
Wow what a coldness they revealed even though they seemed so warm and encouraging in the beginning. People's true colors will evenutally come out. Interesting saying "Are you my real friend or a pair of socks"? I can kind of guess what it means from the context but what is the origin and meaning, do you know? I'd love to hear it.
 

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Oh, I've long learned not to rely on friends and family for any support whatsoever. They don't come to shows, buy my books, listen to my music etc...unless it makes them look good, e.g. one particular song was a big hit and so they'd bring their friends to my club appearances, because it meant they got to show off by getting in free, getting into the VIP area, bragging about being related to me, which rubbed off in them getting into other clubs and shows free etc. Acquaintances and strangers are much better supporters.
 
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My close friends and family all know about a book months before it comes out, and end up with free copies.  ;D I don't consider them my market, and thus I don't send them marketing emails.  I can't imagine that I would ever send my mom or sister or close friends a sales email.  I'd call them and say "Yo, how many do you want?"
 

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I've had several experiences in my life that showed me I couldn't count on those I felt sure would be there for me. I also learned never to be surprised when I looked back and saw some faces I never thought would fight for me that did.

I've had both extremes. There was one instance in my life where the people I thought would come out to help, didn't. I found out that not everybody shares the same passion as me and it will show. There were enough family and friends however that supported me so I didn't feel completely forgotten.

On my books I've been lucky. I've had to tell family and friends NOT to buy my books. I know it sounds odd, but I was trying to figure out what was working with publicity and what wasn't. At the time, my sales were so small that every sale was important and I tried my best to track where it came from. When they would buy my books, it was ruining my "study" of what worked and didn't. Lol.

Luckily, the understand I'm wierd like that.

Caedem
 

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I have had a decent response from friends and family, but far too many of my friends tell me they don't like to read books anymore...which kinda sucks.  The majority has been strangers, actually.  

And this year, I gave up trying to sell print books of any kind.  To me, they just aren't worth the expense, printing and shipping costs or having them clutter up my apartment.  I am fully digital and since doign that...things have taken off.  It's been awesome.
 

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Laura Lond said:
I know how you feel. I had quit a friendship over this. Well, at least I thought it was friendship; apparently I was wrong. I had known this family for several years, we had been very supportive to each other. They knew my dream was to become a writer, and they encouraged me to pursue it. Then they had moved, and we only kept in touch via email. Then my first book was released. I rushed to send them an email sharing this joy. I never expected them to buy; I asked for their address so that I could mail them their free signed copy. No response. Not even a "Congrats" with a smiley face. I thought the email must have gotten lost, so I sent another one. Same result.

That was it for me. There's a saying, "Are you my real friend or a pair of socks?" They have shown themselves to be a pair of socks. I never sent them another email. It did not look like they even noticed: no emails came from them, either.

So unfortunately this is not something unique. The experience has taught me to never count on other people's support and encouragement. If I get it, that's nice, if not, I no longer take it personally.
Maybe they were going through some personal things...or were just busy and didn't send an email right away. Then, after some time went by, they felt awkward saying congratulations so late, so they skipped it. My guess is they didn't realize how important just one email would have been to you.

I don't know, I usually assume the best in people. I've been through some things, and couldn't always lend support when it was needed. I was seriously ill for several years. This was a huge issue for my family, and it's possible I let an email or two slip by without responding. I used to send out hand made Christmas cards to all my friends and acquaintances. I didn't do that for several years when I got ill. They didn't know why I stopped sending them out. I hope I didn't offend anyone to the point where they wrote me off as a pair of socks.

Not meaning to offend anyone here, just trying to show there are other things going on in people's lives that could effect these things.

Vicki
 

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smiley396 said:
Interesting saying "Are you my real friend or a pair of socks"? I can kind of guess what it means from the context but what is the origin and meaning, do you know? I'd love to hear it.
LOL, it's my loose translation of what my Russian grandma used to say. It's an idiom. The actual wording is "real friend or a foot wrap," foot wrap being something men, especially soldiers, used to wear inside their boots before socks came along. Foot wraps were cheap, and after being worn they were, well, not very pretty or particularly nice smelling. :) So saying that someone turned out to be a like a foot wrap instead of a true friend was rather eloquent. ;D
 

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I'm always shocked when my friends have zero interest in my writing. However, my postcard campaign has worked fairly well. Postcards.com delivered what I needed practically overnight.  Now I just have to address them for the new title (Stairs of SAnd) e
 

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When I released my first book on Kindle, I went through the newbie hoops of sending an announcement to all my contacts (30 seconds later I noticed I forgot to BCC them too, facepalm).

A few of them got back to me to congratulate me and ask me how this whole e-book worked. The revolution hasn't caught up with my neck of the woods yet and I've since saved my standard explanation on Kindle apps.

Those who inquired how to purchase the book were mostly close friends and family. My response was always "Don't buy it! Just tell me the format you want and I'll send it to you."

I write to sell to strangers, not family and friends. It's not their two dollars that's going to make a difference in my bank account. I want your two dollars!

But RE the OP initial message, I too thought I would get a better response from my contacts. My goal when I sent them the announcement was for them to forward the message to their contacts. I don't know to what extent this was done.

But hey every little bit counts...
 

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Victorine said:
Maybe they were going through some personal things...or were just busy and didn't send an email right away. Then, after some time went by, they felt awkward saying congratulations so late, so they skipped it. My guess is they didn't realize how important just one email would have been to you.

I don't know, I usually assume the best in people. I've been through some things, and couldn't always lend support when it was needed. I was seriously ill for several years. This was a huge issue for my family, and it's possible I let an email or two slip by without responding. I used to send out hand made Christmas cards to all my friends and acquaintances. I didn't do that for several years when I got ill. They didn't know why I stopped sending them out. I hope I didn't offend anyone to the point where they wrote me off as a pair of socks.

Not meaning to offend anyone here, just trying to show there are other things going on in people's lives that could effect these things.

Vicki
Of course you are right Vicki. I can understand completely how all kinds of things can happen, life likes to throw surprises at all of us. I always try to think the best of people, give them the benefit of a doubt. There was a bit more to it though. After the non-response I began to think back and realized they were not that interested in keeping in touch after moving, either. It was I who had emailed first. They had replied, and then went silent. So that's the way it went: I'd send an email, they would reply. If I wouldn't send one for a while, there would be no telling when we'd communicate next. I did not notice it and did not mind at all; I thought we were still true friends, no matter what, we just had busy lives. But that book thing was an eye-opener, and the last straw. Them never writing again proved I was right, they just didn't care. If there came a "Hi, how are you" email a month later, I would have replied as if nothing was ever wrong.
 

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I have a few insights on the issue as well.

My wife won't read my stories, period. She told me it's because, best case scenario, she reads them and likes them. Worst case, she thinks they suck and feels bad telling me so or lying to me. Because of this, she can't go into any book with a clean slate.

My dad writes too. I won't read his stories because he spams everybody on facebook when each one comes out. My news feed gets flooded with his posts on every family members wall. They read like spam emails and he's obnoxious about it. That, and his stories are *shudder* never edited. I'll read it when it's all cleaned up, thanks.

My friends and family NEVER ask me about my book. If it comes up, they change the topic. It's hard for me because I often feel like I am completely unsupported by the people I know. I sometimes get encouragement from a couple people at Critique circle who let me know my stories are good. I have one friend who is sort of into my writing, but vanishes if I pester her more than necessary. I also think that there is some stigma attached to self publishing. If a huge somebody published my book and it showed up in stores, maybe it would be different. Otherwise, I think that I am viewed as "the guy who thinks he can write." Maybe this will change after I have thousands of fans following my stories, or maybe it never will.

I guess the point of my ramblings is this: If you're feeling kind of alone, it's not uncommon. I've discovered that writing can often be the loneliest thing I do. Feeling like your family and friends don't care sucks, but don't be discouraged. Write for yourself and let your passion fuel your words and never worry about the people who don't get you. It's time you could spend writing.
 
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