One of my favorite Christmas movies is It’s A Wonderful Life. Clarence’s final message to George, “No man is a failure who has friends.” has resonated with me on a personal basis over the years. I’ve always surrounded myself with friends and tried very hard not to annoy or piss anyone off enough to make enemies in this life.
Since first entering this writing gig, I’ve been an active participant in the writing community in my home town and to some extent to the online community. I serve on boards, attend meetings and go to the signings of my fellow writers. I dutifully buy my friend’s books and I tout their books on this and other web sites that I participate in, like Twitter and Facebook. I do this without any expectation that anyone would do it in turn for me. I mean, that would be too much to ask, right? Apparently it was, too much to ask.
But in this holiday season, I decided to try and cash in on some of that goodwill that I had been showing others to see if I could get at least ten friends to buy my $2.99 e-book as a show of support for me. I know that my internet following is weak at best. I’m an unknown writer, doing his own publishing in a genre that prefers authors to be traditionally published. I get that and was not expecting much in sales from the “Internet”. But I figured I knew at least ten friends who would give three bucks to see if they could help me out. After all, I was not asking them to leave their home and buy a much more expensive paper book.
Two friends bought my book on Friday. Two. I know who those two friends are and I love ’em. I will continue buying my writer friends’ books in genres I don’t regularly read and supporting their efforts to become established writers while my own efforts languish in obscurity. Because that’s who I am. I do this because I know that I have at least two true friends, so I’m not actually a complete failure. But I won’t be relying on friends to bail me out of a financial failure anytime soon. LOL
It was the kindness of strangers, not friends who first bought ten copies of Starstrikers back in March. Those ten strangers helped propel that book onto the best seller lists for four months. Maybe the idealized myth of friendship in that old movie, is as out dated as an old black and white movie, in this on-demand, streaming HD movie world of today. Call me old fashioned, but I still support my friends, and I won’t be expecting that support in return.