So you can read my books

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs showed me WHERE WE'VE GONE WRONG


It started with the news :

Steve Jobs is dead.

He revolutionized our society by never letting go of his dream, thinking outside the box, and not letting what he didn't have (like a college degree) stop him from utilizing to the max what he did have ...

imagination and the ability to see the bigger picture (And we have Pixar Pictures because of that)

Also he took set-backs on the chin, using them to make himself better. (Fired from his own company, Steve Jobs was asked to come back 12 years later to raise the company from the dead.

And we have the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and now the iPad because he could see where the path NEEDED TO GO, not where everyone said IT HAD ALWAYS GONE.)

He made a true difference in his personal and professional life.

Then, I had an epiphany ...

you know --

what Victor Standish calls the strange sensation

the donkey got when the 2 X 4 smacked him in the head.

The epiphany?

We, as authors, have been going where everyone said writers have always gone :


We have marginalized ourselves. Worse, we've been blind to it.

We're writers posting to other writers, hoping they'll buy our books and tell other ... guess who?

that's right! Other writers.

Yes, they should be PART of our audience.


If we do that, we will never sell enough copies to be any more than a ripple in the ever-shrinking pond of readers.


I can hear Robin Williams as the voice of Genie in ALADIN, "Yes! The boy can learn!"

READERS, all of them, are our target audience.

"Duh!" you go.

Yes, it's obvious ... but we have still been insisting on mostly just writing for authors.

True, authors read a lot. But the MAJORITY OF READERS are NOT authors.

We need to write UNIVERSAL posts that speak to the heart of each person who reads our prose.

AMUSE the readers.

Make them THINK.

Make them go :

"Ain't that the truth!"


"I never thought of it that way."


"I'm not alone."

If we are perceptive enough, funny enough, honest-to-life enough,

provocative enough --

the readers will come back to our blog for more of the same.

So how do you appeal to the non-writer, not turning them off with a "BUY ME!" plea

while still interesting them in picking up a book from you?

Tune in SATURDAY for




  1. Steve was a man to be admired. A great innovator.

    I'm hoping to sell my writings to the general public also; but I'm not very good at self promotion. Getting out there, meeting the public, going to book faire's and such.

    Good luck to you Roland in your sales ventures :)


  2. H Roland .. Steve Jobs early and very sad demise is funding some very thought provoking posts, phrases, words and quotes .. and here another one - think differently or at least be sensible - each human is a reader ... such a reminder - thank you!

    Cheers - Hilary

  3. Spotted the trailer for War horse at the end of your post - I am Soooo looking forward to seeing it.

  4. Such inspiration. Thanks, I think it's important to be yourself, not just the writer self, but anything you are comfortable with. That is true voice. Nice. And something to think about.

  5. Steve Jobs definitely was a man of vision...

    And Roland, you are the constant friend and mentor to all of us. You seek out information and share it with us.

    Thanks for all your hard work and of course entertaining us with your amazing writing.

  6. Definitely a great role model.

    I think blogging can be difficult to reach 'readers'--it isn't all writers, but I think standard, ordinary people don't really cruise blogs... it is mostly other bloggers who are almost all here because they have SOME interest they want to share, or because they love writing (even if they don't aspire to be a writer). I think regular READERS only find you if they already know to look (you're famous) or if you find a strand of content that is particularly provocative or unique... and that's tricky. (so I run around naked)

  7. Donna :
    We have to wear many hats to make it in Publishing these days. I wishing you all the best with your short story in AN HONEST LIE Vol. 3!

    Hilary :
    Steve taught me never to be afraid to think out of the box or to stay true to your dreams. Thanks for visiting and staying to chat, Roland

    Li :
    Me, too!

    E. Arroyo :
    As the movie, JULIE & JULIA, taught us : many non-writers read blogs for their own special hobbies or concerns.

    No, Thank You, Michael :
    Thank you for always having my back and being a friend, Roland

    Hart :
    Naked works. Especially with males! LOL. You have a point. More peole cruise Facebook for chat than blogs. But if they find you through Facebook, then you may find yourself with a huge audience. That's why it's so important nowadays to wander Facebook and Twitter.

    You can write WALDEN in the woods, but you can't sell many copies there! :-)

  8. Hi,

    Thought provoking post, but few writer bloggers grasp chances to reach beyond the writer void even when the openings are there for the taking. Most cling to the status quo of sticking with what and whom they already know. The old adage safety in numbers and familiarity of level playing field! It only takes one of those writers to hit the big time and the rest with cling to that writer's coattail in hope luck is universal, only it never is. The interesting thing is when a lucky writer sheds the coat to shake off the very same followers it once craved! It happens, and few big-time authors stick with fold that supported during the tough days of blogging and sharing in hopes and dreams.

    As for reader-non-writers they're in a class of their own, and don't blog because they're too busy reading books. ;)

  9. Steve Jobs' death serves as a reminder to be remarkable. Push yourself. Inspire others. Make a difference. It's a short life. Make it count.

    Good post, Roland.

  10. ...he was a man seeded before his time. A constant thinker and innovator. Without him, where would we be? As storytellers, how would we process our thoughts into written entertainment worth sharing? How would the publishing industry as a whole function with growing demand?

    It causes one to shudder, to begin thinking outside the did Steve, everyday ;)

    Thanks Roland,


  11. "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

    -Steve Jobs

    Well said!!

  12. Francine :
    You're so right. William Faulkner and Mark Twain both wrote that we as authors will never grow, never succeed until we launch from familiar shores into the unknown seas.

    Wendy :
    An excellent comment. None of us know how many more days we have. Make all of them count!

    No, Thank you, Elliot :
    To see beyond the known horizon is a gift few of us have. And each of them is sorely missed when gone.

    Jeremey :
    What an excellent quote from Steve Jobs. Kind of you to follow, Roland

  13. Always love your creativity and a post dedicated to Steve Jobs is a post for everyone. Readers, writers and those willing to see beyond their own limitations.

  14. Thanks, The Desert Rocks!
    We must experiment and look at every angle to succeed as writers or at life itself, right?

  15. Nice tribute, Roland. Frankly, there is an overabundance of innovators and visionaries in the world, but how many have transformed the way we live our lives? Steve Jobs not only had the vision to do "something wonderful," he actually did it.

    While there are ways for writers to use blogging to increase exposure to readers - primarily garnering the support of other writer/bloggers to help promote - the bottom line is, unless you're Neil Gaiman, you aren't going to attract readers with blog posts alone.

    The research is in: book buyers do not read author blogs, although they may peak at website.

  16. V R :
    You are so right. There are too many talkers and not enough walkers! When all is said and done, more is said than done. LOL.

    We have to tap all the potential of Twitter and Facebook and our own imagination to get people to our blogs. Websites are only peeked at if you are a Name in publishing.

    I've missed you. Hate that your Kindle got securitied out of working order at the airport!! Roland

  17. Steve was a genius.
    Is this the post for the support group? Didn't see a link or a mention of it anywhere...

  18. Alex :
    Earlier yesterday, I had both the picture and link up. But I received 2 emails, stating that showed disrespect to Mr. Jobs, so I took it down. I erred on the side of respect. Next post will have both and stay up. Roland