On finding an audience for L'identité Politique
Every author ponders how to find their readers. I’ve been spending most of my time putting paperbacks of L’identité Politique in Little Free Libraries locally hoping to help readers find me. I published through a printer that specifically works with independent bookstore networks for distribution to also assist readers that way. A friend of mine suggested that I start visiting the bookstores that stock my book to visit and offer signed copies. No matter what I end up doing, the goal remains the same: find readers.
As an author, I had to sit with my book and wonder: who will read this? I had to wonder what my reader would look like, what their days would look like, why they would pick up my book, and what life experiences contained within my poems they would connect with.
I realized something as a result:
My readers are not other authors by default.
They are people who have experienced grief and know hope exists.
They are fellow Millennials who have spent our entire adult lives burnt out on foreign wars we never voted on, watching our peers die before their parents and children, while weighed down by a financial crisis that left our parents declaring bankruptcy when we were supposed to be starting our lives.
They are younger siblings, Gen Zs, who have spent their entire lives in nihilistic disbelief that this dumpster fire of a world is what they are inheriting from their older siblings, grandparents and parents. They’ve been protesting on social media since they were old enough to make an account. They’ve been politically active their whole lives because they have no other choice. They feel no one listens to them begging for anyone to do anything about a world where active shooter drills and GoFundMe drives for healthcare costs are better solutions than politicians making laws that demonstrate a society that cares about the lives of children.
They are those who have seen pain and are willing to face it instead of numbing it.
They recognize that spirituality is not dependent upon any one specific belief system and is instead dependent on seeing the world and feeling something – seeing something in the unseen that inspires.
They recognize that the only way out of the societal predicaments we’ve gotten ourselves into is to stop numbing the pain we experience in life and to face it. And to stop giving those causing it permission to do so.
They recognize that missing and exploited persons are neglected by our law enforcement while their resources are misallocated.
They recognize that change is needed and we need to be the driving forces of change based on our life experiences because if we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by grief or displace our anger instead of actually feeling what is happening to our environment, our future generations’ prospects, our peers’ quality of lives, our own sense of hope that we remember being promised as children we will end up in the same places as our parents and grandparents.
My readers believe in change they can create.
My readers believe in hope within themselves and others.
My readers believe in creating and fighting for a future in response to, instead of being paralyzed by, the horrors we have faced in our lives.
This may mean that my readers are parents, teachers, students, artists and professionals alike.
Whoever you are, reader, I can’t wait to meet you and hear what you think.
Disclaimer (30/7/2021): This post has been edited (and may continue to be) from its original version to correct minor grammatical, copy/paste structural errors, and include additional hyperlinks. This post has not been edited to alter the *content* of the information present. Any alterations to the content will be dated and this disclaimer updated.