It’s Sunday afternoon, and it’s raining cats and dogs. Which makes this afternoon even more melancholic than Sunday ones traditionally are. So, I decided to get some work done, hoping to forget the sad weather outside (on the upside, the garden badly needed some watering. This is me seeing the silver lining in everything).
I ran into this post on the London Book Fair on the Creative Penn, which really sums up some book marketing tips that most of us already know and/or are trying to do. I will go through the most important ones, along with my thoughts:
Write for an audience and stick with it. In other words, build a brand (name, cover design, fonts, genre etc) and promote it as your unique selling point. This means I am already in the wrong, because apart from fantasy and sci-fi, I have written also children’s books – which I am having illustrated…
Well, I did it. I actually wrote tonight! Seems strange to say after posting only a few weeks ago about how I’d found my ‘writing mojo’ again. It was true, but that was actually in relation to editing a manuscript not writing one. At the time, I’d become excited about the story again and went into rewrites with gusto. I’d reconnected with the characters and their crazy world and couldn’t wait to finish it right. But that project is done and now…well, I’m trying to figure out where to turn next. I have two WIP’s already simmering on back burners somewhere as well as book three of my trilogy to write. So which one should I pull out?
Seems simple, but I find right now that Life is getting in the way of writing. I just published The Purple Morrow, my first book, and as exciting and amazing as that is, publishing it is still near the beginning of the book-making-selling process: now comes the business of getting it into the hands of readers. That takes time! I’ve got local bookshops to meet, book signings and whatnot to look into, not to mention online marketing tools to learn and develop…the list goes on and on. The stress constantly increases. And it’s November, the most depressing month of the year–I mean, really, pitch black outside at 4:30 PM? Who came up with that???
I love writing but I find I’m in a new phase called Exhaustion. Life was simpler when all I had was the Dream to publish a book and all I had to do was sit at my laptop and write! Now there’s all this Other Stuff added to that, which though interesting and new, takes away from the simple joy of doing what I love best, all because I want to get my book out there, make it stand out from the others circulating in the market, and maybe make some pocket change in the process. Am I complaining? No. I enjoy challenges and I enjoy learning so it’s not all bad. I guess I’m just starting to realize the impact that pursuing this dream is having on my life as I push along this second career path. It’s time consuming like crazy and sometimes I think, “Something’s got to give.” But what?
Anyway, this is my evening ramble just before I head to bed. If anyone can make sense out this, drop me a line. Anyone have words of wisdom to share or a related experience to share? I’d love to hear from you.
This has been an incredible weekend. As many of you know, my first book, The Purple Morrow, finally saw the ‘golden light’ of the Amazon/Kindle distribution sites (in the USA and Canada) and I also picked up my own copies of the book to sell. A life long dream come true!
But then reality kicked in. I.Have.To.Sell.My.Own.Books.
I knew it was coming. But the selling aspect of this thing seemed like ages away when I signed the book contract except time does a funny thing–it runs out.
Luckily for me, I was proactive. Months ago, I started emailing around the city looking for shops that were friendly to unknown, local writers and found a few wonderful souls who were willing to stock copies of my book. Pierre Pare of Beazely Books is one such soul. This afternoon, my friend and I walked into his book shop and were received with a smile and intelligent conversation–how refreshing! How often does that happen these days? Well, in my city, its rare and when it happens, you take note.
Anyway, not only was the reception great but so was the whole bookstore experience. Since the chain stores popped up, it’s been ages since I walked into a small shop. What a loss! Just the smell of the books made me swoon. And then the titles of the used books took me waaaaay back. Remember A Wrinkle in Time? That was the first-ever sci-fi/fantasy book I’d read in elementary school. Then there were the old, old, old Nancy Drew books stacked on a shelf, you know the ones with the yellow spines and the line drawings in the covers? And the best part? A little girl had written her name and some notes on the cover–just like I used to! (Every 35+ woman reading this is probably weeping with happy memories! lol) Holding The Hidden Staircase in my hand made me hot and giddy–like a flood of amazing memories flooding back at once. No ebook could ever have that effect, I’ll tell you that!
Anyway, I think part of this post is to say a big thank you to Beazely Books for being so welcoming and supportive to a new author on the scene and for giving me a chance at moving ahead with the business part of this writing thing. Merci! 😀
Then I get home and a surprise was waiting for me. My wonderful father had left me a gift:
My own writing set to sign copies of my books!
You probably can’t see it, but written on the pen is Purple Morrow. 😀
So, the task of learning the business part of being an author continues. Thanks to friends and family, I have sold off a few books already (thank you so much you amazing people!), but there’s still a great big world out there. Today I’ve only just taken the first–though most important–big step.