Shocking? When I wrote my first novel I had no idea… ! It reminds me of the day when I was a typesetter and layout artist (yes, that long ago). Then, they brought in the Macs. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. History repeats. I wrote my novel and then had to figure out what I had in my hands. I wrote two more novels, getting better all the time (I hoped). My fourth novel was picked up and is currently being published. What inspired the content of this blog was the free webinar on Marketing A Novel I sat in on. After learning the method of better writing and then the seemingly insurmountable task of getting a publisher to look at it. I now find I am responsible for marketing it as well. The publisher is in a position to do a great amount of the marketing, but as an author I also have the responsibility to pursue yet another aspect of getting my novel into the hands of readers.
One of the things I came away from the webinar was that there are so many experts out there offering a formula for a successful run at getting a book published. Including myself to an extent. I remind the reader that I am only blogging about my experience, whatever luck I possess, and effort I put in. One hundred authors/experts will give you one hundred different views of their path to getting their book published.
Marketing is my husband’s area of expertise, lucky for me. I rely on him for this third prong of my journey. There are many hands out there willing to take your hard-earned money. They may be perfectly justified to do so considering the supply and demand element of capitalism. In my experience the most helpful donations I made to the cause was in professional editing. I listened to every word they said; I bought the tools they recommended, took to heart their constructive criticism, and focused on the job at hand. The fee for the book launch extravaganza was double what the full-weekend one-on-one with a highly successful professional editor was. (I didn’t opt for that one either). I started with a short story and paid a reasonable amount for the edit. I then had a partial MS edited. I was so far off the mark that the editor was able to put me on track it was after that I decided to settle on The Summer Palace as my do or die novel and make it the best work of art I could. The common denominator between the two experiences was that they both felt I had what it took to write a good novel.
We finalized the cover for The Summer Palace. I decided to do the original artwork to eliminate copyright fees and legalities. I was very happy with the results and so was my production manager. I’m waiting (again) for the second round of proofs. As soon as I approve and sign off– it’ll take about one month to print. So, hence, the marketing issues looming up at me. As a result of the marketing webinar I now realize I probably should have started months ago. Three months is the recommended time to do a launch justice. I have less than two. I think. I have to rely on e-mails I have collected, facebook friends and family, and I need to find others who can influence buyers of books and get them to steer toward mine. Then I’ll need to set goals and commit to marketing efforts at least two times a week for a solid year–promotional emails, book signings, interviews, etc.
I am now glad I set some goals for myself to finish the two books and start a third while I waited all fall and winter for the first set of proofs from the publisher, for now my mind is preoccupied searching for local book clubs, networking with local authors, and establishing myself as an author as well as a writer.