What a year it has been. Plenty of ups and plenty of downs. All in all though, I have accomplished what I had set out to do and you can read all about it in this blog that has documented it all.
What have I learned this past year?
Strive to be your best. Produce your best work and leave nothing to chance or anyone else. As much as possible, be informed and never stop trying. Heading into 2018 I can now say I am a published author. It’s something I never thought I’d be saying until three years ago. I told a story and thought to get it published. I’ve learned to be self-sufficient and proactive. I have to learn… and you will too, to be a spokesperson for the work. Getting readers to pick up your book is what it’s all about. Why is this book so special? Catchy title? Colorful cover? Great description? What’s the buzz word? What’s the log line?
One Word That Describes Your Book.
A word that will become synonymous with your book. A word that can appear—should appear in all your advertising headlines. I write to entertain myself… is that my word? entertaining. I hope readers will be entertained by my novel. I’m asking them to spend many hours reading it. I’m hoping they’ll get lost in the adventure… is that my word? Get Lost? For one thing… that’s two words and another telling people to get lost is not always taken in the way it was meant.
Read my book because it will (fill in the blank) you. (fulfill, engage, challenge, release). Release your inner Katia. How about Escape? rather than Get Lost? sounds better it’s one word… I may have just worked it out.
Read my book and ESCAPE to another time and place. Follow Katia as she finds, loses, endures, and pursues her love through every obstacle imaginable. The people and places along the way that shape her decisions and give her hope. I chose a random paragraph from The Summer Palace to help inspire a decision to read my book.
“I have a plan to take care of the Rostov boy who’s betrothed to Katia, I know his father, General Vasily Rostov, very well, I can get him to have the boy bring her here to the Inn. Pavel can give her the message and we will see where that leads us. The Baron can’t argue if Dimitry Rostov should insist on an outing with his daughter, for she’s betrothed to him, as long as they don’t find out what our actual plans are. Fiona, your son may have been a stable boy, but now he is a soldier. Furthermore, if he is anything like his mother he will persevere.”
One thing I’m lacking is hearing opinions from readers. I have trouble getting family members to take a few quiet moments to read my book.
“I’ll read it when it gets printed.”
“When it’s available online.”
“I give up.”
Granted, not everyone is a Literary Historical Fiction reader. What I said before about being proactive… find people that do read the genre. Book Clubs have people that read for the joy of it and enjoy the critique. I have my book in the hands of one local book club and I will attend the critique at their meeting next month. This could be painful. Maybe I should rethink this. Too brutally honest? not honest enough? that’s the risk. Who wants to write a book that’s not worth the read? Maybe if I ran the wagon load of characters off the proverbial cliff I could fix it in the sequel. Maybe I should wait until the newspaper or e-magazine skewers me in print. So far, in my endeavor to market my book, I have joined two writers’ groups one online and the other at the local library and one book club; I can honestly say that I would listen to them. They are all passionate about reading and writing and I certainly don’t feel I’m wasting my time. I find it quite entertaining. There’s that word again. I have read two books for the book club I now belong to. Charlotte by David Foenkinos and News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Both good books which I would not have read. I look forward to the critique of the latter at the end of the month.
I just finished reading Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley the first in a series that I’m looking forward to reading. I really liked this book about six sisters named after the system that contained seven stars which they were all named after—minus one. A story within a story after Mya goes in search of her family (No spoilers here).
My writing groups are keeping my writing skills homed after editing and proofreading The Summer Palace Series books two and three for the past few weeks. I was able to order The Summer Palace online in the UK and received the four books in ten days which was good considering the time of year the only setback was the cost of shipping. The paperback is still not available on Amazon.com but the kindle version can be downloaded for a mere $4.95 and if you’re so inclined to do so and really enjoyed the book, leave a review and watch for events in W. MA in the coming months.