I feel like I’m running as fast as I can in excitement … straight into a brick wall. I’ve heard many authors, publishers and book promotors mention that winning awards, or making a best-sellers list can leave you feeling like saying … “Now what?”
I don’t know if the obstacles of releasing a book during COVID lock-down has anything to do with it, I simply don’t have the experience of launching a book during any other time to judge against, but lock-down does put a damper on marketing and promotional strategies such as, launch parties and book signings. Things I was excited to be a part of! Social media is always accessible, but less face it, it’s not for everyone and it doesn’t always work. Especially if you’re a new author. Having 6000 followers on Twitter may only amount to two book sales. And of course, you will exhaust your family and friends purchasing abilities very quickly.
But what about the long haul?
I’ve crossed the finish line, published my book, but it feels like the race is over yet the marathon has begun. And of top of that, there is still book two in the Time Ranger Series that needs to be written. And of course, there is the day job. I hold three full-time jobs; writer, professional marketer and publicist, and holder of a day job. And only one of them pays me right now … I’ll leave it up to you to guess which one. This is not to say any of this has diminished my love of writing. Hell no! But when publishing was still in the far-off distance, there certainly was a lot less pressure to write. I was able to write more freely and relaxed.
Now, I’m constantly thinking about press releases, media kits, how to get thoughtful reviews from the right people, how to get people to even know Nexus Point even exists. I, fortunately, was a bit ahead of the game when it came to marketing and publishing (as a follower of Tim Grahl’s BookLaunch site and David Chilton), but I still feel overwhelmed by what still has to be done. I feel sorry for anyone who steps into publishing a book blind. The best piece of advice I could give, is to start early.
Don’t wait till the book is published! Start at least six months prior!
And read. Take free on-line courses from several different venues. Read blog posts concerning marketing your own book. There is a lot of bad advice out there … as much as good advice, so you need to educate yourself from different sources to learn what is good and what is bad, and to weed out what you think will work for you. My Promotional Specialist at Friesen Press (www.friesenpress.com), did a wonderful, detailed job at setting out what I should do, what I should learn and what is important. And it was tailored to me, which I highly appreciated. Not everyone has access to such help, so I’m grateful to the people at Friesen Press who helped me publish Nexus Point.
One piece of advice was to blog more regularly. I’m a sporadic blogger at best. So I’ve decided to up my game, because damn it, I have things to say … and sometimes I can be amusing along the way. At least, I hope I am. And having experience now with self-publishing, maybe I can even help a few other authors out there.
For now, I’m starting with a weekly blog that journeys my trail toward publication. Or perhaps I should focus on ‘How to Write Your Second Novel When You're Still Dealing with Your First Novel’? Hmmm ... long title, but accurate.
Later, maybe I will start a helpful blog for those interested in writing scifi, soft-military or time-travel … ‘Cause let me tell you, time-travel is a hard sub-genre to navigate! A lot harder than it appears when you start out. The rules you need to establish are mind-blowing.
So for now, enjoy your writing and keep an eye out for marketing opportunities while you can!