New Game Plan

So, for the past like, two months, I have been blabbing on and on and on about marketing.  I need to get my book out there, I need to get people to read and review my book, etc…  I’m still obsessing, reading articles, trying to put every effort into promoting Cemetery Tours.  I’m not an aggressive person by nature, so I often feel like promoting my work is the same thing as bugging people.  I definitely prefer to let my work speak for itself, and, at the risk of sounding like an arrogant, self-important dingbat (one of my favorite words at the moment), I’m pretty confident that it will.  I, like several writers, am very sensitive to criticism and humiliation, and I would not have put Cemetery Tours out there if I wasn’t damn proud of it and confident that people would enjoy it.  So far, I’ve heard only good things.  I’m curious as to how I’ll feel when someone looks me in the eye and says, “You suck.  Your book sucks.  Get thee to a nunnery, you hopeless loser.”  

As much as I love my book, however, I have found I’m not all that fond of marketing.  I have a few more ideas in mind.  For example, there will be another Kindle promotional thing for Christmas.  It won’t be free again, but it will be discounted.  Amazon won’t let me schedule it yet, but as soon as I can, I will announce it… over and over and over again…  

I was talking to my dad (basically my business brain since my own brain is all sparkles and dolphins and rainbows) and his advice to me was, “Focus on the sequel.  Get that done.  Then, at the beginning of the year, make one last big push for Cemetery Tours while spreading the word about the upcoming sequel.”

See?  This is why it pays for writers to know BUSINESS.  I never would have thought of that.  I would have just gone on my merry little way begging people to read my book while sporadically working on the sequel.  I know how to write stories, but my dad (and other lucky smart people) knows how real life works!  I used to joke around that the world would be a better place if everyone was more like me, but the truth is, I’m really glad more people aren’t like me.  If they were, nothing would ever get done.  Absolutely no one would do anything productive at all.  They’d all sit around by lakes, writing stories about ghosts, and wondering if things that happened in the past are actually happening now… but in the past.  Or if everyone sees color the same way.  

The world really doesn’t need very many people like me.  I do try to do good things and give back though, so maybe I do contribute something.  

Anyway, that’s the new game plan.  Promote still through the holidays, but really focus on getting the sequel together.  I’ll announce the title as soon as its registered on Bowker, which it won’t be until it’s finished… However, I am very excited about it.  I’ve had the idea for this book in my head longer than the idea for Cemetery Tours.  I basically wrote Cemetery Tours so I could write this book.  

That’s all for now!  Gonna go eat blackberries and edit and write!  I’m also going to go get socks because it’s actually COLD here and my feet are freezing!    

HubPages Update

Okay, so apparently I don’t know how HubPages works and my actual posting did not get published.  The problem now is that I have no idea how to make it work.  See, this is why writers shouldn’t be required to do anything on a computer other than WRITE.

Anyway, if you’d like to read what I wrote, here it is.

“Once upon a time, the path to becoming a published author was a one-way street. Your manuscript was either picked up by one of the big companies in the industry, or your chances of being published were slim at best. Today, options for writers and aspiring authors of all ages, from all walks of life, are endless. Resources are available to anyone and everyone who has ever dreamed of writing and publishing a book.

I’m going to stop right there, because I know what a lot of people are thinking. So thanks to the self-publishing industry, anyone can publish a book, no matter the quality. It’s true. Independent authors and publishers still have a difficult time getting the big time sellers and critics to take them seriously. Several professionals and readers will automatically presume that if a book is independently published, then it’s poorly-written, not good enough for the big publishing houses, ergo, not worth reading or even considering. For several writers, self-publishing is a last resort – something they’ll consider only if absolutely no one else will take their manuscript.

After I decided that I wanted to pursue publishing back in 2012, I realized that I knew almost next to nothing about the process. I went to the library, invested in the 2013 Writer’s Market, and consulted everyone I knew who either had or knew someone who had published a book. I was advised by several friends and family members to try to find an agent. I knew the process was going to be a long one. Agents receive thousands of query letters a week, and very few of those queries result in requests for full or even partial manuscripts.

After a few months of trying (and failing) to find an agent, I decided I had two options. I could pursue a contract with a traditional publishing house without an agent, which would have meant more months of waiting and almost inevitable rejection, or I could take matters into my own hands and get to work immediately. I ultimately decided to pursue independent publishing after consulting with a fellow author.

My decision was not solely based on my desire to see my book published quickly, although that was definitely a plus. I liked the idea of retaining all the rights to my work. I also liked the idea that I had complete control over my book and what happened to it. I put so much time and effort and love into my book, who better to publish and promote it? Unlike a big company who only cares about how much money a book can bring in, independent authors and publishers care about the integrity and well-being of their work.

Furthermore, the independent community is a wonderful place to connect with authors who are willing to share not only their passion, but their support and guidance. For every newly published independent, there are several professionals who know the steps, who’ve been through the entire process, and who can become not only tremendous allies, but also wonderful friends.

I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve done as an independent author. My journey as a publisher is one I never really expected to take, but I am so thankful for the experience. It’s given me the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to really appreciate the work not only that I’ve done, but the work of storytellers and authors and poets all over the world.”