Subtitled: There’s a lot more to this writing thing than just writing
You write a book, you submit it to your publisher or agent of choice, hoping they like it enough to buy it. Wonder of wonders, they DO! You have succeeded in your quest to become a published author. Nothing left to do now but wait for edits and bask in the glory of your newfound status.
There’s so much more that goes into being a published author than simply writing books. Articles have been written about how much work an author has to do to promote his or her books, from preparing press releases to establishing name recognition.
Gone are the days when a writer can assume the publisher is going to pick up the promo banner and wave it madly on your behalf to capture the public’s attention about your books. You want to get your name out there, you have to do it yourelf.
I have a newsletter that I write and publish each month. I also have a yahoo chat group where I…chat (aka waste time, procrastinate, avoid my current work in progress, etc). There are several industry-related websites and loops where you need to post or promo to advise them about new books. Then there are contests. Oh yeah, and this blog (see above time-wasting activities…add Blogging to it)
Yes, I know there are those who say just write a great book and it will sell. Uh-huh. I’d like ot think I write great books, but like any other ‘product’, if the book buying public has no idea who you are and what you’re selling, your name alone won’t do it. Sure, a couple people might buy the book, say it’s great and recommend it to a couple other people, but in my opinion (note the ‘my opinion’ here so that folks don’t think i’m speaking for everyone) if you want to sell your book, you have to do your part to make sure people recognize your name.
Keep in mind I work for a small press publisher, not one of the ‘really big guys’. That means I might do more in the way of promo. Though I think even the ‘really big guys’ don’t spend as much money on promoting their authors as they did in the past.
Now I have a marketing background so I love promo. But it is also one of the biggest time-suckers out there. Which means that once you publish a book, you’re not only writing another book, and then another, but you’re doing promotional activities that take up time that you used to spend writing. In the past almost 2 years I have published 18 books and done a helluva lot of promo. It’s tough, it’s time consuming, and there are days you wonder how you can possibly do it all.
That requires you to become…..*gasp*……..dare I say it?……ORGANIZED!
Now I’m not the best at organizing my wayward life, but I’ve become better at it out of necessity. I’ve run contests, write a newsletter, promo on groups that are interested in the kinds of books I write, sent out promotional materials and the like, all in the hopes that I can gain that name recognition that might introduce me to more people who will read my books.
And somewhere in that mix of promo time, working part-time, doing required things around the house like laundry, cooking, grocery shopping and reminding my family that I still live in the house, I also have to find time to write. Which fortunately, I have.
Ah, the glamorous life of a published author. 😉
Which is why I need a secretary. Only said secretary had better figure out a way to do a Vulcan mind meld and pull these ideas out of my head for promotion.
Or I’d better stay organized and do it all myself.
*cancels ad for secretary*