I’ve been a bad blogger lately … and I’m sorry. This blog has been painfully slow as I try to balance writing my second novel with putting the finishing touches on The Milestone Tapes. I apologize and I’ll try to be better.
Before we jump into this latest post, I have a little housekeeping to do.
1. Please, please, please remember to sign up for the The Milestone Tapes Giveaway! We have just under a month left! More information can be found here under the “books and events” page! Thanks for your continued support as we round third towards home.
2. I’ve finally, thank you Jesus, broken the curse of writers block. Abandoning my initial idea allowed me to tell a story I’ve been haunted by for years. Like with THE MILESTONE TAPES, IN THE AFTER will hit close to home for me as I explore what it means to really be a friend in the darkest of hours. IN THE AFTER, unlike with THE MILESTONE TAPES, is a morbid story that will ping directly into current events and hopefully put a looking-glass over the definition of spousal abuse and the ricochet effect it has on relationships.
Okay … now, onto the topic …
Yesterday I posed a question on the Kindleboards about whether a new author would be better served going Select or if they should branch out into the wider distribution of B&N, Smashwords and the like. I also mentioned that I had hired a publicist to work with me on the launch.
While some people stayed on topic, hashing out the highs and lows of Select … others broke off into the idea of a new author using a publicist to spread the word of their release.
I was told that with one novel my success will be nil and that it’s only with the what I do next that I will see what kind of author I meant to become … of course, I’m paraphrasing, but more or less, that was the gist. That, rather than investing time and money into my first book, I should be killing myself for the second — dedicating every waking minute available to seeing the second novel through to completion. Of course, this was from authors will multiple books in their signatures. I was told that I should just publish, publish, publish … and if, in a year or so, I decide my work reads as “amateurish” … I can always pull particular works down.
As I’ve said … over and over again … I’m not a seasoned vet, rather, I’m a first timer with no back-list and yes, that puts me a real disadvantage. Everything I publish will be from the moment, and I will give to it all I can manage. I won’t ever have the luxury of being a fast and furious author. If I can publish one a year, I’m doing good. Each book will come from its own place, literary fiction doesn’t lend itself well to sequels by the nature of it being. And, the audience of literary fiction is an interesting bunch itself. There is a set expectation of a book that is written for the genre … and it’s different from YA or SciFi or Romance.
So … let me tell you why I’m still going ahead as planned …
THE MILESTONE TAPES, draft one, was finished in August — or rather — five months ago. I’ve held on to it now for longer than it took to write.
The editing of THE MILESTONE TAPES was completed November — or rather — nearly three months ago and I’ve still kept it to myself.
The cover, number two that is, was finished in November as well, for three months I’ve stared at it. But, cover number one was completed in October.
The formatting for THE MILESTONE TAPES was finished earlier this month — I have the proof in hand and it’s flawless, but still, I haven’t clicked “publish”.
Because it’s not ready. The book in and of itself is as good as it ever will be … and its publishable material. As I write this entry, the truth is, I could be a published author. I could have had THE MILESTONE TAPES up for sale for nearly a week now. Heck, I could have slapped a cover on it and it could have been for sale months ago … but that isn’t my style. That’s not what I wanted for this story and it won’t be what I want for any story that shall follow… and that’s not how I’m going to step into the publishing world now or ever.
When a Big Six publishes a book there is hoopla. It gives an author — new or old — a presence. This mantra of letting the pot boil is one that was honed by trial and error. They obviously know what works when it comes to launching a book and meeting sales quotas. I, do not. But, to my credit, I’m a researcher. I was a reader long before I was a writer and I that sort of branches out into my quest to get it right.
The irony is, is that when an indie author grumbles about poor sales … the first thing that is often suggested or commented on is promotion. Why? Because it’s a way to get the word out, inspire interest, cultivate excitement … as the Big Six regularly do. In the case of sluggish sales, either the author didn’t do enough or didn’t manage to target the correct areas. But, in my mind (and to quote Larry the Cable Guy) … that’s like checking on your burgers after they’re burnt. It’s an after the damage is done kind of thing. New books have a short shelf life before they become old books. Strike while the iron is hot is my personal philosophy. Make as much of that moment as you can, give yourself every opportunity possible and you’ll never wonder what if.
With all of that said, I also know that everyone is on their own journey. That what works for one may not work for another. So, rather than make blanket statements about what you must do … I think it’s more pertinent to encourage all options. Success comes in many forms … and that path too it is often different and designed by an individual.
So … now it’s question time … as a new author, what did you do to spread the word? :)