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Saturday, November 19, 2011

What Comes After Publishing Your Book?

This weekend I had a discussion with my daughters. One of whom believes I should have gone with a larger publisher and the other who works with figures related to the book industry. Both of them told me I wasn't doing enough to promote my book. This got me thinking about last year at this time. All I wanted was to see my book in print and I knew it was going to be an ebook. So I also knew I wouldn't have the thrill of holding it in my hand and leafing through its pages. Yet I was filled with a euphoria that didn't seem to wear off for months. After years of trying to get my book, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, published it was going out there to the world. On Thanksgiving I gave thanks for my being accepted for publication. This Thanksgiving I will give thanks that it was published!!!!

No, it wasn't going to be published by a big six publisher and I knew that there would be differences. The biggest one being I wouldn't get an advance, but so many of my friends had published with the so-called big publishers and their books didn't sell enough. So they had to give back part of their advance or their books were pulled out of print fast. What I did know was that I was going to get a better royalty for having an e-book and I thrilled at all the stories touting the success of e-books. Mine was going to be part of the growing trend to read on Kindles and Nooks and IPads.

So I promoted myself by appearing on blogs and I took part in an online reading. I amassed lots of friends on Facebook and Twitter and soon people started wanting to be my friend without my doing anything at all. I joined lots of writing groups and became vocal in some of them. I became a part of my publisher's author loops and made friends with the authors there. On my radio show and on this blog I invited many of the Muse authors and in September, the month in which my book was published, I took part in a month long blog fest! On the day of my book launch I held a day long blog party here on this blog where I gave out a free copy of my book to the lucky winner of the comment drawing. Later in the week I held a private book launch in the lobby of my apartment complex and printed up postcards, which I signed, for the event. I also gave out book marks and had a drawing for a free e-book. On my radio show I invited more Muse authors and interviewed and was interviewed by several different authors on my blog and on radio all summer culminating in the giant blog fest. I took part in an in person book signing at my sister-in-law's Fall Cleaning party and I signed more postcards and gave out more book marks.

Just an aside for a minute, my sister-in-law is part of a wonderful group called Happy Doll that brings dolls to kids in the hospital and in schools. The kids then decorate these dolls and send them on to other children around the world. She has expanded this group from a few dedicated people to where they have their own office and travel everywhere for this amazing cause. The other night I had the privilege to be part of the doll stuffing team and it was so great to know that these dolls were going to bring joy to so many children. I thought you might enjoy seeing the lovely Happy Doll website and reading the stories of these children.

Okay, now back to what I was saying.

Meanwhile, in my every day life I gave a signed postcard and a book mark to anyone with whom I had any personal contact including my doctor and dentist and his receptionist. If I spoke with anyone about my book I gave them a signed postcard and a book mark. Then a chance to meet more Muse authors came about as I took part in the Retreat in Montreal. I haven't really said much about it here, since so many other authors who were there chronicled it so well, but it was an amazing experience. I met so many wonderful authors and best of all I met my readers. The best thing about this was that after three years of writing and revising the book and five years of trying to get it published I was able at last to hold it in my hand! The night before the book signing we had a dinner where we were all introduced to the books in print. I held the print book in my hand and at last had the feeling I had been waiting for all my life. I was finally able to leaf through the pages and feel the concreteness of it. The feeling was indescribable. Signing my book to the children and teens who were the focus of it was another incredible feeling. Their smiles and excitement assured me that I was on the right track. The print book exceeded my expectations and I was able to sell all the copies I had except for one, which I took back to my family to show them.

Finding I needed to read my favorite part of the book again, I did. My eyes welled with tears at the end as they always do. I am very proud of the whole experience of this book. It isn't about a werewolf or a vampire. It doesn't have any dead parents or anyone with an incurable disease. No one commits suicide in it and there is no violence whatsoever in it. It isn't a fantasy or a sci fi or a paranormal story. There is no world building or armageddon in it. Maybe that's why it had such a difficult time being accepted. But my publisher loved it and took a chance that other people would love it. So far I have six really great 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon. Has it rocked the universe? Am I a bestseller? Not that I know of, but my publisher says to be patient, because it is only out there a couple of months.

Now I am wondering. Do enough people know about my book? Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get more reviews without spamming my friends? I have gotten those releases that ask you to read the book and review it from different people and I have seen the promotions on Facebook and the mass mailings from Goodreads and even LinkedIn. What do you think of these? Should I do that? Or should I send a mass mailing to all of my friends on Facebook? I haven't done any of these. I would love your thoughts on this:)

Until the next time, I noticed I keep gaining and losing a follower. I am very sorry I didn't post for a few weeks, but I have been busy every day. Like any writer I don't like to sit down and put anything on this blog. If I have to search for something to write I'd rather not write anything at all.:) For my loyal followers who check all the time, I hope you understand and will forgive me. I have been posting on DowntownYA each week every Saturday, though.

Also I would like to remind everyone that my story, "Cancer Didn't Get Him" is in Lavender Dreams, an anthology in the memory of cancer victims. All profits go to cancer research. Three of my poems are going to be an anthology called, Prompted, which will be available soon. It is something very special, because we as a group, The Anthologists, conceived and put this together in a very harmonious fashion. We had the help of the talented Dr. Pearl Prilik and Laurie and Michelle. The profits from this are going to literacy research. While I was in Montreal I found out my flash stories were going to be in "The Book Breeze", which is a magazine that is distributed to authors at festivals and conventions in print. It is also available online if you want to read them. Anyone who has followed me for awhile or even read my other stories will enjoy the change in writing here. There might be an alien or two!!

My Blog Talk Radio show, RRWL Tales from the Pages will be on Tuesday, November 22nd. My guests will be Janie Franz and Amy McCorkle. I am sure there will be other people who might pop in too!  My December show is going to be filled with guests from previous shows reading Holiday stories. I love my Christmas show and we usually have a great time! I hope you will be able to join me on either of these dates. On my Christmas show I will be bringing back the funny and delightful Mr. J, whose book, Meet Mr. J  has brought tears of laughter and frustration to many. He is someone you will not want to miss.


Don't forget to leave a comment about how I can get more reviews. I am giving out a free e-book to the winner of the comment drawing. Of course I will expect you to review it.:) Just kidding! No pressure:)

1 comment:

  1. One thing you can try is getting your book hooked up with a reviewer site. I am a reviewer for http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/index.html, which is for self-published authors. Another way would simply networking with bloggers who review books if you don't want to go with a reviewer site. I am also looking for books to review, so if you'd like you can give me a copy and I'll review it for you. ;) Also I was reading an article, one I unfortunately did not save, that talked about changing the price on your ebook on Kindle at different times to help promote. For example, if your second book is about to come out it would be a good idea to make your first book free as a way to drum awareness. It does sound counterproductive, but in truth there are a lot of second books I wouldn't have if I hadn't gotten the first one free. Not because they weren't good, but simply because I didn't know about it. Just a thought

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