HI THERE CLOSET NOVELISTS!
Now that my book is out and I have been doing interviews about it, I thought I should inspire some of you to write a book!
Times have changed ladies. No longer do you have to pound the pavement, sending your novel to every publisher, only to receive rejection letters and cold shoulders. You can epublish!
When I started out in literary PR, there was no such thing as epublishing. Hell, there was barely the internet! (I am old). Hopeful authors had to go banging on publishers’ doors, praying their book would be one of “the chosen few.” I myself did this with my book, and while I did get interest from HarperCollins and a major agent, nobody would take it on because competition is just too fierce for them to take a chance on a first-time novelist. Phooey.
Many authors are getting book deal from their blogs – “Julia & Julia,” “Shit My Father Says,” etc. because they have a pre-existing fan base, so publishers see it as less risk. So that is one route if you want to create some buzz and a following for your voice. I started a blog (Hello!) and I really enjoy it, but it did not create the thousands of followers I dreamt about. Phooey.
I had thought about epublishing but to me, it still had that negative stigma which was like a glaring sign in large, neon lights “YOU COULDN’T GET A PUBLISHER SO THIS WAS YOUR ONLY OPTION AND YOU’RE A LOSER.” I know I should not have felt that way, but I admit it, I did. So I waited, and waited….for something to happen.
Then, one Friday back in December, I was reading the Wall Street Journal and came across this article:
Well, it was like a lightbulb went off. Before I was even done reading the article, I had already decided to epublish. I did the research, I purchased a knight’s costume for my husband and we did some shots (yes, that’s my husband on the cover), I got an art director to do the cover art, I did a final FINAL edit (I had already done about four edits when I was shopping it around to the publishing houses), and then I went for it! Of course it would be best to have a publishing house behind you, but there are other ways to make your dream happen and epublishing was a good vehicle for me.
I won’t mention that the hardest part is writing the book, and then selling it. I won’t mention that I worked on the book on and off for five years. I won’t mention that even though I have been on TV, book sales are slow. I won’t mention these things because I don’t want to dissuade you from following your dream of adding “Author” to your resume. I will, however, offer some advice:
1. Write the book. ☺
2. Do NOT show the book to every friend and family member before you publish it. You will get MANY critiques and opinions back and you will be so confused, you will forget what your book is supposed to be about. Plus, critics can be cruel. You don’t want to loose your self-confidence and wind up a pile of beaten, torn up, useless goo. Just give the book to a few people you trust will give you real feedback and those who are your target market for the book. Ask your friends to be HONEST. You need real opinions so you can change things that need to be changed.
3. EDIT – Make sure your book is TIGHT!
4. Send your novel to a few publishers. It’s worth a shot. Go for the top ones. Just don’t wait years for them to bite.
5. Have a good title and a great, eye-catching cover.
6. Read the above WSJ article. It has valuable information!!
7. MARKETING – The book will not just sell itself just because you put it out there. Build up your Facebook friends, Linked in, Twitter, etc. so that when you launch, you have an audience. Also, it is a good idea to do a Twitter and Facebook and/or website specifically for your book’s title.
8. DO both an ebook AND a printed book! Many people like a physical, actual book. Why limit yourself? Plus, you get to have copies and autograph them for friends. How fun is that??!!
9. MAKE your friends and family buy the book. Sorry to be the Grinch, but you want sales to happen and your friends and family are your first, most important target. Ask them to buy it.
10. HAVE FUN with it! Don’t think of it as a major challenge. Think of all the positive things, including having a written document of your life that will be around forever.
WRITING A BOOK IS A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. DON’T TAKE THE TASK ON LIGHTLY AND DON’T BE BLASEE WITH OTHERS WHO HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK, EVEN IF IT IS AN EPUBLISHED BOOK. IT TAKES BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS, BUT IT’S WORTH IT! When people act like it’s nothing to just write a book and put it up online, ask them “Oh yeah? Then why doesn’t EVERYONE have an ebook??!!”
Happy writing ladies!!