Amy Deardon is writing about publishing including how to best prepare our manuscript and sharing her thoughts on various POD/Self-publishing companies.
Her entries encouraged me to take a hard look at the route I chose for "A Reason to Hope" and what I could have done differently had I known then what I know now.
I think I started out well by creating my website before the book was available for purchase. Some of my fellow writers kindly advised me how to word certain passages and what pages to add or remove, so it started out smooth.
I also made sure to check out other writers with similar interests, both to help improve my site, and as a marketing tool. I learned through blogging the best way to attract readers is to make the first move.
What would I do differently?
1. Based on the reviews so far, I should have asked more people to critique it. They found a few (minor, thank goodness) grammatical errors.
2. Researched more into self-publishing, including starting my own publishing company like Amy and a few others. No matter how you slice it, people consider self-published books sub-par. Those that are well-written with a good story line need to work even harder to gain a following. Because of the general stigma attached to self-publishing, I can’t mention "A Reason to Hope" to the editors at the conference. If I’ve sold more than 5,000 copies that would be different, but I’m nowhere near that. Yet.
Other lessons (so far) pertain to my blog and website in general. These are easily fixed, so I’m not worried about it.
Looking at the big picture, I’m amazed (and thankful) to receive the traffic and return readership I do. After all, I published my book and started my website a mere three months ago.
Yesterday I gave a copy of my book to my pastor. I asked him to read a draft for me a few years ago to check the theology on it, so he remembered the story. He recommended I meet with him sometime to set up a book signing, write a blurb in the bulletin, and perhaps plug it during one or all of the services (gulp).
Not only was that a terrific ego boost, but I’m touched to receive so much support with so little effort on my part.
Like I told my pastor yesterday, "A Reason to Hope" is a God thing. It and my website would not have received the positive attention it has so far without his help.
My gratitude goes to each of you as well for not only stopping by, but for returning.
5 thoughts on “What I Know Now”
Ah, I’m not sure about not mentioning it to editors, since it does show initiative and starting to market already. Did you catch this link at the BookSpa?
Good article. Thanks for linking it.
You’re absolutely right in that showing initiative will help.
In my pitch sheet I do mention how I started a website, and now have a following of approximately 20 readers. I will point out to editors, because all authors are expected to promote themselves. The book itself, though, I won’t mention unless the editor asks a specific question. In other words, I don’t want to throw the novella at him and say, “lookie what I did!” Selling 23 copies isn’t enough to wow an editor.
Andra — I’m about halfway through your book and hope to finish by tonight. It’s great!
PS Thanks for the reference to my blog. I feel like Jamie Lee Curtis exposing the less than perfect journey of Lever to completion — but if it helps or gives hope to another writer, it’s worth it!
The bottom line for self publishing: first, make darn sure you want to do this. If you do, then don’t take shortcuts; do everything as well as you possibly can, and leave the rest up to God.
That’s it in a nutshell. Thanks.
Plus I think the imperfect journeys are far more interesting. It shows success requires a lot of work and struggle, and we’re not alone in our struggles.