My book, Awfully Appetizing, was released in e-format in the middle of June. Since then, as I may have mentioned on here a couple of times, my book sales have been less than spectacular. Part of that is because I suck at promotions, I freely admit that. Part of it is because I have never really been a social butterfly. I don’t have the network of friends, kind of friends, acquaintances and such that some people do. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but it does make it a little harder to get that big push of sales when you start out.
But one of the big things that I really believe is holding me back is the lack of print books. A lot of people these days have e-readers, certainly, but one of the exciting things about a friend writing a book, at least to me, is having them autograph it to you. I love having my own copies of books by my writer friends.
Plus, there are promotional opportunities that only exist when you have print copies. I was going to do a book giveaway on goodreads, but apparently they only do that with physical copies of the book, which makes a lot of sense. And I’ve had several times when I talked to people about my new book coming out, but when they expressed interest in it, I had to say, ‘sorry, it’s only available for electronic readers.’
It isn’t my publisher’s fault. Winlock press, and Monique Happy in particular, have been great about keeping me up to date with what’s happening and when. But apparently Lightning Source has buggered things up and we’ve ended up pushed back to the end of the queue. I’m annoyed.
And I’m impatient as hell.
Things are happening now faster than I ever would have expected! Usually when someone I know gets a writing contract, things afterwards proceed at a snail’s pace. The editor looks over their work, makes some suggestions, sends it back to them. They do a round of edits, send it back to the publisher. I’m given to understand that this is often repeated over the course of months. Then there is the cover art and the dedication, this and that and the other.
I’ve been told that between the time that a book is accepted and put out, it’s not uncommon for a year to pass.
I signed my contract about three months ago, and my manuscript will be a book within a few days.
How crazy is that?
To answer my own question, not half as crazy as I am. As soon as I received the final FINAL draft of the book, I started questioning everything. Is the book really ready? Did I correct all of the mistakes? Did I set up everything I needed to for the future books?
And, of course, most important of all: Will anyone read this?
I mean, obviously somebody will. I have friends who owe me favors. I have relatives. They have to read it. They also have to love it, no matter what. But will anyone else?
This is not the first time I’ve started a blog. This is not the second time I’ve started a blog. I would go on, but it may or may not be the third time I’ve started a blog and I don’t want to be inaccurate. The point I’m getting at is that these things are ubiquitous. They are everywhere you look. You can find blogs by models and blogs by athletes, blogs by celebrities and blogs by politicians. High schoolers have blogs about the video games they play, and bands have blogs about their music.
Everyone is talking as loud as they can, which raises the question: who is listening anymore? I signed up for twitter a while back, and in very short order I found myself inundated by announcements from writers who were publishing their first book, and businesses who would love to help me reach my audience, for a low fee.
Not once did I find a post by someone looking for something new to read. Not once did I get a message from somebody who wanted to hear my opinion. Now, in fairness, I didn’t exactly ask for any opinions myself. I’m not judging the people who were on there. But I can’t help how much of a point there is to all of this.
I am a writer. I have a book that will be coming out soon. I hope people will read it. My publisher has informed me that one of the things I need to do is set up a webpage and create a blog. I need to connect to my audience. Or, perhaps more accurately, I need to allow my audience the chance to connect with me. If they want to. But I can’t help wonder if this is really the way to do it.
Everyone does it, of course, but that’s the problem. Everyone does it. I’m sure that there was a time, not that long ago, when a writer setting up a blog was a new and novel thing. I’m sure that there was a time when readers who went searching online and found something like this were impressed and interested. What I’m not sure of is that there’s any real reason for it anymore. Is there really a chance that somebody who comes online looking to know more about an author will find what they’re looking for in one of these? Or is this something that we simply do because everybody else does it and we don’t want to be missing one of the ‘magic ingredients’ for success?
Sometimes I wonder.