I am using this entry for a blog contest on the website backwordbooks.com which is a self-published authors collective, the first of its kind, I believe. In an effort to support their site and perhaps makes some nice connections, I add their link to this blog entry. Please check them out.
The following entry was originally posted on September 7th, 2009.
Commitment to Blog
Hollywood Ain’t Calling
I know the realities of going at it alone. So, with this in mind, I need to market this book with my head and not my heart. I need to really get it in my head (and out of my heart, which can easily break over such things) that I may show up to a book signing and not sell a single book. I need to accept that I have to do all the legwork of getting reviewers to review the book. I have to not-cry-for-me Argentina that I will have to purchase probably 150 books on my own to use for marketing (online reviewers and contest give-aways) and consigning to bookstores. I have to not feel guilty when friends, students, and clients ask to purchase a book from me. Or, rather, I will not allow the guilt feelings to make me hand over the books for free. Additionally, because it’s just me marketing the book, I have to accept the limitations of my life. I have children, my work, and school, right now. Marketing is going to have to be accessible, and my goal cannot be on the number sold. Rather the goal must be, getting the books to readers, one reader at a time.
If any of you keep up with this blog, you know that FEAR OF FALLING went "live" to the web for purchase this week. This means that you can purchase it from online bookstores, like Amazon. It means that if you go to your local bookstore, they can order it for you. It also means that I can go to the local bookstores and implore them to order my book from the publisher or distributor. It also means that my publisher will be sending me my free 40 copies. Some of those will get consigned to independent bookstores. Why am I sharing all this with you? Because here’s the first of many hurdles I will have to traverse with this book. Hurdles I already know about because this is my third time around. That hurdle is…How do I get this book to my readers? You might say, “Well, through bookstores. Right?”
Typically, if you are a self-published author, you are totally on your own and that means NO ONE helps you with the way your book reaches the hands of the readers. Now-a-days being self published can mean that you are totally alone, but it can also mean that you purchase the service of publishing from a company, as I have from iUniverse. So, I am not totally on my own. The publisher and I are partners in the publication of the book. My publisher, for a relatively small fee and after a lot of editorial evaluation (this means they don’t just agree to publish any thing), agrees to do some of the marketing and most of the distribution of the book. This is a GREAT thing for the self-published author.
Hurdles and More Hurdles
The Rock Up The Mountain
I hope that I haven’t bored you all with this, but it’s the parts of being self published that frustrate me. I feel like if I had a regular book deal, this isn’t what I would be worried about. I would be able to spend this last hour as I have on this blog on my writing. When these things happen, things that remind me of being on my own in this huge task of marketing my book, I get a little depressed. It feels like I am pushing a huge rock up a very bumpy mountain.