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Thursday, March 18, 2010

promoting your self-published novel

I’ve got good news, you’ve been published, and the bad news is you’ve been published. This double-edged sword is what is presented to all authors. When you hear it for the first time, especially as a self-published novelist, you get that giddy feeling that finally I’m in print, and then the slow realization hits you. You are on your own.

For those of us that self-published, for what ever reason we did that, there is no agent, no publisher setting up book tours, signings, no eagerly waiting public lining up to buy your book. All that is left is whatever it is you do next. For an author public appearances are one of the great ways to be seen, to let the public put a face, and or a voice to the book. It’s all selling, something most of us writers are not specialists in. Ask me to tell you my story, easy. Ask me to write a three paragraph pitch to promote my book and I freeze.

No matter it has to be done. You have to approach the local book stores and sit and sign and talk to people. Happily I have found that if I can get a chance to pitch the book to the public I have had reasonable success. I’ve handed out my cards in restaurants – to people reading -  at the Nissan dealership when my car was in for repairs, in Target’s Garden center... all successfully concluded in a book sale.

I attended book festivals in Shawnee OK, Oro Valley AZ, and most recently in Tucson. From the Oklahoma show I was introduced to the Friends of the Library group from Alamogordo NM and drove back out weeks later to present myself to their book group who chose Blood on His Hands as their book-of-the-month for February. Each little bit of exposure brings realization that yes I have written a book, and it’s pretty damn good. I hear from people all over the world via Facebook that they like it too. So why are more copies not selling? My web page is full of wonderful reviews. Oh for an agent and a publisher to promote me on more than my little shoestring budget. I hooked up with Literary Partners Group at the Tucson Book Festival, a promotion company run my Andrew Greeley, who was helping several local authors by providing space to sell their books from, and he promoted the event on his AM radio show on local Tucson station The JOLT.

I keep looking for that one break, that someone with influence will read it and give me the blurb that everyone reads. I did manage to slip a copy to David Morrell after attending a workshop (pictured here) with him last week at the Tucson Book Festival. He was very gracious. I also managed to get a copy onto the hands of another writer idol, Jim Crace. Now I just hope that they have some down time and get to read it.

Until then, I am putting the promotional hat aside for a little while, and am commencing to write, as the new manuscript is calling. I’ll be right there!

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