I have to admit the last couple weeks have been very frustrating for me. With Natural Order coming out on October 1, and me not having done any marketing for any books for a couple years now, there was a lot of prep work to do. The advantage to that is now that I have the groundwork set up future marketing for other novels is going to be easier. The disadvantage is I was spending so much time feeding the marketing beast that I had little to no time left to actually write.
A few days ago, just as I was about to do the read over on Natural Rebirth so I could start finishing the last few chapters, edits came in for Shadow Magic (the sequel to Ancestral Magic). As of today I’ve got the first run edits done on Shadow Magic, and I am about through chapter 6 on my read through of Natural Rebirth. I admit when I first wrote the rough draft a while back and when I did the reorg of the chapters a month or so ago, I wasn’t really sure if I was happy with the way the novel was going. Now that I’ve had a little time away and I’m able to read through what I have so far, I’m happier with the story. I’ve got about eight more chapters to read through and clean up, and I think probably about five more chapters to write, but my goal of finishing the novel (the first draft at least) by October 1 doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.
Part of me wishes I’d been able to blog more this past week or so, but I imagine once the first book is released and I’m stressing less about the whole thing, finding things to say here will be easier. It’s possible that trying to theme certain days is making me feel limited rather than my original intent of giving me a plan, so I might keep things here a little bit more free form for a while. I did recently replace my academic datebook, so I finally have a way of keeping track of what I’m supposed to do on each day, so that might help, too.
I’m hoping soon, however I decide to do it, to start seeing people comment on the posts here. It’s a lot more exciting and engaging to talk when you know you are have an audience listening and interacting with you. Here’s hoping as this blog grows and my books become available to a wider audience of people, that I will see more people come here to have conversations with.
On a couple of the Facebook author and reader groups I’m part of the readers have been sharing their frustration with the marketing habits of some of the authors. I thought giving voice to those frustrations was important. Especially for small press authors, and heck even with the big presses nowadays, there’s a lot of pressure on an author to take on the task of promoting their work themselves. The trouble is, some authors are posting the same promo(s) several times a day on the same groups, which honestly is having the opposite effect that I’m sure they want. Instead of creating “the seven times so the consumer remembers” exposure that all the marketing advice places say that we need to have, these authors are literally turning readers off of their work because of overexposure. This got me to thinking…
I’m not going to lie to y’all, I would much rather be writing then doing marketing. Writing is a lot more fun. There is a level of self-consciousness around marketing my work. I’m proud of my stories. I love sharing them, and excited when I get feedback from folks that read my stories. But it’s difficult for me to draw attention to myself in that way. A lot of times I force myself to do it, and in most cases feel like I’m trying too hard. Trouble is, without having a large publisher to do my marketing for me (nowadays that’s not always happening through the big publishers most of time) if I want people to read stories I write I to talk about them, and I have to hope that people like my stories enough to talk about them as well.
I started working on rebuilding the site that went away after my last publisher closed their doors. In the meantime, since working on the website requires me to learn a lot more about Dreamweaver than I know currently, I figured a good place to start would be searching for review sites. To be honest, I would have rather done this at least three months out, rather than two months like I am, but this was the first time I can really get around to doing the research to find the sites to begin with. So far I’ve gotten a fair few places I’ve sent out the digital form of the novel today, and several more I sent out emails hoping to hear back return requests for copies of the book.