Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Five Days In the Author's Jungle

Well, its been five days since my book became available and I am doing what all the marketing "experts" tell you to do: shamelessly self-promote!  This is not an easy task for a former reporter who enjoyed her anonymity for years while she revealed everyone else's lives and decided whose story got play and whose pitch ended up in the circular file. 

In fact, this is downright painful.  

I have exhausted myself, linking this website with details on how to order Again in a Heartbeat, contacting family members, friends, Facebook "friends," college and graduate school alma maters, local bookstores and writing groups.  I even talked up the book at my local "Curves"  for weeks before publication where everyone smilingly assured me they wanted to read it. As soon as my first shipment of books arrives, I plan on plunking copies down on the table for purchase. Let them put their money where their mouth is!

I have contacted the local newspaper and they say they will do a story on the Writing Circle and our upcoming Art and Practice of Memoir workshop, but as for the local author slant, well the book will get a mention, "but we don't do local author stories."  No matter.  I am grateful for any and all publicity here in the book publishing jungle.

After reading all the "tips" on marketing, I feel like a walking encyclopedia on the dos and don'ts of author marketing.  Of course, it all started months ago:

  • let people know you are writing
  • come up with an eye-catching cover
  • comment on blogs with similar topics and interests
  • schedule book signings (for which you will again have to do your own publicity)
  • tweet until you're blue in the face

Another Golden Rule of  author marketing: Ask others to review your book.  This is easier said than done.  A well-known women's memoir group might do that after my book is linked to Amazon (this should be the case in about 14 business days); a social networking blogger extraordinaire on widowhood says "remind her" to get to the book if I don't hear from her in a while (this after an email and attached PDF file). And I am  waiting to hear from a workshop facilitator whether she is willing to review it (another email and attached PDF file of the book sent late Sunday night when I would much rather have been reading another Jodi Picoult novel).

Are we having fun yet?  If hard-pressed, I would say this is not as fun as writing.  Ah yes.  Writing.  How I long to get back to that.  Should I start another book, feel that energy again when I head to the computer to write instead of network, network, network?  But another book means another probable foray into the jungle. It means more tweeting and retweeting. Help! But for now, I'd better log onto that Twitter account and tweet this.


Unknown said...

Susan: Just got the book at my desk. A welcome arrival... I'm leaving on vacation on Thursday, and plan to have it read before I get back. The marketing part is a slog (I say this as a person with 20 years of marketing experience), but the good news is: Success at it will be exponential, not incremental. Go, you!

Susan G. Weidener said...

Beth: Thank you. I realize what you say is true. The connections and the word-of-mouth about the book are starting to happen. I've had two people say they couldn't put it down. What a thrill that was to hear. Have a great vacation. I hope you enjoy the book and can set aside time for your writing.