I haven’t gotten my head around the right ways to promote a book, or how to find the time. I barely have enough time to write. But the truth is promotion deserves equal time to writing, if a writer has any interest in finding readers. Which I do, or I wouldn’t be putting in the effort of multiple drafts to get the story right. The time has come to consider hiring one of the hundreds of promotional services vying for my few dollars—one that comes recommended. Goodreads forums for indie authors provide some insight, though a bit of digging is required.
I have learned something about timing from my mistakes. So here’s some advice to my future self: don’t release a book during NaNoWriMo in the heat of cram-writing a new one. Also, don’t bookmark the time immediately following a first draft spew for promoting the previous book—you will be too exhausted with burn-out to bother.
I’m still grappling with the promotion of the last book, and what happens to it when I move my focus to this new one. I hate how I feel like I’m letting my characters down when I abandon the old book for the new (I hate how I miss them sometimes). It’s been a year and a half since I let that book loose on the world and I’m lost as to how to do right by it. Is there a promotional time-limit after publishing? The book doesn’t feel new anymore, and yet it would be new to most people, as few have read it. Common advice seems to dictate letting the previous book(s) piggyback on the promotion of new reads, and as the time to promote the new book is fast approaching, that role is already set.
Meantime, during the day I’m designing train cars for a TV series and at night I sit down to 18th century London. I’m lucky if I get an hour a day in London gin joint times, but at the moment I am in the back halls of a Covent Garden theatre trying to find a little privacy. I know what happens there but I’m not telling…
I have to apologize to followers new and old for the gaps in posting.
I have been writing, but the minimal time I’ve had available of late has forced me to choose between working on the new novel or talking about the old novel. I have chosen the former.
Sales of Tempt the Ocean continue at a slow pace (very slow), but do continue. I confess I was thrilled when the earnings broke the two-digit milestone. Disheartening when compared to self–published authors who claim to make a living off their novels. I don’t know how they do it. I have to remind myself that it’s a mistake to compare my own progress to that of others.
One piece of advice I have: order a small number of printed copies to keep on hand. I never ordered a set of copies of my book to distribute by hand and that has been a mistake. I have since had people ask to buy a copy of my novel outright and have not been able to provide one. A colleague mentioned a book store in our neighbourhood that highlights local independent authors by selling copies directly, but again, I have none to sell. And when I had an opportunity to product-place my novel on screen this summer I had to pass it by since I did not have any copies to loan.
I have no news about making Tempt the Ocean available on other platforms outside Amazon.
I can say, however, that I managed to write a good 1400 words on labour day last week, and I’m plowing through a borrowed copy of A Storm of Swords so I can return it to the library in time. If I don’t have time to write at least I can read and post the occasional Tweet.
I made a last minute decision two weeks ago to offer my first Romance in print (on-demand) as well as e-Book. I may be old-fashioned and attached to the tangible or I just couldn’t get past wanting to share a copy with those who haven’t embraced an e-Reader.
Either way this set me down the path of the bureaucratic waiting game. I already knew that the Canadian Library Archives distributes ISBN blocks to publishers within Canada at no charge, but until I did my research I wasn’t aware that the first step to a block of ISBN’s was creating an account as a publisher (with a Canadian address). The writer of one of the blog posts I read in researching the steps mentioned that after applying they had received approval on their account the next day. However, at day 6 I now believe that next-day approval was a fluke. The Archives site says the wait can be up to 10 days, so I am still within the stated period. Should everything proceed by the end of next week then my publishing deadline of November 7 will not be effected. Another blog I found helpful revealed that a single person ran the entire ISBN registration process at the time of application. That blogger did not admire Canadian bureaucracy. Ironically, I have an entire chapter of my novel dedicated to it.
A self-publishing individual is counted as a publisher, so while self-publishing authors are eligible to acquire their own blocks of ISBNs, they must be aware that the information they submit as a publisher becomes public record. The first blog mentioned above advised getting a PO box to maintain privacy. I thought that excellent advice and spent the first money so far towards publishing. The private address became further useful when I registered with CreateSpace and Amazon as a publisher.
While I waited for a response, I added the electronic table of contents in my eBook manuscript and then uploaded it to my account at Amazon. I added my electronic book cover. My manuscript is saved as a draft until I get the ISBN number (the number has to go on the copyright page), at which point I will upload the revision. Amazon allows the draft upload for preview with a pre-release, but also requires an expected publishing date. My final draft must be up by November 7 in order to meet an anticipated November 14 release. The pressure is on.
And while I waited further, I revised my e-manuscript back to print format, and added a back cover and spine to my cover artwork. I created an account with CreateSpace and uploaded both the print manuscript and new cover art for preview. The print manuscript needed several changes but with some revisions is now ready for release. But I can’t proceed further without the ISBN.
Until then… I’ll be writing the next novel during November’s NaNoWriMo!