- Start your marketing program the minute you decide to write a book. It can take a year or two to build a platform, your tribe of fans. Start now.
New post at my personal site. It’s not writing or publishing specific, but you might still be interested in some counter-intuitive lessons I wish I hadn’t learned the hard way.
Some authors need to get through the whole publishing process on their own. A major challenge is getting your book ready for Kindle and for print.
Usually, though, that challenge is ignorance and fear: not knowing what to do.
I just read a blog post by an author claiming that Joseph Campbell’s monomyth is overused, and explained how their novel avoided it so as not to sound formulaic.
Except the only difference was, their “hero” wasn’t traditionally heroic. Otherwise, the description was nothing more than an abbreviated version of the same story humans have been telling themselves for millennia.
Being “different” by
- calling yourself different
- pretending that how the human mind works doesn’t apply to you and/or
- being ignorant of how language works (Campbell’s “hero” has nothing to do with heroism)
is loopy, wonky, misguided, and just plain wrong.
(Another question frequently asked)
You should start marketing your book the day you’re sure you’re going to write it. Your website is a major part of your marketing.
Consider how movies are marketed. A year in advance, sometimes more, teasers start to come out. A website goes up with trivia, bits and pieces.
As the date approaches, the teasers turn into trailers, longer more detailed snippets to suck you in and build excitement, buzz.
Just before the launch is when the big blitz happens, but it only matters because real fans have been talking about it since the announcement a year ago.
Publishing is in a state of flux. Every variation of publishing is possible today, from throwing it over the transom to an agent who handles it all, to doing every single step yourself.
In between are various levels of self-publishing, defined to some extent by the balance of responsibility and risk shared by the publisher and the author. Understanding those differences is vital to your success. When I was asked the question in the title the first part of the answer was getting our definitions straight.
This is still a common question. Any time we’re embracing something completely new to us, the steepness of the learning curve is overwhelming. Sometimes we don’t even know what questions to ask. Sometimes taking a stab at an answer helps draw out more refined questions.
If you’re totally completely helplessly lost about this “ebook” thing, I’ll try to answer the question “Where do I start?” as long as we agree that it’s akin to asking “I’d like to learn to play music; where do I start?” Far too vague to have a real answer, but enough to start hacking through the underbrush to some better questions.
Not necessarily in any kind of order:
One (possibly valid) complaint made by proponents of traditional publishing about the glut of independently published books is that it appears some folks are using independent publishing for on the job training. I know my first mystery wasn’t the quality I dream of writing your someday.
Writers hate wasting words. Each syllable is like a miniature birth. Despite the validity of Quiller-Couch’s advice, we hate to murder our darlings.
No chef wants to waste food. Ah, but cooking always involves waste: egg shells, apple cores, melon rinds, coffee grounds.
I’ve written a post about why I believe authors and artists shouldn’t skimp on professional services related to their website. Hop over to my web company’s blog if you’d like the details. (It’s more web related than writing related.)