Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's J-Day!

Okay, enough obsessing about the diet. Except I have to say that I forced myself onto the scale this morning and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Yippee! Less to lose! And, one more thing: my stepmom is one of the nicest people in the world, so don’t get the wrong impression from the quotes I used yesterday. She means well. Don’t all moms?

Anyway…back to what’s new with the writing career. Um, not much. Still no release date for Stealing Amy—I know, I know. You’re all out there poised with your fingers on the “buy” button, but you’ll just have to wait.

Which is a good thing, as it turns out, because I have A LOT to learn about promotion. I mean, who KNEW that writing and selling a book was just the beginning??

For all you nonwriters out there (and, hmmm…maybe some of you aspiring ones)…let me outline a bit of the drill.

First, there are the reader/author loops. There are, conservatively speaking, about a billion of them. The idea here is to join up, start participating on the message boards, get your name out there, and post excerpts that’ll leave ‘em drooling for more. The problem is, just joining ONE of these loops means multiplying your incoming email by a factor of 1000. No lie. At this point, I have all my loops on “digest” which means messages get condensed into one email containing about 25 at a time. Still…over the weekend, one loop I’m on generated approximately 60 emails so if you multiply 60 x 25…eeek. And that’s just ONE loop.

Okay, next you have “chats.” These are usually in connection with the loops and you spend several hours “available” for people to drop in and ask questions, discuss your book, your writing career, etc. I’ve never done one of these but I’m getting the impression the idea is to pray real hard that anyone shows up.

Now, let’s talk contests. MAJOR promotional tool. Turns out readers like to GET stuff for free (no surprise—I do, too!) and apparently, in return, they feel compelled to buy your book…? At least, I guess that’s the way it works. No guarantee, I assume.

Then there’s your Web site (two words, I’m told, and capitalized). I’m in the process of having one designed right now and can’t wait to see what the guy comes up with. Here you wanna make sure you come up with a “brand” for yourself—something that tells readers “who” you are, what sets you apart—basically, what kinda read they can expect when they buy your book. Personally, I also think it’s imperative to keep people coming back, so I’m gonna be incorporating a blog on mine. Yikes. More stuff to write.

Finally (well, not finally, I guess—this is just an overview) but you can buy well-timed, well-placed ads.

Is anybody getting the impression that for a newbie author, the outgo exceeds the income??

Ah so, Grasshopper. Now you’re getting’ it.

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