Every time I used to see an article starting with: “you wrote a book, now what?”, I found it weird, but now that I wrote the book and it is out there, the sentence makes perfect sense.
When they say the hard bit is not to write your book, but what it comes next, they are right!
Publish it, market it, sell it: all this is far more overwhelming than I ever imagined. Out there it is a wild literary jungle where at every corner there is some guy or some company selling you the right help at the right price.
My head is overcrowded of informations.I am under the impression to waste all my time just surfing the web in the hope to find the one magic tool to promote my work and checking my Amazon’s account for those reviews that cannot possibly be there yet unless I am so lucky to be surrounded by friends who are the fastest reader in the world.
Whether they re coming from real life or the web, the closes of the friends are undoubtedly your first costumers. The one who had to listen at your rant during your writing time and that now are buying the book to eventually shut you up. They, of course, are not alone and you have another group of first in line: your fellow bloggers, whose majority is in your same boat and that sympathetically feel your pain and wants to support you as much as you helped them, or you will potentially do. Never underestimate the good writer karma.
So, one thing I understood, it is that compassion and solidarity make you sell your first copies.!
Unfortunately, solidarity has a limit, and you need more customers and even more if you have my significant disadvantage. I, in fact, cannot rely on my relatives’ network to boost selling. I come from a big family but because ” big” doesn’t necessarily mean “close”, over the years my biological potential audience self censured and reduced itself. I could anyway still be more than happy with my small but trustworthy and lovable circle if they only would be English speakers, but because they are not, they are business wise totally useless.
Find your niche, advertise, market, be visible!!!!! The mantra every fecking book I read and websites I surfed repeat. It comes naturally to think that if they all agree on this, it must be the right way to build up your business right? Right! But, do I really want to be that visible?
I am more than fine with mine “on line fame”, and I love blogging, twitting and Instagramming(this I don’t even know if it is a word, but you know what I mean), but the “real life” visibility is entirely different. Not only the ones who share my same interests will know what I am up to, but also everybody at the school gate.
Dilemma, Dilemma: do I want this type of attention locally?
I certainly do not but, I suppose there is no half way to do this, plus if I am the first to doubt myself how can I expect others to believe in my talent?!
My dilemma had its answer, and after consulting with my “personal editor” and friend SJ, I decided to gather all my courage and go back to Facebook with the intent to send all my old contact my new author page. I swear the intent was there and I was gonna do it , if only FB didn’t turn out to be so absurdly complicated.
Never mind, the first step to my nationwide notoriety has been done . Now I only need the papers cover, and the only way is to go to the local newspaper to advocate the cause of my book. Easier to say than to do because the newspaper office, that is also the village tourist office, seems to be never open and, of course, there is no sign with their opening hours.Probably due to the high volume of tourist and happenings we locally have they want to keep their options open and be sure they have time to rest from time to time.
Few days and attempts later, when it became more a matter of principle to get into that place than else, I finally spotted a bench with some article for sale outside meaning someone had to be there.More precisely , someone had been there.On the door there was in fact a note saying they were back at 2.30pm.
“Yess!”, I was going to wait and I was going to do this. Never mind it was that one day I threw myself out of the house as I was, and by that, I mean still wearing part of my PJ under my coat. Thank God, just in case something happened I had the right spirit to wear a cute pair of shoes and some red lipstick. As my mother would say, enough to deviate the paramedics’ attention in case I was involved in some road accident!.
I went round and round and when at 2.45pm nobody had yet arrived, I parked on the opposite side of the road and I waited in the car. Thankfully the neighbours could not give a dam about those people because otherwise, someone would have already reported the crazy woman in the long black coat stalking the local news.
3.15pm and the door opened, but now too much time had passed since a bravely decided to come here, and I am nervous and forgot the speech I had carefully prepared. Once I am in I can only say, “good day, I am….and I wrote a book”.
The lady from the news looked at me with puzzled expression first, and slightly worried after a few seconds when she realised I was panicking and I could easily hide a knife under my coat and stub her on the spot without nobody sees anything.
None of us speaks for a few seconds. I am trying to find something witty to say that wouldn’t give away the fact that I’m a first-time author desperate to advertise her work.The lady from the news is now not puzzled, not worried but simply annoyed for this waste of time and openly wondering what I want.
“The book is a murder mystery set in the village with fictional names, and I thought it would have been nice to have it mentioned on the local news considering it talks about the town.”.Here, I said it and I now definitely had her on board.
Let’s just hope she won’t expect something as juicy as Peyton Place!
We talked, she had been very nice and interested and asked me to send the book cover, the synopsis and a little bio by email. Then, when I thought we were done and I could eventually relax and stop giggling like an idiot, (that is something I always do when I am nervous on top of talking like a chatterbox ), out of the blue she jumped on her feet branding her professional camera and started to shoot.
“Just a few pics to put with the article,” she said.
“Damn, just today that I left home like crap”, I think.
I am still hysterically giggling and at the same time making sure my coat is fully buttoned up as my giggling open mouth, on probably all the pics she had taken,will be enough embarrassing without all the village spotting my PJs underneath.
Once home, I managed to regain some clarity and dignity. I mailed the info I have been requested and swore I usually am not as idiotic as I looked today and I hope the news lady had believed me, but even more, I hope she will ultimately use the pics I sent her, instead of the ones she took.
Thank you to support my writing beautiful people