6. Where the Real Work Starts
So, you’ve written a novel, worked through cover art, edits, proofing, publication; had an awesome party to launch it into the world. Job done, right? Wrong.
This is where the work really starts. You may have written the best book in the world, enjoyed thoroughly by friends and family, but unless it is supported by an ongoing promotional campaign, you won’t sell more than a couple of hundred copies at best.
Whichever route you take to publish your work, it will require a great deal of elbow grease to get out there and publicise it. Hopefully, you will already have a social media platform: Facebook page, Twitter, website and write a regular blog in order to draw readers’ attention to your work. As my first book was published in the US, and I’m in the UK, the publicity side was largely up to me and it proved to be a huge learning curve.
It’s possible to do a lot of promotional work online in the form of guest blogs, interviews and spotlights. The networking and support side in the online writing community is wonderful and certainly invaluable. However, if you can manage to get out there in person and get involved in real events too, you’ll be surprised at how much your reader base can grow.
I wasn’t sure how I’d manage the ‘real’ promotional aspect of writing. I’m quite a shy person, and it’s certainly much easier to hide behind a keyboard and chat on Twitter. But I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed getting out there and meeting people – other readers, like me. The events have been fun and, if nothing else, you get to try out new experiences which is always interesting.
Here are a few avenues to try:
– In the UK radio stations, especially local BBC stations, are very supportive of local events and achievements so it’s always worth giving them a try for an interview to help spread the word.
– Bookstores, both chain and independents, like events as it draws more people into the store and are often open to book signings, so don’t be afraid to approach them.
– It’s always worth emailing your local library to see if they are looking for authors to attend events there.
– Details of book clubs nearby can often be found at the library too and, if they read and enjoy your book, they may invite you to come and talk to them.
I found, especially with my first novel, I often had to donate a copy of the book to be read first before a book shop would arrange an event. I guess they just want to make sure the novel is worthy of their support. But this can work in your favour too because, for the price of an eBook, you will often get a recommendation and perhaps also a review which will encourage other readers to take a chance on your work.
This is my last Diary of a Newbie Novelist – Mark 2 post. I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed following my journey second time around and wish you all the very best with your own writing. I’ll close with a little secret – I’ve just submitted my third novel for consideration. Here we go again…
Jane Isaac is author of An Unfamiliar Murder and The Truth Will Out. With a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. You can catch up with her at www.janeisaac.co.uk